Rural barbecue stand becomes road trip destination 

click to enlarge Ribs, Burnt ends, Smoked hot link and sausage, Pulled pork, and Apple pie baked beans at Butcher BBQ in Wellston, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Ribs, Burnt ends, Smoked hot link and sausage, Pulled pork, and Apple pie baked beans at Butcher BBQ in Wellston, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.

How far are you willing to drive for great barbecue?

Just Bing “barbecue road trip” on your Google to discover how many people drive hundreds of miles to gorge on smoked meats and sweet sauces.

And you only have to go to Wellston.

A quick jaunt down the Turner Turnpike delivers you to the long, red shipping container where Levi Bouska and his crew cook up some amazing meat candy at The Butcher BBQ Stand, 3402 W. Highway 66.

click to enlarge Butcher BBQ in Wellston, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Butcher BBQ in Wellston, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.

“There’s good barbecue in Oklahoma City, Greg,” you might say. “Why should I drive all the way to Wellston?”

Because you want to taste the low-and-slow creations that have won competitions for Levi and his father, David, and landed them on the TLC-Destination America cable reality show BBQ Pitmasters.

Bouska calls his father the “mad scientist” of the barbecue world, always working on new injection methods and rubs to create tender, flavorful meats. The food they serve is prepared exactly like their award-winning competition entries.

Levi isn’t on the road much these days because running the restaurant is a full-time job.

The Butcher BBQ Stand is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. It closes even earlier when it sells out.

Great barbecue takes time, and if you taste the food coming out of that kitchen, you’ll agree that is time well spent.

What should you order? Everything. And if you get the Meat Locker ($25.99), you get to try them all: ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, sausage and hot link.

It’s not easy choosing favorites, but $20 is a pretty good price to pay for a full slab of Butcher’s ribs. Hickory smoked, these are some of the juiciest ribs you’ll ever have.

The meat doesn’t fall off the bone; it pulls away gently as you bite into it. The outside of the rib, sometimes called the bark or the crust, is a rich, shimmery shade of mahogany. The smoke, the fat and the seasonings combine to create a gorgeous product.

Butcher offers sauces, too, but I didn’t need any for these ribs. Their flavor is potent and intoxicating.

While I thought the brisket ($4 per 1/4-pound) was a little bland, I think all brisket is kind of bland. If you want something to put sauce on, this is it.

I was much more taken with the pulled pork ($3.25 per 1/4-pound), which had lots of fatty flavor and a tender texture.

The Bouskas won their first World Championship Barbecue title with this recipe, and you can taste it.

For the kids (or picky adults) the Chick-Q Nuggets ($4 per 1/4-pound) are smoked breast bites soaked in barbecue sauce. They are addictively good.

The hot link and sausage (each $3.25 per 1/4-pound) are less about the smoke and more about the meat, and it is just spicy enough to add a zing to every bite.

On the side, you will not be happy with yourself if you miss the Apple Pie BBQ Beans ($1.99 for a serving, $5.29 for a pint, $10.59 a quart). Beans, pulled pork, apple pie filling and plenty of seasoning makes for a sweet and spicy bite you’ll want to take again and again.

I did not try the 1/2-pound smoked cheeseburger ($8.99), made with a 60-percent beef/40-percent bacon mix, but that just gives me another reason to head back to Butcher BBQ Stand next weekend.

It’s a short drive that’s long on flavor.

 

 

Print headline: Killer ’cue, Father-and-son pitmasters serve up seriously good barbecue in Wellston.

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