If you are joining us for Part 2 of Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, welcome back! If you stumbled upon this post before reading our Kansas City BBQ Tour Preview, you may want to do that first – but you should also make sure to read Part 1 of Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue before proceeding.
(Continued from yesterday)
After our extensive sampling of food was complete, Scott stopped by our table once again to get our feedback and lead us into the kitchen where all that BBQ goodness comes to life. As you enter the kitchen you realize that anyone working in the kitchen must be followed home by stray dogs each night. The scents that begin in the lobby and become more noticeable in the dining room, are all out amplified in the kitchen – I’d actually be a fan of them setting up tables in the kitchen and having dinner right there, but I guess that might detract from their goal of operating a higher class establishment.
The kitchen where this massive menu of BBQ is produced was surprisingly small, but you could see that it was an incredibly efficient operation. The first stop in the production area was at the “pit”, this is where the cuts of meat begin the very long process of becoming some of the best BBQ in KC. It’s over the pit that the meat is cooked to give it a nice outer coating, sometimes called the “bark”. It’s a combination of both Hickory and Oak that Jack Stack uses to create the deep smoky flavors and helps create that bark on their BBQ.
Remember those Hickory Pit Beans that I said would be my side if I was ordering at Jack Stack again? It’s over this pit that these beans become something that you just can’t recreate at home. Basically what happens is the shelves in the pit are stacked with different cuts of meat, with the briskets being closer to the top. As the briskets cook and the fat begins to render, huge pans of beans are placed on the lowest shelf in the pit. What happens next is pretty simple, gravity flavors the beans. Rather than those drippings being wasted by falling into the fire, they are absorbed into the pans of beans to become the Hickory Pit Beans on the menu. Now you might see why I’d recommend ordering these, although you might want to get a permission slip signed by your cardiologist before indulging.
Since Jack Stack uses a two-step process to create their BBQ, the pit was empty by the time that we were there for our tour, but that’s ok, because we were able to see the second step in the process. After the meat spends the appropriate amount of time in the pit, it gets moved over to the smoker where it continues cooking low and slow. It’s in the smoker where a lot of the smoke flavor is absorbed into the meat, while at the same time rendering the fat even further – the end result being perfectly smoky BBQ that is more tender and juicy than words can describe.
We had an amazing time at Jack Stack, and Scott did a wonderful job of explaining the history and philosophy of what has become one of the best BBQ restaurants in the country. Our recommendation is that you add Jack Stack to your Kansas City wish list, you’ll be glad that you spent a little extra time enjoying the fine dining and amazing BBQ on offer at Jack Stack. Just make sure you do two things when you visit: 1. Order the Crown Prime Beef Rib upon entry. 2. Tell them Food n’ Focus sent you!
While nothing is going to equal the experience of actually making your way to Jack Stack to take in the fine dining BBQ setting, you can order their products online and have them shipped to you – including the Crown Prime Beef Rib. Enjoy!