National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blog has rounded up a list of the 10 best smoked meat joints in the U.S. We've also included stories to help you plan a meeting in each destination.
1. Corky’s, Memphis, TN
Hole-in-the-wall Corky's is known for its hickory-smoked, hand-pulled pork shoulder, cooked for almost a full day before being served up with tangy sauce.
2. Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC
There are only two dishes on the menu at this Carolina BBQ joint: a pulled pork sandwich and a pulled pork platter with cornbread and coleslaw.
3. Virgil’s Real Barbecue, New York, NY
Virgil's doesn't limit itself to one part of the country -- you'll find Texas hot links and New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp, not to mention beers from just about everywhere.
4. Jim Neely’s Interstate Barbecue, Memphis, TN
The secret sauce isn't the only draw at Jim Neely's. The meat is slow-cooked in closed pits. The restaurant became so popular with locals that it opened a drive-thru window.
5. Arthur Bryant’s Kansas City, MO
Bryant’s is the jewel in KC's BBQ crown, serving up hickory-and-oak-smoked BBQ since the 1920s.
6. Tennessee Red’s, Portland, OR
Legend has it that the cornbread at Tennessee Red's melts in your mouth.
7. Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ & Catering, Kansas City, KS
The Zagat Guide has rated Oklahoma Joe’s as Kansas City’s best barbecue -- in spite of the back that the restaurant is situated in the back of a gas station.
8. Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que, Williamsburg, VA
This all-arounder serves up pulled chicken and pork, ribs with sides like hush puppies, collards, and cornbread.
9. Firefly’s, Marlborough, MA
Memphis-styre ribs, brisket, and pulled chicken are serious business at Firefly's where the tangy sauce has hints of brown sugar, molasses -- and chocolate.
10. The Salt Lick, Driftwood, TX
Watch your meal being cooked over The Salt Lick's indoor open pit, or sit outside and dig in to a platter of ribs or sausages.Source: National Geographic