I grew up in Minnesota, and one thing I know is that we love our BBQs. It doesn’t matter if we’re sitting at the local BBQ joint smelling the smoke coming in from outside, hanging around in our own backyards, or standing around the back of an open pickup truck tailgating at the game – great BBQ makes us happy!
If you are the type who prefers smoking up your own yard, you can go here to read more on great ways to do just that. If you prefer to have your BBQ served to you (basket and all), check out our recommendations for some amazing options throughout the state.
Big Daddy’s BBQ in St. Paul provides down-home southern style BBQ with simple window service. Locals rave about the beef and pork ribs. You also can’t go wrong with the shredded chicken. Don’t forget the cooked collards and baked beans to complement any of the above. Lastly, if you aren’t afraid to challenge your grandma, the potato salad will give her recipe a run for her money!
Bob’s Smoke Stack Ribs in Elgin has been called the best BBQ shop in the state. The owner, Bob Lewis, grew up in Arkansas and brought his southern skills right along with him to MN. Bob serves up fall-off-the-bone succulent meats, and also knows how to not overcook the greens. Try the green beans as a great alternative to collards. Comfort food at its best!
Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque in Stillwater knocks your socks off with the food and gets your (now bare) feet moving with the music. Smalley’s brings Jamaican influence to the menu, and you won’t be disappointed with the flare of Caribbean spices dancing with your taste buds. Try the coal-roasted pork shoulder, or, if you’re adventurous, the 666 Wings with a side of “Death Sauce.” Just see if you can handle the heat! On most weekend nights, you can take that hotness to the dance floor and work off those well-worth-it calories.
Louie’s Bucket of Bones in Ironton is a place you have to check out just because of the name. It’s got to be good (or at least adventurous), right? It’s true: It’s worth getting in your car and driving to this little town in the Iron Range to taste the wares. The owner hails from Italy, but brings in a St. Louis style to his ribs – not drowning in sauce, but flavorful of their own right. If this place ever moves to the Twin Cities, the other BBQ joints need to be afraid… be very afraid. Locals and travelers alike bustle for a seat at one of the five tables in this tiny place and order up pulled chicken or pork sandwiches, catfish, fried chicken and, of course, ribs. Get in your car. Go. Now! You won’t be disappointed!
Ted Cook’s 19th Hole BBQ in Minneapolis brings us back to the Twin Cities for our last review. This family owned hole-in-the wall has been here since 1968. You can’t go wrong with the split roasted chicken, and locals say the ribs are so hot and saucy that they take some work to eat, but that it’s well worth the sweating brow! Ted’s is a great place for take-out, and with screaming good prices, you can invite the neighbors over, too!
Speaking of screaming deals, if you want to make your own finger-licking BBQ at home, you can get the best electric smoker under 100 dollars here. Happy barbequing!