An Ode To BBQ: One Fan's Sonnet To Smoked Meat

By John Rumery

Oh barbecue, why do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
I love thee smoke ring on pork loins, butts, ribs and briskets.
I love thee spicy bark, burnt ends and tips.
I love thee perfectly smoked, tender ribs, needing only a gentle tug from the bone.
I love thee sauced, rubbed, basted, mopped, sopped, glazed and brined.
I love thee the smell of smoke: fruitwoods, hardwoods, lump charcoal, briquettes.
I love thee sauces: red, mustard, thin, peppery, thick, sweet, tangy, spicy. Especially on the side.
I love thee chicken, pork, beef, salmon, mutton, sausage, turkey.
I love thee fresh, homemade sausage stuffed into a casing that snaps.
I love thee side dishes made from scratch: slaws, beans and cornbread.
I love thee Weber kettles, rotisseries, Texas pits, half barrels, smokers, Kamados and yes, Southern Prides.
I love thee pig roasts and neighborhood barbecue parties.
I love thee local butchers and family farms.
I love thee West Michigan pitmasters.
(Sincerest apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

In the past year, there’s been plenty to love about barbecue in West Michigan.

Let’s count the ways

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