Food Feuds Pits Pappy's Smokehouse vs. 17th Street Bar & Grill, Michael Symon vs. Geography
|Food Feuds host Michael Symon judged the ribs from Pappy's Smokehouse and 17th Street Grill: Pappy's Mike Emerson (left) and 17th Street's Mike Mills (right) can't see Symon's O-face, but they sense something is amiss.|
Local barbecue aficionados likely know the basic differences between the two baby-back rib preparations that Symon described. Mike Mills of 17th Street uses a more traditional dry rub and bastes the ribs in his signature sauce, a 100-year-old recipe, while the Pappy's team of Mike Emerson and Skip Steele employ a herb-heavy rub but serve the sauce on the side (though a glaze of brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and water is added).
The two restaurants also use slightly different smoking methods: 17th Street smokes its ribs for roughly six hours at 210 degrees, while Pappy's favors a temperature of 225 for four and a half to five hours. Symon observed that the shorter, higher-temperature smoking gives Pappy's ribs a stronger smoke flavor, which seemed to impact his decision on the best rib.
After a brief meeting with the St. Louis BBQ Society to discuss how to judge ribs, Symon gathered Mills, Emerson and Steele and fans of both restaurants underneath the Arch to declare the winner. He gave 17th Street the edge for its rub, Pappy's for its sauce.
The overall winner? 17th Street, which Symon described as "possibly the best bite of rib I've ever had in my pork-loving life."
If you missed last night's episode, it will air again at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 27; 10 p.m. on Sunday, December 5; and 1 a.m. on Monday, December 6.