Chow Town

Barbecue gift ideas for a smokin’ holiday season

Johnny White with a gift card for Johnny’s Barbecue
Johnny White with a gift card for Johnny’s Barbecue Special to The Star

I hope you enjoyed some of the tasty dishes in last week’s Chow Town Thanksgiving feature. I saved each recipe for future use and can already attest to the quality of Vaughn Good’s Maple/Brandy Brine.

If you’re full of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes with redeye gravy, cast iron skillet stuffing, citrus-zinged salad, Tuscan green beans and sticky pumpkin pudding with cranberry-apple sauce: take a nap and dream about tomorrow.

When you wake up, jot down your Black Friday shopping list. Don’t be frantic about buying everything on your gift list on Friday. There are more days to shop before your gifts are due. Sales and bargain prices stretch beyond Black Friday.

Barbecue gifts are always in vogue in Kansas City. We have many sources and choices. I channeled my inner Santa for some ideas. Here’s what he suggested:

First, it is very important to remember: Barbecue is personal. If you don’t know the pitmaster really well, it is best to give her or him a gift card. If not, you may end up giving them something they already have or something they don’t want. That said, here are some ideas and sources for inspiration:

Gift cards from Kansas City barbecue restaurants: Jack Stack, Gates, Arthur Bryant’s, Danny Edward’s BLVD, B.B’s Lawnside, Brobeck’s, Rosedale, Johnny’s, Joe’s Kansas City, Q39, SLAP’S, Plowboys, RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack, Zarda, Snead’s, Winslow’s, Burnt End, The RUB, Char Bar, Blind Box or another favorite.

Gift cards from Bichelmeyer Meats, McGonigle’s, Fritz’s, Local Pig, Broadway Butcher, Werner’s, Krizman’s Sausage, Hank Charcuterie, Anton’s or another favorite meat vendor.

Gift card from Smoke ‘n’ Fire, The Kansas City Barbecue Store, Pryde’s, Mack Hardware, Hot Spot Pools, Hot Tubs &BBQ or other dealers for barbecue grills such as Primo, Big Green Egg, Traeger, American Barbecue Systems, Hasty Bake, The Good One, Horizon, Weber, Cookshack or another high end item for a really special pitmaster in your life.

Gift card for barbecue fuels, sauces, rubs, prepared foods, gadgets and books.

If gift cards aren’t your preference and you know your pitmaster or barbecue aficionado well enough, it’s a sure bet that they will like one or all of these items:

Barbecue gift basket with sauces, seasonings and books from The Best of Kansas City in Crown Center.

A barbecue-themed original or print masterpiece by hometown favorite Chow Town artists Mike Savage or Charlie Podrebarac.

One year membership in Pitmaster Club. Regardless of skill level, any pitmaster in your life will be thrilled and honored to be a member of the Club.

Gifting in Kansas City without barbecue is as unthinkable as Thanksgiving night through Jan. 17 without the Plaza lights. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Ardie Davis founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. His most recent releases are America’s Best BBQ (Revised Edition), with chef Paul Kirk, and Barbecue Lover’s Kansas City Style .