Gazedibles: Deep cuts 

Ranking favorites among Oklahoma barbecue spots is like choosing a favorite child. If there’s one thing this state can do right, it’s cook slabs of meat. Here are the seven that come immediately to mind (but please email recommendations to

click to enlarge Clark Crew BBQ - PHOTO PROVIDED
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  • Clark Crew BBQ

Clark Crew BBQ

405-724-8888 • 3510 Northwest Expressway

Travis Clark has won a ton of awards for his barbecue, so many that listing them all would take a full page, so let’s just say that accolades are moving briskly towards 1,000 (including winning multiple impressive state, regional and world competitions). Dining in can be a lot, so the to-go menu is definitely your friend. There’s no wrong answer with your meat choice but the champion baked beans and signature mac and cheese are definitely the sides where you should start.

click to enlarge The Pig and the Butcher - PHOTO PROVIDED
  • Photo provided
  • The Pig and the Butcher

The Pig and the Butcher

405-849-6199 • 2925 W Britton Road

While The Pig and the Butcher is known for the central Texas-style barbecue (don’t forget to try the burnt ends on Fridays), what really sets them aside is the brunch menu. Served only on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., there are unique offerings like the brisket burrito, which is smothered in queso and barbecue sauce and filled with meat, eggs, cheese, ranch beans and home fries or the biscuits and hot link gravy. Another must-try is the candied bacon, which comes on their biscuit sandwich.

click to enlarge PHOTO PROVIDED
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Edge Craft Barbecue

405-768-2970 • 1920 Linwood Blvd.

Expect a line even if you’re there when Edge Craft’s doors open at 11 a.m. in the elbow of the Linwood curve, but for central Texas-style barbecue, there’s no comparison. In contrast to many joints, the rib plate is actually the cheaper option but the prime brisket and pulled pork are also worthwhile. It’ll take multiple visits to work your way through the selection of sides, but start with the charro beans and smoked elote and don’t forget the banana pudding.

click to enlarge King's Custom Smoked Meats - PHOTO PROVIDED
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  • King's Custom Smoked Meats

King’s Custom Smoked Meats

405-294-2160 • 2410 N Portland Ave.

This one’s always been kind of a sleeper in the local barbecue scene, but if you know, you know. One of their most popular promotions is the $2 brisket tacos on Tuesday, but if you’re really in the mood for something special, check out their meat-topped, loaded “potbelly potato,” which are $3 off on Saturday. The menu has fluctuated a bit over the years. While the BBQ nachos may be gone, King’s has definitely stepped up its rib game lately but the bird wings are as good as ever.

click to enlarge Back Door BBQ - PHOTO PROVIDED
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  • Back Door BBQ

Back Door BBQ

405-525-7427 • 315 NW 23rd St

This recommendation comes with a timer. Back Door BBQ has announced that they’ll reportedly cease operations at the end of July due to inflation, so when this issue is off the stands, this barbecue is off the table. Back Door opened in 2014 in Uptown 23rd and outlasted many of its neighbors, offering standard barbecue fare as well as rarer selections like smoked duck and smoked lamb. Make sure to drop in for one last visit for some of the best deviled eggs and slaw in town.

click to enlarge The Butcher BBQ Stand - PHOTO PROVIDED
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  • The Butcher BBQ Stand

The Butcher BBQ Stand

405-240-3437 • 3402 Oklahoma Highway 66, Wellston

Located just off the first eastern exit along the Turner Turnpike out of OKC, there are four things you need to know: they’re only open Friday through Sunday, get there early, expect to stand in line and don’t expect a gourmet dessert. For those with a sweet tooth, go with the apple pie beans as a side because the Twinkie for a buck might not fully cut it. If you haven’t been in quite some time, know that they now have a fully-enclosed dining area.

click to enlarge Leon's Smoke Shack - PHOTO PROVIDED
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  • Leon's Smoke Shack

Leon’s Smoke Shack

918-798-7907 •

Leon’s just opened its second location (though both are located in Tulsa). If you’re a meat glutton, the “little bit of everything” includes tastes of each of Leon’s available meats: beef, bologna, chicken, hot links, pulled pork and smoked sausage for $32 as of June. Don’t expect a lot of side options, with only potato salad, coleslaw and “them beans” offered. This recommendation comes from Apollo Woods (founder of OKC Black Eats and Tulsa Black Eats), who proclaims that the barbecue is so good that you don’t even need sauce with it.

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