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Tips for planning your own barbecue tour  

When planning your tour of Kentucky barbecue restaurants, remember that many (though not all) are small, locally owned and often family-run businesses. Some don’t accept credit or debit cards and not all have indoor dining.    

 Consider calling ahead to verify hours and how many of the menu items are still available. More than once in the process of gathering information for the main feature did our research team hear the disappointing declaration, “We’re all out of beef/chicken/pork.” Barbecue chefs spend hours preparing meat over a flaming pit or smoker, which means they can’t really cook to order. When the brisket’s gone, it’s gone.   

Consider doing barbecue for lunch, or as an early dinner. You probably won’t need to eat for a while anyway.  

 If you like the food, compliment the chef or the owner. Tell your friends. Somebody worked hard to bring that meal to your table.   

Have another helping  

For more on the Kentucky barbecue, check out Wes Berry’s The Kentucky Barbecue Book from University Press of Kentucky.

Guy Fieri featured Louisville’s Momma’s Mustard, Pickles and BBQ on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

John Foreman of Old Hickory Bar-B-Q in Owensboro talks about his appearance on the TV show BBQ Pitmasters.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism encourages barbecue lovers to explore The Western Kentucky BBQ Trail.

How do you spell BBQ? Reader’s Digest explored the story behind the many spellings and variations on the word “barbecue.”

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