Truth be told, Windy City Smokeout has concocted the perfect recipe for a weekend of country fun in an urban setting.
Some of the country's best barbecuers bring pounds upon pounds of smokey, saucy goodness to the scenic lot located off Grand Avenue along the Chicago River while nearly a dozen of America's finest country musicians take the stage this Friday through Sunday (July 11-13).
Performers like Josh Thompson, whose powerful performances have earned him tours with Brad Paisley, Eric Church and Lynyrd Skynyrd just to name a few; Honky Tonk purist Kevin Fowler; Chase Rice, one of the songwriters behind a little song called "Cruise" made famous by Florida Georgia Line; and local boy Brett Eldredge, whom you might have caught opening for Taylor Swift on her latest world tour. Other performers include the Randy Rogers Band, the Josh Abbott Band, the Eli Young Band, Blackjack Billy and many more.
However, the BBQ at Windy City Smokeout might be what really takes center stage this weekend. The folks behind this festival, River North BBQ masters Bub City, are managing to bring together grillers from all across the city and the country for three days of deliciousness. St. Louis staple Pappy's Smokehouse makes the journey up Route 66 for the Smokeout and The Salt Lick, hailing from Texas, is bringing their famous brisket. Lillie's Q, Smoque, Bub City among others will be representing Chicago.
Folks who want to take away more than a doggybag from the weekend will most enjoy Windy City Smokeout's Pitmaster "Meet & Greet" classes where they'll learn some of the skills and secrets behind the flavors. Grilling enthusiasts have the opportunity to sit in on classes (limited to just 10 people for maximum personalization) led by BBQ all stars.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at three-time barbeque World Champion Myron Mixon prep a whole hog for smoking and learn his secrets for the best marinades, temperatures and cook times. Chicago Q's ribmaster LeeAnn Whippen will teach you a thing or two about cuts and wood flavor. Charlie and Quito McKenna will reveal the secrets behind their smoked tri-tip. Smoked pork butt is the star of Bub City's demonstration. The folks behind Pappy's are showing you how to roast a whole hog. The Salt Lick's Scott Roberts and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's John Stage will be unveiling the key to the perfect brisket.