St. Louis-style barbecue

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Pork steaks cooking

St. Louis-style barbecue refers to various pork dishes prepared in and around the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Although St. Louis is typically not included on the list of major styles of barbecue in the United States, the city was recognized by Kingsford as "America’s Top Grilling City" in its second annual list of Top 10 Grilling Cities.[1] In fact, many of the foods characteristic of this style are grilled rather than cooked over the indirect heat and smoke that is typically associated with the term "barbecue" in the United States.[2]

George Mahe, St. Louis Magazine's Dining Editor, states: "When you hear the words 'St. Louis-style barbecue,' though, most often it simply means 'grilled, then sauced' (as opposed to dry-rubbed and slow-smoked)."[3]


These foods are often heavily sauced; St. Louis is said to consume more barbecue sauce per capita than any other city in the nation.[4] St. Louis-style barbecue sauce is described by author Steven Raichlen as a "very sweet, slightly acidic, sticky, tomato-based barbecue sauce (usually made without liquid smoke which was invented by a Kansas City, Missouri pharmacist)."[2]

A staple of grilling in St. Louis is the pork steak,[5] which is sliced from the shoulder of the pig.

Crispy snoots, purchased from a barbecue restaurant in Belleville, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis.

Another item unique to the St. Louis area is crispy snoots,[6] which are cut from the nose and cheek area of the pig. This cut is prepared by removing the pig's nostrils and cooking the remaining meat until crispy. Snoots, which have a flavor similar to pork rinds, can be served in several ways, including slathered with barbecue sauce and placed on a sandwich or broken into pieces and dipped in sauce.[6]

As with much of the Midwest, bratwurst, the German style sausage — sometimes simmered in beer before being placed on the grill—is another popular choice for grilling in the region, as St. Louis has had large German-American populations over the years.[1] Italian sausage, often referred to by its Italian name salsiccia, is another commonly grilled meat, possibly owing to the influence of St. Louis's Italian population.[1]

St. Louis ribs, ready to eat

Pork ribs, particularly spare ribs, are frequently cooked in the area.[2] The city provides the name of St. Louis-style ribs, which are spare ribs with the sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips removed to create a rectangular-shaped rack. This cut of ribs, formalized by the USDA as "Pork Ribs, St. Louis Style," allegedly originated with numerous meat-packing plants located in the region in the mid 20th century and put into the policy by a diehard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. [7] The St. Louis style ribs are a favorite cut for competitive barbecuing.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "St. Louis 101". The Kingsford Products Company. 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b c Raichlen, Steven (2003). BBQ USA: 425 fiery recipes from all across America. New York City: Workman Publishing. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0-7611-2015-5. 
  3. ^ Mahe, George (2012-05-24). "What Is St. Louis-Style Barbecue?". St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved 2014-11-19. 
  4. ^ "Reno's Road Trip Randoms". The Great American Road Trip. NBCUniversal. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  5. ^ "Pork steaks go national Cook's Country magazine puts the St. Louis specialty in the spotlight". St. Louis Post-Dispatch L.L.C. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  6. ^ a b "Down-Home Values: Soul food uses all the parts". Sauce Magazine. Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  7. ^ "St. Louis-style is a hit with rib lovers". St. Louis Post-Dispatch L.L.C. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 

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