Sunday, March 2, 2014


Welcome to the first ever official (unofficial) 2014 Oklahoma BBQ Eaters Anonymous Broken Rib Tour 2014!

You may wonder why I call it "official (unofficial)" and that's a good thing to wonder.

The reason is because this list of the Best Ribs in Oklahoma City does not contain every Q-raunt in Oklahoma City. I chose 16, non-chain Q-raunts and my two brave volunteers and I traveled around Oklahoma City eating ribs and scoring them on a rating system that I suppose you could say was inspired by other BBQ sanctioning bodies but with qualities that were all my own.

It is also completely subjective. Unlike competition BBQ where the judges are taught what standards the meat should be cooked to. I did not try and define the qualities that the Best Rib in Oklahoma City should have. I left that up to each volunteer to decide based on their own tastes.

While I do believe this list to be a fairly comprehensive study of the rib landscape in Oklahoma City. If you look over to the right at that rather lengthy disclaimer in the side bar. You should understand that what I think is good BBQ may not appeal to others and vice verse. The same goes for my volunteers

So have fun reading this and if one of your favorite Q-raunts comes out the winner. Feel free to jump up and give yourself a high five..... After all who doesn't like being #1? Even if it is in an official (unofficial) contest conducted by a two-bit-hack, wanna-be, Q blogger.

One of the criteria we maintained during the Tour was to dine at each Q-raunt on Saturdays between the hours of 11 AM and 1 PM. This was in hopes of getting the best that each Q-raunt had to offer during a peak dining time.

While it sounded good in theory. I'm not 100% certain it worked so well in practice. I noticed the Q-raunts in the Uptown and Downtown areas of Oklahoma City were really slow when we were there compared to the same times I have been to each of them during the week for lunch. Most of the more suburban Q-raunts, while not packed, were still doing good business compared to the more urban located Q-Raunts. Of all the places we sampled. Ray's Smokehouse BBQ was the busiest and we were there right around 1 PM.

Each slab of ribs was judged in 5 categories, Appearance, Aroma, Smoke Flavor, Taste, & Texture.

Each category was also weighted based on what I thought the most important was. So if you try to add up the totals as shown on the scores listed below. My math was not off. It was because some categories were worth more and others were worth less in the overall score. 

I had also wanted to run with four judges with varying degrees of BBQ knowledge and expertise. Unfortunately one judge had to drop out and I was never able to find another so we went with three judges. The two volunteer judges were instructed to score the ribs based on what they liked and not what I or any of the other judges liked about BBQ.

I did this because, unlike competition Q , Restaurant Q has to appeal to the masses. It has to fit as many palettes as possible.

Anyway, I'm sure your're not here to listen to me ramble on about scoring algortihms and dining patterns in Oklahoma City.. You're here to see who we chose as the best ribs in Oklahoma City. So here we go.

Simmon's was set to be our first stop of the tour and I had high hopes for them putting out some good ribs. I had dined there previously and enjoyed it but unfortunately they did not open at their advertised time. We waited around for about 20 minutes. Watched a few other customers come and leave disspointed and then we moved on.

We had to do some scrambling on the opening Saturday due to Simmon's not opening on time and Mr. Sprigg's relocating. I made the decision to drop Mr. Spriggs due to the relocation and added Oklahoma Station to a future weekend.

Simmons BBQ Shack on Urbanspoon

Bubba's Bub-Ba-Q

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #27433419.3333
Judge #37221513.7778


I was really conflicted about this slab of ribs. At one time I think it might have been a well cooked slab. However, and I apologize if I am wrong, but I'm pretty sure these were leftovers from the day before that had been reheated. If they weren't reheated something went terribly wrong during the cooking process.

Rank by Judge: 12 - 13 - 15

Smokey's BBQ & DIner

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #26434419.7778
Judge #37761725.0000


This was the second of two slabs I am pretty certain were reheated before being served to us. The reason I think this slab had been reheated was because it got cold closer to the bone. A freshly cooked rib would cool from the outside in not inside out.

Rank by Judge: 13 - 12 - 13

Smokey's BBQ & Diner on Urbanspoon

Dale's BBQ House

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #24333315.8889
Judge #39776835.6667


Dale's was running a Saturday only special for a $15 slab of ribs when we were there. My notes indicated they were overcooked with almost no smoky aroma or flavor.

Rank by Judge: 15 - 15 - 8

Dale's BBQ House on Urbanspoon

Blu's BBQ & Burgers

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #26444421.7778
Judge #37653725.1111


My notes indicated that I detected a chemical flavor. I can only describe it as a lighter fluid taste but  I don't think that is what it was. I have tasted it at other places and I believe it to be from gasses releasing from the wood and not being totally combusted before reaching the meat.

It happens occasionally.... Unfortunately it happened the day we were there.

Rank by Judge: 10(Tied) - 9(Tied) - 14

Blu's BBQ and Burgers on Urbanspoon

Oklahoma Station BBQ

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #25444420.8889
Judge #35884631.5556


In my notes I commented about them being put in the clamshell upside down. Take some pride in your presentation. It does matter. The ribs didn't look that bad after I turned them over.

Rank by Judge:10(Tied) - 11 - 11

Oklahoma Station BBQ on Urbanspoon

#10 - Ribs-N-More


AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #26444421.7778
Judge #39665831.7778


My notes reflected that these ribs had good texture around the bones but were tough on the ends.

