Knoxville restaurant serves up Memphis-style barbecue

Knoxville restaurant serves up Memphis-style barbecue

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There is nothing quite like the smell of barbeque cooking in a smoker, unless it's the smell of pulled pork right before you chomp down on it. There is nothing quite like the smell of barbeque cooking in a smoker, unless it's the smell of pulled pork right before you chomp down on it.
Archer's Barbecue owner Archer Bagley grew up in Memphis. Archer's Barbecue owner Archer Bagley grew up in Memphis.
Archer Bagley says dry rub is one of his secrets. Archer Bagley says dry rub is one of his secrets.
Archer's also makes seven different sauces to complement the barbeque. Archer's also makes seven different sauces to complement the barbeque.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Everyone has an opinion about barbeque. Some say Kansas style is best, Texans argue theirs is the tastiest, and folks in the Carolinas say the others don't come close to theirs.

Tennessee has its fair share of good barbeque too. In Knoxville, one of the fastest growing barbeque joints has its roots in Memphis.

There is nothing quite like the smell of barbeque cooking in a smoker, unless it's the smell of pulled pork right before you chomp down on it.

"It's really smoky and it's really moist. It stands alone by itself, but there's a variety of sauces. It hits every taste," said barbecue lover Mary Jane Warner.

Archer's Barbecue specializes in the Memphis style of barbeque, which means its prepared with a dry rub.

"I grew up in Memphis. There are many variations. Dry rub, put dry rub on all your meat in your smoker. No marinating, no brining. cooking and pulling off the smoker and pulling it hot," said Archer Bagley of Archer's Barbeque.

Bagley says that is one of the secrets to his pork.

Even with three restaurants and a fourth on the way, Bagley cooks all his meat at one location.

At one station, brisket is being prepared.  At another, a pork butt is being pulled. Baby back ribs and large chicken breasts roast in the smoker.

It's about as close to food heaven as you can get, and so far, Knoxville seems to agree. Bagley says he goes through thousands of pounds of meat each week - hundreds of pork butts, racks of ribs and lots of chickens.

If you want brisket, you'll have to wait until Saturday.

"People in Knoxville don't really buy enough brisket to do it fresh the way we like to do it, unless you do it just one day a week," Bagley said. "We do it on Saturday nights, and it's usually gone in about an hour. If we can't do it right, we don't want to do it at all."

Archer's also makes seven different sauces to complement the barbeque. So whether you like it vinegary, sweet or hot, there's a sauce for everyone's tastes, and it's all made in Tennessee.


If you know of a product we should profile for Made in Tennessee, send Gene Patterson an email or a Facebook message.

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