If you have to buy Q?

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Ron G.

TVWBB Wizard
5-Step (website) recent grad here!

I would consider most of the Great Lakes region to be somewhat of a "barbeque no-man's land".

Since Q has recently become a growing trend, ("trendy" and Q are not always a good combination...) this appears to be changing - but this part of the country just doesn't have the history behind it that you find in other areas. I grew-up in the "semi-sticks", and have enjoyed old-style farm-market smoked sausage and bacon from a young age - but "barbeque" has been a different story around here.

With that in mind - have you found any joints in the Northern Illinois / SE Wisconsin area that you consider to be worth checking-out? Maybe some offer what you would consider to be a good example of a particular regional style? If so, please enlighten and elaborate.

I'm a fan of Honey 1 and Uncle Johns in Chicago. Both establishments use aquarium-style smokers—sheet metal cookers with sliding tempered glass, which gives them a slight 'fish tank' appearance. Aquarium cookers are designed for direct cooking with straight wood, though many places use a combination of wood and charcoal. Honey 1 and Uncle John's use straight wood. Honey 1 and Uncle John's offer the trilogy of Chicago BBQ: full racks of spare ribs, tips and Chicago-style hot links, with the emphasis on tip/link combos.

Lem's and Barbara Ann's are top choices as well, but less consistent than Honey 1 and Uncle John's. Smoque BBQ, which uses gas powered rotisserie Southern Pride cookers, has a wider range of BBQ offerings with excellent attention to detail.

I did a BBQ tour for Slow Food a couple of years ago and put up brief bios, along with pictures, of Honey 1, Lem's, Barbara Ann's and Uncle John's -->here

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