Barbecue is elemental. Take a tough cut of meat, cook it low and slow over smoldering embers for hours and hours and serve it up with a tangy, vinegary sauce. That’s it, right? Well, no, actually, there’s a lot more to smoked food than that. Host Cat Neville’s first stop in this episode is at Beast Craft Barbecue in Belleville, Illinois, where chef David Sandusky uses his fine-dining background to inform a creative approach to classic ‘cue. At Peaceful Pig in Kansas City, though, the approach is far from traditional. Jackfruit stands in for pork in sandwiches and mushrooms take the place of beef for “burnt ends.” And at Burgers’ Smokehouse in California, Missouri, we get back to tradition. Here, meats are cured with salt and smoke, including their famous country ham, ribs and brisket. The folks at Burgers’ sent Cat home with a bunch of that country ham and she’ll show you how to use it in a Southern-style spoonbread.

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