When it comes to eating meat, few preparations are as pleasurable as barbecue.
When it comes to eating meat, few preparations are as pleasurable as barbecue. Or as they say down under, barbie.
While it’s easy to think of barbecue as expensive, it’s probably one of the most undervalued foods on the market. If your lunch required you to wake up at 2 a.m. that morning to check on your meal, would you do it?
Aside from the considerable cost of wood, pitmasters invest a considerable amount of time overnight making sure the heat doesn’t get too high or low. Such patience and care is rewarded with succulent, tender meat with a beautiful bark.
Here’s the list of barbecue restaurants in Tucson. We’re excluding steakhouses and other restaurants that happen to offer barbecue.
5151 S. Country Club Rd.
Although the restaurant is located in an RV park, it still has a loyal local following with its blend of post oak and mesquite. The Central Texas-style barbecue restaurant features family recipes passed down through generations. The wings are smoked and fried for a tender, crunchy treat.
Favorites: Honey Hot BBQ Chicken Wings, St. Louis-Style Ribs, Beef Ribs
For more information, visit bbq-rush.com.
Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ
1801 N. Stone Ave.
This large restaurant also features a large menu with southwestern influences. The draft beer and whiskey selections are also massive. Hickory, applewood, and mesquite are used for the smoke.
Favorites: Brisket, Blistered Shishito Peppers, BroJo’s “Piggy” Pastrami Sandwich
For more information, visit brotherjohnsbbq.com.
BrushFire BBQ Co.
2745 N. Campbell Ave. • 7080 E. 22nd St.
BrushFire uses a blend of mesquite and pecan for the smoke. If you want to visit the ice creamery, visit the east location.
Favorites: Messy Mac & Cheese with Pork Belly, Smoky Chipotle Sticky Ribs
For more information, visit brushfirebbq.com.
Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar
3645 W. Starr Pass Blvd.
Catalina Barbeque highlights their oak and pecan wood-smoked barbecue in a sports bar environment. They also offer all-you-can-eat family-style barbecue; $34 per person eating, $12 for children under 10 years old.
Favorites: Catalina Cheese Burger, Baked Mac n’ Cheese (with smoked meat)
For more information, visit marriott.com.
Holy Smokin’ Butts
1104 S. Wilmot Rd.
Holy Smokin’ Butts earned its following with its pecan wood-smoked, Austin-style brisket and medium/medium-rare tri-tip. Lines build here often, so try to arrive right at opening.
Favorites: Fatty Brisket, Tri-Tip, Potato Salad
Be aware, they’re moving locations soon.
For more information, visit holysmokinbutts.com.
Fire N’ Smoke Wood Fired Pizza & BBQ
6502 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
The smoke used here depends on the meat; hickory for beef and chicken, peach wood for pork. They also offer wood-fired pizza, so Brisket Pizza is an option.
Favorites: St. Louis Ribs, Smoked Pulled Chicken Sandwich, Barbecue Pizza
For more information, visit firensmokebbqnpizza.com.
Ken’s Hardwood Barbecue
5250 E. 22nd St.
Ken uses Sahuarita-sourced pecan wood for his diverse range of barbecue styles. The authentic Southern sides are Soul Food Sundays are main draws too.
Favorites: St. Louis Pork Ribs, Fried Chicken (only available sometimes as a Sunday special), Ken’s Rye Pale Ale (collaboration with Green Feet Brewing)
For more information, visit kenshardwoodbbq.com.
Kiss of Smoke BBQ & Catering
663 S. Plumer Ave.
Meats are smoked with pecan and cherry wood for a milder smoke taste, while chicken includes mesquite in the wood mix. Vegetarians can indulge in smoked jackfruit over macaroni and cheese.
Favorites: Brisket, Jackfruit, Fatties
For more information, visit kissofsmokebbq.com.
Mr. K’s BBQ
6302 S. Park Ave.
This long-time Tucson staple uses mesquite wood smoke for their barbecue.
Favorites: Hot Links, Brisket, Texas Beans
For more information, call (520) 792-9484 or visit mr-ks-original-bbq.business.site.
Red Desert BBQ & Catering
918 W. Prince Rd.
Red Desert features hickory-smoked barbecue with their signature secret spice rub. Their Loaded Tots are one of the best deals in town at $7.50.
Favorites: Ribs, Loaded Tots with Pulled Pork, Burger Special
For more information, visit rdbbq.com.
2650 N. First Ave.
Tiny barbecue joint Smokey Mo chooses mesquite as their smoke wood of choice. Their menu is influenced by Kansas City and Texas styles with some adaptation to local Tucson tastes.
Favorites: Pulled Pork Sandwich, Chicken Wings
For more information, visit smokeymo.com.
Two Boots BBQ Shop
1830 S. Park Ave.
Two Boots features mesquite wood-smoked barbecue and a handful of soul food dishes.
Favorites: Chicken Quarters, Hot Links
Keep up with Two Boots BBQ Shop on Facebook.