Food For Thought: Barbecue Fare

A popular way to prepare meat adds to summer fun.

Whether you call it barbeque, barbecue or BBQ or prefer Texas, Memphis or Kansas City-style, this unique way of cooking meat will serve up a “finger-licking” treat.

Many swear by the “low and slow” smoker method while others combine dry rubs with proprietary sauces passed down from generation to generation. Be it brisket, ribs, pork or chicken, barbecue is a summer favorite on Long Island. Food For Thought spoke to several venues happy to do all the work so you can sit back and enjoy the results.

Swingbellys BBQ, Long Beach

Swingbellys co-owner Sean Sullivan likes the “low and slow” barbecue method. His smoked pulled pork or brisket might spend 12-16 hours in a special Ole Hickory Pits smoker from Cape Girardeau Missouri.

“These smokers are the best I have ever seen,” says Sullivan. Baby back ribs, the house favorite served with mac and cheese, can spend 4-6 hours in the smoker while chickens clock in at about 3. Each is well seasoned beforehand with a special dry rub of 13 spices.

Sullivan likes to order his BBQ sauce on the side because he feels great barbecue stands on its own—and to each his own for sure. He is getting ready to open another location this summer in Lynbrook.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Rockville Centre

The first Dickey’s Barbecue opened in Dallas, TX in 1941 and today is a popular national chain. Manager Adi Sharma says they are known for their signature Texas-style chopped brisket: “It is very popular.” Slow cooked for 14 hours after being patted down with their special dry rub, the brisket is a carnivore’s delight. Complete the feast with some southern-style sides such as fried okra and BBQ beans.

Zorn's, East Meadow, Bellmore, Bethpage

The Zorn’s story began on Long Island in the 1940s with the signature home-style chicken dishes they are best known for. In 1949 Zorn’s started cooking rotisserie chicken in a barbecue oven and they are still serving them to satisfied customers, along with southern fried, grilled cutlets and BBQ wings. Grilled Honey Barbecue chicken is a popular favorite and the menu also features BBQ ribs and plenty of sides.


Big Al’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Sauce can also be thinned using a bit of water if necessary. Brush sauce onto any kind of meat during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Recipe reprinted with permission of AllRecipes.com. Author: Alan Arthur

tr July 01, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Tennessee Jed's. 3357 Merrick Road Wantagh, Long Island, New York 11793. Phone 516.308.3355 THEY ARE FANTASTIC PEOPLE AND THEY HAVE AWESOME FOOD!!! I can't beleive they did not put them on here its the one BBQ place in Wantagh!!
Frank Scarangella July 02, 2011 at 09:53 AM
food for the ruling class....the rest of us can have tofu hot dogs
Bill Sweeney July 04, 2011 at 02:07 PM
I don't think this is a full list of the best. If it was, Smokin' Al's (Bay Shore and Massapequa) would surely be on it, too.


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