Grilled pork bbq ribs served with cherry tomatoes. basil and barbeque sauce on wooden cutting board over dark background. Close up. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The Warning Sign You Should Never Ignore For Barbecue Restaurants
By Cristine Struble
Finding a great barbecue restaurant doesn't have to involve knowing a secret handshake, but there are warning signs that should make even the hungriest patron put a restaurant in the rearview mirror. A great, or a not so specular, barbecue restaurant might not be as clear as its neon sign shining in the darkness.
In an Insider article, barbecue legend Rodney Scott said that guests should be able to smell the smoker when arriving at a restaurant, and not getting a whiff of hickory, mesquite, or other hardwood can be a dangerous sign. A smoker should be running more often to keep the flavorful food available, and if a restaurant only feeds the flame periodically, the food might not be worthy of a blue ribbon.
The lack of smoke in the air could indicate that the food is not made on premises, the pitmaster does not cook often, or another concern to sound the alarm. In some ways, the old phrase where there's smoke, there's fire has a different connotation.