Good barbecue is an art. One that takes hours to create and years to master. It requires patience and focus, neither of which I have. Fortunately, there are many people in our parts of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois that do, and I am more than happy to enjoy the fruits of their labor. There are few things better in this world than a slab of beef brisket with a nice, pink smoke ring that's still tender and juicy after 12 to 14 hours on the smoker. Or how about a slab of ribs where the meat literally falls off the bone when you try to pick it up? Give me some smoked chicken with a healthy dose of a barbecue rub slathered all over the skin, or a few links of smoked sausage where the casing makes that snap sound when you bite into it and I'll be a happy boy. Frankly, if you barbecue anything just right, I'll probably eat it.

National Pig Day

I recently found out March 1st is National Pig Day. The day was created by sisters Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave in 1972, and according to Days of the, was designed for the following purpose:

(To recognize) the importance of the swine in everyday life, and that the noble animal deserved a day to “accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals.”

Days of the Year goes on to say some people celebrate the day by eating pork products, which they believe is not what Ellen and Mary Lynne intended when they created the day.

Ummmm, yeah. We're going to ignore that part and do exactly that whether that's what they intended or not.

Vote for the Best BBQ Restaurant in the Tri-State

To be fair, we're not focusing solely on the pig and the delicious pork it provides in this competition. Most, if not all, barbecue restaurants also serve up their own versions of beef and chicken dishes in addition to pulled pork, ribs, pork chops, and ham. Does everybody feel better now? Great. Let's move on.

Regardless of what they're smoking and barbecuing, there are many restaurants across our parts of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois cooking that meat low and slow for us carnivores to enjoy, and I say it's time to see who you think is the best at it.

I compiled the list of 32 restaurants below using Google Maps. While I realize there are several other restaurants across the Tri-State that may feature a barbecue dish or two on their menu, the focus here is only on restaurants where barbecue is their main product and what they hang their hats on. I also realize there is a good chance I may have missed a restaurant or two on this list. So, if you don't see your favorite joint, feel free to cast a vote for them using the "Other" blank at the bottom of the ballot.

Let the BBQ Brawl begin and may the best restaurant win!

(Note: Voting closes at 10:00 AM on Monday, February 28th, 2022)

The top 10 based on your votes will be revealed on National Pig Day (Tuesday, March 1st).

[Source: Days of the Year]

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