Rank by Judge: 9 - 9(Tied) - 10

Ribs N More on Urbanspoon

George's Happy Hog

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #28353423.6667
Judge #37871827.7778


My notes showed that the ribs had good flavor with a hint of spice but were slightly overcooked.

Rank by Judge: 6 - 8 - 12

George's Happy Hog Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

#8 - Big Daddy's Smokehouse

Big Daddy's Smokehouse

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #22453519.1111
Judge #39799843.6667


My notes were that the ribs were way over cooked.

Big Daddy's definitely had the biggest disparity between us of all the Q-raunts chosen. Two of us giving low marks and the other scoring it to be their top slab of ribs.

Rank by Judge: 14 - 14 - 1

Big Daddy's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

#7 - Leo's BBQ

Leo's BBQ

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #25773527.4444
Judge #38775733.2222


I've eaten a lot of ribs at Leo's over the years and I have never been served any like this slab. It had a really crunchy crust on it like it had been put on a hot grill.

Rank by Judge: 8 - 7 - 9

Leo's Barbeque on Urbanspoon

#6 - Spencer's Smokehouse & BBQ

Spencer's Smokehouse

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #25575529.0000
Judge #39786737.4444


I described this slab as meaty and tasty looking in my notes. It was my second highest rated slab.

Rank by Judges: 2 - 6 - 5

Spencer's Smokehouse & BBQ on Urbanspoon

Back Door Barbecue

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #29377634.3333
Judge #38777735.8889


This was a nice slab of ribs but as I was eating them the flavor profile reminded my of Schwab's Bologna.

Rank by Judge: 7 - 4 - 6(Tied)

Back Door Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Ray's Smokehouse BBQ

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #28475631.3333
Judge #39788840.3333


These ribs actually made me say "Wow!" when they hit the table. They looked that good. I did think they were just a little bit overcooked though.

Rank by Judge: 5 - 5 - 3

Ray's Smokehouse BBQ on Urbanspoon

Jack's Bar-B-Que

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #27788838.5556
Judge #38886636.8889


I noted that this was a solid slab of ribs and it was my top pick.

Rank by Judge: 1 - 1 - 6(Tied)

Jack's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

Bedlam Bar-B-Q

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #27896838.4444
Judge #39887839.5556


I noted that this was a huge slab of meat ribs. I did detect that chemical smell I mentioned early about the ribs at Blu's but that it did not effect the flavor.

Rank by Judge: 3 - 2 - 4

Bedlam Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

#1 - Steve's Rib

Steve's Rib

AppearanceSmoke FlavorOverall TasteTextureAroma
Judge #27777735.0000
Judge #38899943.5556


I noted that this slab of ribs had a nice sweet flavor. Maybe that's what put them in the top spot.

Rank by Judge: 4 - 3 - 2

Steve's Rib on Urbanspoon

We had a lot of fun, learned a few things, and got to eat a lot of good food over the four days it took us to make the 2014 Tour.

I also suggest you don't take the word of three rib eating maniacs for gospel and you get out there and try these 16 Q-raunts and decide for yourself which is the best to you!


Judge #2
Judge #3
Overall Score
1Jack's Bar-B-Que1Jack's Bar-B-Que1Big Daddy's Smokehouse1Steve's Rib
2Spencer's Smokehouse2Bedlam Bar-B-Q2Steve's Rib2Bedlam Bar-B-Q
3Bedlam Bar-B-Q3Steve's Rib3Ray's Smokehouse BBQ3Jack's Bar-B-Que
4Steve's Rib4Back Door Barbecue4Bedlam Bar-B-Q4Ray's Smokehouse BBQ
5Ray's Smokehouse BBQ5Ray's Smokehouse BBQ5Spencer's Smokehouse5Back Door Barbecue
6George's Happy Hog6Spencer's SmokehouseT-6Jack's Bar-B-Que6Spencer's Smokehouse
7Back Door Barbecue7Leo's BBQT-6Back Door Barbecue7Leo's BBQ
8Leo's BBQ8George's Happy Hog8Dale's BBQ House8Big Daddy's Smokehouse
9Ribs-N-MoreT9Ribs-N-More9Leo's BBQ9George's Happy Hog
T10Oklahoma Station BBQT9Blu's BBQ & Burgers10Ribs-N-More10Ribs-N-More
T10Blu's BBQ & Burgers11Oklahoma Station BBQ11Oklahoma Station BBQ11Oklahoma Station BBQ
12Bubba's Bub-Ba-Q12Smokey's BBQ & DIner12George's Happy Hog12Blu's BBQ & Burgers
13Smokey's BBQ & DIner13Bubba's Bub-Ba-Q13Smokey's BBQ & DIner13Dale's BBQ House
14Big Daddy's Smokehouse14Big Daddy's Smokehouse14Blu's BBQ & Burgers14Smokey's BBQ & DIner
15Dale's BBQ House15Dale's BBQ House15Bubba's Bub-Ba-Q15Bubba's Bub-Ba-Q


  1. Hey thanks for this! Any updates? I like dry rub ribs the best.

    1. Thanks!

      We just wrapped up the 2015 Broken Rib Tour and I should have it posted soon.


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