Kansas City's Barbecue Legend The Great Henry Perry

Kansas City has a rich history in barbecued ribs and the tradition continues to grow stronger. It all began with Kansas City’s first recorded barbecuer the great  Henry Perry back in 1908. In 2014 Henry was inducted into the American Royal Barbecue Hall of Fame. And to help honor such a great man, Mayor Quinton Lucas proclaimed July 03rd 2020, as Henry Perry Day. It is a fantastic way to honor such a legend  who helped grow Kansas City's iconic barbecue.
It was reported 100 years ago that Henry Perry fed up to 1,000 people for free, on the lawn in front of his restaurant.
Kansas City's Barbecue Legend The Great Henry Perry
To honor this the Kansas City barbecue community. Decided to feed 1,000 Kansas Citians with a free barbecue on Henry Perry Day.
Perry become very well known for his succulent ribs. and would serve them to customer who would come from miles away. Perry converted an old trolley barn into a restaurant and would serve his ribs on newspaper for 25 cents a slab. “Old Man Perry’s” restaurant was located at 19th & Highland and was later sold to George Gates and Charlie Bryant. It become known as Arthur Bryant’s and is still today regarded as one of America’s greatest rib joints. Today Kansas City boast over 90 rib restaurants.

With barbecues humble beginning 100 years ago by Henry Perry.  Kansas City ribs are now serious business when it comes to BBQ. True to tradition, barbeque in Kansas City is dry rub-spiced, smoked with hickory and coated with a KC style sauce. For Kansas City sauce means a thick, rich and tangy tomato based sauce with molasses and sometimes a hint of vinegar. The meat is seared, slow cooked and mop basted with sauce until the meat is tender and a nice crust has formed on the outside. Roll up your sleeves and get ready for the sauce that you enjoy getting under your fingernails.

As with any rib, first start by removing the membrane on the back of the rib. This can prove to be difficult with wet finger. Dry hands and a paper towel work well for this. The paper towel will allow you to get a better grip on the membrane.

Dry Rub Instructions:

Evenly coat the ribs with the dry rub, wrap with plastic wrap and then foil. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours but overnight is best. 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the ribs, remove them from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. While you cook the ribs, continually mop the ribs with the sauce until the ribs are cooked.

Kansas City Style Dry Rub:

1 C sugar

½ C paprika

¼ C kosher salt

¼ C celery salt

3 tablespoons onion powder

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons black pepper

2 teaspoons dried mustard powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Classic Kansas City Style Sauce:

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon mild curry powder

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon mace

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 C ketchup

¾ C dark unsulphered molasses

½ C white wine vinegar

Classic Kansas City Style Sauce Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low to simmer.
  2. Simmer for 20 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely before transferring to an air tight container.
  3. This sauce can be used immediately, but it is recommend refrigerating overnight for the best flavor. This sauce will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator if sealed tightly in an air tight container.

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