Wednesday, April 30, 2014

One-Stop Shopping at Memphis Barbeque Supply

On Tuesday I stopped in for a tour of the new Memphis Barbeque supply store at 7124 Stage Road in the same shopping center as Ty's Bar-B-Q Smokehouse following an invitation from owner Jimmy Shotwell. The store's grand opening will be Friday May 2 and there will be vendors providing cooker and sauce demonstrations all day Saturday.

Shotwell worked as a distribution manager for Lowe's hardware for a decade. Lowe's sells cookers and grilling supplies along with a small but fairly nice selection of sauces and rubs. But Shotwell was aiming to create a store that offered everything a barbecue cook would need, except for the meat itself, under one roof.

The store offers an impressive selection of lump charcoal and natural, all-hardwood briquettes. One of his suppliers is the Charcoal Store on Florida Street in South Memphis, so customers can purchase any of the quality charcoal varieties found at the Charcoal store without having to venture out to the locally infamous "part of South Memphis where the streets are named after states."

If you frequent Memphis-area barbecue restaurants like Payne's, A&R and Tops you may have noticed the stacks of Chef's Delight charcoal. The brand is specially made by the Royal Oak charcoal company for the Charcoal Store and is used by most of the restaurants in Memphis with old-fashioned charcoal pits. It is also available locally at Charlie's Meat Market on Summer and in Easy Way produce stores.

Memphis Barbeque Supply also offers a huge selection of locally-sourced hardwoods and fruit woods.

You can purchase loose wood by the pound if you are wanting to experiment with new flavor profiles.

Shotwell offers a wide variety of cookers, both upright and horizontal. Whatever your fuel preference, from charcoal to wood to hardwood pellets, he can take care of you. Along with his career at Lowe's he has competed in both the Memphis and Kansas City barbecue circuits and he knows his cookers. He is passionate about barbecue and his store reflects it.

The store offers a huge variety of sauces and rubs, many of them from well-known local names like Jim Neely, the Rendezvous, the Bar-B-Q Shop, Hog Wild Catering, and the two-time Memphis in May grand champion Sweet Swine O' Mine team.

If you prefer crawfish or catfish to barbecue, Memphis Barbeque Supply also has a large selection of fryers and low country cookers.

There is also an entire wall devoted to all the miscellaneous accessories needed for any type of outdoor cooking.

The cooking accessories offered include spatulas emblazoned with the logos of local sports teams like the Tigers, Grizzlies, Titans, Saints, and some other team that shall remain nameless.

From the cookers to the charcoal to the seasonings, everything I saw for sale at Memphis Barbeque Supply was top quality and competitively priced. Browsing around made my wallet burn to upgrade from my own cheapo Brinkmann cooker. The store offers a unique opportunity to pick any equipment or fuel you need for creating your own barbecue while supporting a locally-owned small business with an owner who genuinely cares about helping you cook the best barbecue possible within your budget.


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