Rib tips, hot links served up in NW Indiana

May 27, 2011 8:52:16 PM PDT
Memorial Day weekend traditionally signals the start of grilling season but some may prefer the taste of slow-smoked meats instead.

If that's the case, ABC7's Hungry Hound concludes his three-part series on barbecue with a look at rib tips and hot links.

Like a lot of barbeque joints on the South Side these days, there are healthier options like turkey and chicken offered alongside the pork and beef. That's certainly the case at Rib B Ribs in Calumet City, where rib tips and hot links are among the most popular items. They're dry-rubbed with garlic powder, then slow-cooked for hours over hardwood in the familiar aquarium-style smoker.

"We do of course our signature rib tips, which are the plain barbeque tips, the teriyaki tips and also the Jamaican jerk tips, which are kind of spicy," said Rib B Ribs owner Christal Gray-Edmond.

Sides are homemade and plentiful, and the sauce hails from the too-sweet-Chicago-style camp, but that doesn't keep people from trying reasonably-priced tips, links and some other surprises.

"I've noticed that the jerk tips, the chicken tips and our barbequed salmon are very popular," Edmond said.

On the South end of Gary, Ind., in a quiet mall, Gordon "Big Daddy" Biffle has expanded from a single smoker at a weekend flea market to a full-fledged restaurant with a handful of smokers and a heap of hardwood.

"They like the flavor that's inside the meat, you know, not just the sauce, which the sauce is the bomb too. But they like the flavor and the tenderness," Biffle said.

Biffle achieves that by employing pitmasters who know when the meat is done, making sure it's smoked long enough. He says the tips and links outsell pretty much everything else, but he's also making homemade sides to go along with them. He says all he's trying to do is achieve what every home cook strives for.

"We got different kinds of charcoal. Depends on what meat I'm using, we use different types of wood, but mostly everybody like that backyard flavor where the meat ain't over-smoked it's just right, like they cooked it theyself in the backyard," Biffle said.

And good barbeque breeds success because Big Daddy has lots of plans for expansion including doubling this space very soon and then also opening another store in Hammond. Everybody loves barbeque right?

If you do get barbeque this weekend, be sure to always ask for "sauce on the side," so you can really taste the essence of all that hard work.

Big Daddy's BBQ
4213 Cleveland St., Gary, IN

Rib B Ribs
1761 River Oaks Dr., Calumet City

Mentioned previously in series:

Real Urban Barbeque
610 Central Avenue #177, Highland Park

Austin BBQ
226 W. Front St., Wheaton

Other great BBQ places:

70. S. LaGrange Rd., La Grange

Lillie's Q
1856 W. North Ave.

Chicago q
1160 N. Dearborn

3800 N. Pulaski Rd.

Smoke Daddy
1804 W. Division St.

Fat Willy's Rib Shack
2416 W. Schubert Ave.

Uncle John's BBQ
337 East 69th Street

Big Ed's
2501 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., North Chicago

BBQ Zone
3309 E. 106th St.

Honey 1 BBQ
2241 N. Western Ave.

Barbara Ann's
7617 South Cottage Grove Avenue