17th Street BBQ

32 N 17th St Murphysboro

Southernmost Illinois
Written By Southernmost Illinois

Explore Shawnee Forest Country!

Known as the winningest team in barbecue!

In the early 1990s, Pitmaster Mike Mills was co-captain of the Apple City Barbecue team, one of the most celebrated teams ever on the circuit. He is a four-time World Champion and three-time Grand World Champion at Memphis in May, otherwise known as the Super Bowl of Swine. He is also the 1992 Grand Champion of the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest and he won the Jack Daniel’s Sauce Contest that year as well.

You'll find a wide variety of smoked meats on 17th Street's menu, from brisket and sausage to turkey and chicken. They're all worth your time. Any first visit requires an order of baby back ribs. Crusted with a complex spice rub the restaurant dubs "magic dust" and lightly drizzled with a thin sauce, the ribs are tender, smoky and, most of all, juicy — much closer to the texture of a well-marbled steak than, say, a long-braised pot roast. Each morsel of meat exudes a rich pork flavor with a hint of applewood smoke (the preferred wood of 17th Street).

A close second to the ribs is the chopped pork. Notice it's not "pulled." Instead of cooking the pork until stringy, the pork shoulder is left juicier and then chopped to bits with a cleaver. While the menu's regular chopped pork sandwich is a winner anytime, visit on a Sunday and you're in real luck. Once a week, 17th Street smokes a whole hog, and the impossibly juicy meat tastes like concentrated pork essence. It's hard to imagine barbecue getting any better than this. Make sure to visit on a Sunday for lunch, and don't be late. By 3 p.m., the meat is usually gone.

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Beer & BBQ: Murphysboro, BBQ Capital of Illinois

17th Street BBQ

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