Some things just go together, like boats and the Tennessee River, a day off and hitting snooze + Memorial Day and barbecue. And, if you’ve ever been in a heated debate with someone about which style of barbecue is superior, this one’s for you. 👇
The barbecue style we see most in East Tennessee is chopped whole hog + pork shoulder with a vinegar-based sauce — a reflection of Western North Carolina’s influence.
But we can’t talk about Tennessee barbecue without mentioning Memphis, the style known for both dry and wet pork ribs. Memphis-style barbecue also includes pulled pork shoulder served with tomato-based barbecue sauce + barbecue on other foods, like pizza, nachos, and even spaghetti.
Where to try local barbecue
🍖 Sugar’s Ribs, 2450 15th Ave. | Sunday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. | A Chattanooga staple, this restaurant (which has goats in the yard) serves barbecue with a vinegar-based sauce, just like our WNC neighbors.
Make it at home
Cast Iron Skillet Barbecue Lasagna
- 1.5 pounds ground beef or ground chicken
- 2 tbsp. minced Garlic
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 29 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 12 ounce bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
- 1 package of oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
- Half cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 pound shredded or sliced provolone
Step 1: In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef or ground chicken, add garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes — drain. Mix in basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, diced tomatoes, and BBQ sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 2: Preheat the grill or oven to 375° F.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella.
Step 4: Layer a third of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Cover noodles with half of the ricotta mixture, half of the provolone cheese, and a third of the sauce. Repeat. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle additional parmesan + provolone cheese over the top.
Step 5: Cook on a BBQ grill or bake in the preheated grill or oven for 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
A side dish
From Chattanooga Chef Erik Niel, owner of Main Street Meats and Easy Bistro
- 8 Pickling Cucumbers-peeled in stripes, seeded and sliced into half moons on a bias
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cracked black pepper
- Herbs: Marjoram, chives, dill, tarragon, mint, and basil — pick and mince
Step 1: Combine all in a bowl and chill for at least 1 hour.
Step 2: Transfer to a serving plate.
Step 3: Scatter herbs heavily over cucumbers before serving.