BBQ Spaghetti?

Recently on Food TV in a Bobby Flay episode entitled “Getting Sauced,” they featured a restaurant in Memphis that made BBQ spaghetti. Thank God for TiVo. Who would have thought that something that sounded so ridiculous could look so appetizing? It was an interesting episode; most notably it featured the inventor of K.C. Masterpiece BBQ Sauce. The recipe is available on Food TV’s website. If anyone is able to try it out, please let me know.

Food Network: BBQ Spaghetti

3 thoughts on “BBQ Spaghetti?

  1. I had Memphis BBQ spaghetti about 15 years ago. I think it was at “The BBQ Shop”, so another immitator, not the original Neely’s Interstate. I’ve made it myself since then several times.

    Out waiter insisted that the spaghetti was really barbequed, i.e., it goes on the grill at some point. This put a fun constraint on the problem of reconstructing the recipe. You can now find lots of recipes on line and none of them involve actually grilling the spaghetti, but I think this way is more fun. Basically, I stir the cooked (very al dente) spaghetti into my favorite BBQ sauce (the “Southwest Barbequed Chicken” recipe from “Fit for a King”, one of many Elvis Presley cookbooks). Then there are two ways to go. At first I put foil on my grill and cut slots in it for smoke to come through. (Wet wood chips.) That was fine, but even easier is to put the saucy spaghetti in a metal steaming pan and put that right on the grill. Then you can even stir it a little over the fire. I also like to let it sit still a while so you get some crispy toasty bits.

    The other important point is to have great barbecued pork to put on top. I like to use ribs. I scrape the cooked rib meat off and chop it on top of the spaghetti, and I also like to save a couple of ribs to put on the side. Use a powerfully flavorful “kitchen sink” dry rub, and maybe glaze with sauce at the last minute.

    That’s a phrase I made up, I think: “Kitchen sink dry rub”. I just throw in everything: brown sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, mustard, red chili, a little oil for a crispy crust, maybe some garam masala, cumin–anything that will add flavor. It all gets smoked a long time, so it won’t be too strong in the end.

    I like to have a mint julep while grilling, and serve with corn bread and Tam-o-Shanter style cole slaw. I think the traditional Memphis accompaniment would be a 40oz malt liquor like they used to serve at the juke joints. (Green’s Lounge.)

  2. Having just eaten my way through the bbq Mecca known as Memphis, the spaghetti at Jim Neely’s Interstate BBQ was superior in all respects to the one at the “fake” Neely’s restaurants run by what I believe to be family members of this original. His website is

    The main thing you need is for this concoction is chopped smoked boston butt with a Memphis style sauce like Neely’s, Corky’s or the Rendezvous, which is spicier and thinner than something like KC Masterpiece. There may have been a little bit of plain Ragu in the mix to work as a binder. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, and then put the drained pasta in a pot with the meat and sauce on a low heat setting for about 20 minutes until it comes out like BBQ-flavored “Spaghettios.”

    This stuff is amazing, but a bit rich. Interstate BBQ offered it as a meal option for the more adventurous, but it was a wonderful side dish for the main attraction, slow cooked ribs. Put on some elastic band sweat pants and enjoy!

  3. Check out in Memphis for their BBQ spaghetti recpie. Also, the Neely’s will be special guests on Paula’s Party with Paula Deen on June 1, 2007 with an episode called “Fried vs. BBQ”. It should be great.

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