Five Best Vet-Affiliated BBQ Joints in the U.S.

Some of the greatest meals in America are served up by those who know all about 'service' to our country

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Out of all of the meats, brisket challenged Tellesson the most. “Brisket is a notoriously finicky cut of meat. Every weekend one summer, I would tweak the recipe, changing the injection, or changing the way I trimmed the brisket. I kept a notebook detailing my many failures, but with each botched brisket I got a little closer.” Today, Tellesson even specializes in a brisket that he says he’s “certainly not ashamed of.”

“It’s really the attention to detail that separates mediocre barbecue from celestial barbecue,” says the business owner. “The rub, the injection, the temperature, the type of wood, and the cooking time all create this symbiotic process that transforms a shoe-leather cut of meat, like a brisket, into something that can give a 4-star rib eye a run for its money.”

Nordic’s beef brisket, the most popular item, is injected with butter and beer before being rubbed down and smoked for fourteen hours. The ribs are cut in the St. Louis style, a trimmed-down version of the larger spare rib, and basted with butter and honey halfway through the five-hour smoking process.

5.) Mission BBQ. Best friends Bill Kraus and Steve Newton launched Mission BBQ on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 with the goal of restoring the country to what it was before the attack — and building a business that reminded people of how fortunate they are to live in America.

With a love of barbecue and country, the men started their lofty endeavor in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and have since expanded to 50 locations in 11 states.

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While Kraus and Newton are not veterans themselves, Kraus’ father, Al, and grandfather, Frank Shinners, served. Kraus’ son Alex is graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, and his other son, Andrew, is in the Army.

Every day at noon, Mission BBQ employees stop cooking or taking orders in order to play the National Anthem.

Mission BBQ also donates $2 from each American Heroes Cup purchased to the organization featured on the cup, such as Wreathes Across America (to which they’ve given $228,664), Special Operations Warrior Foundation ($105,994), and the Semper Fi Fund ($61,618).

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