Joe’s knows barbecue

Stillwater-born and Kansas City-bred Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue opens a location near the Bass Pro Shops in Broken Arrow, offering a variety of lip-smacking smoked meats.



Oklahoma Joe’s full slab of ribs feeds three to four people.

You could say I am in hog heaven — or cow heaven — for the legendary Oklahoma Joe’s barbecue has returned to Oklahoma. You many not realize it ever left, as the Kansas City location has claimed all the glory lately. That is about to change.

For the true history, I must digress a bit.

Joe Davidson started Oklahoma Joe’s, a smoker manufacturer, in 1987 while he was a graduate assistant in the agricultural engineering department at Oklahoma State University. In the next two years, sales grew to more than $1 million a year. In 1996, Davidson lured Jeff Stehney, his friend and a barbecue circuit competitor, into opening Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue in Stillwater. A few months later, Stehney opened a second restaurant in a Shamrock gas station in Kansas City, Kan., which he has run ever since.

The smoker business slowly became a burden, so Davidson sold it to Char-Broil. As part of the deal, he worked for the company for a few years, leading him to close the Stillwater location, but in exchange, he learned a lot about the corporate world.

He left in 2000 and started making barbecue instruction videos sold at Walmart. In that same year, Walmart approached him about launching a private-label charcoal and designing grills and smokers — all successful.

He went on to lead corporate team-building sessions for large companies, giving him time to focus on finding the right location for a new Oklahoma Joe’s so he could finally get back into the smokehouse.

On a trip to Bass Pro Shops in Broken Arrow with his wife, Page, he saw that the old Runt’s barbecue restaurant space was available. They secured the location within two weeks. After a whirlwind construction period, the restaurant opened in December. 

In Kansas City, perhaps Oklahoma Joe’s most famous patron is Anthony Bourdain, who exclaimed in his article “The 13 places to eat before you die,” “It’s the best BBQ in Kansas City, which makes it the best BBQ in the world.” 

The new Oklahoma restaurant features many items from the original location. In addition to recipes, the restaurants share meat providers, dry rubs, barbecue sauce and custom-made cookers.

These large smokers earn their keep. Davidson told me they smoke up to 3,000 pounds of meat per day. The brisket and pork butts go “night-night” in the smoker at 7 p.m. and don’t see the light of day until 12 hours later.

In my opinion, that is when the magic happens — the flat side of the brisket is sliced for service, but the point side is re-seasoned, smoked three hours longer, diced and sautéed in Joe’s famous sauce. Burnt ends, as they are known, are “the platinum of barbecue,” Davidson says, and are available daily.

Oklahoma Joe’s also features meaty ribs, smoked turkey and sausage, and smoked bologna.

“You couldn’t open a barbecue joint in Oklahoma without offering smoked bologna,” Davidson says, “but in Kansas City, we couldn’t give it away.”

The baked bean recipe is one of the few differences in the restaurant menus. Davidson and Stehney are still ferocious competitors, including their respective bean recipes, and both have been winners.

“I think mine are better than Jeff’s,” Davidson gloats.

Joe’s “best beans on the planet” feature three kinds of beans (pork and beans, black beans and kidney beans), bell peppers, jalapenos and a hefty dose of barbecue sauce, brown sugar and chopped brisket — the perfect blend of sweet, heat and meat. Davidson also decided to forgo the traditional creamy slaw for one laced with vinegar and spicy mustard — a nice companion to the rich, heavy meats.

Bottles of Oklahoma Joe’s original Kansas City-style sauce — mild and hot — decorate each table. The flavors of both are rich and complex, but personally, I think the hot sauce needs to have more of a kick. 

The restaurant also features counter service.

Before opening, Executive Chef Kelsey Knouse (formerly of Wolfgang Puck Bistro), along with some other kitchen staff, spent a few weeks in Kansas City learning from the experienced pitmasters.

By the time this issue hits newsstands, a second Oklahoma Joe’s will have opened in Cain’s Ballroom. It will serve barbecue sandwiches every show night, eventually opening to serve a full lunch menu. Davidson also hinted that he was keeping his eyes open for another Tulsa location. I think it’s time to get Mr. Bourdain a plane ticket to Tulsa.

Add your comment:

 

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to The Insider!

Edit ModuleShow Tags

April 2017

Home of Hope’s Grand Celebration, June 3, will honor Oklahoma’s past and present governors for their significant efforts on behalf of individuals with disabilities.  Honorees...

Cost: $125

Where:
Shangri-La Resort
31000 South Highway 125
Monkey Island, OK  74331
View map »


Sponsor: Home of Hope
Telephone: 191-825-67825
Contact Name: Misty Bingham
Website »

More information

Sungate Pool offers annual private pool memberships for families in the Tulsa community at an affordable rate. Take advantage of our early bird pricing before it ends May 1. Applications available...

Cost: $300/Family of Four

Where:
Sungate Pool
5358 South 70th East Place
Tulsa, OK  74145
View map »


Sponsor: Sungate Pool
Website »

More information

The Champions of Health awards recognize those who make a difference in the health of Oklahomans. Winners in select categories will receive $5,000 for their organization or program, and will be...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Contact Name: Ben Johnson

More information

This is a ORU Baseball Game   https://mabeecenter.com/oru-baseball-2017/

Cost: 14 // 11 // 7 plus 2 s/c

Where:
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »

More information

Sunday, April 30, 2017 3:00 p.m. Williams Theatre 2:15 p.m. Pre-concert lecture Granados: Intermezzo from Goyescas Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Romanza con Variazioni from Piano Trio No. 2 Baran:...

Cost: $25

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center - Williams Theatre
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Chamber Music Tulsa
Telephone: 918-587-3802
Contact Name: J.J Cody
Website »

More information

Where:
The Venue Shrine
112 E. 18th St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

it's that time again!  First Friday Art Walk @ MAINLINE welcomes Codak Smith and his exhibit, LEFTOVERS. Codak’s work is defined by an acute sense of how to utilize space and...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n main st
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Curated by Anh-Thuy Nguyen and Janet Hasegawa, and in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, the exhibition aims to look at the past, present, and future of tea - and the way this...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents  “The Dixie Swim Club” By Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope & Jamie Wooten   The Broken Arrow Community Playhouse is...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S. Main St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: Sherry Hacker
Website »

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Pianist Liza Stepanova, violinist Itamar Zorman and cellist Michael Katz perform a program of (mostly) Mediterranean music, featuring pieces by Enrique Granados, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Ilan...

Cost: $5-$25

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center - John H. Williams Theatre
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918.596.7122
Website »

More information

Cost: $5-$15

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N. Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $25-$27

Where:
Cain's Ballroom
423 North Main Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918.584.2306
Website »

More information

Cost: $5

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 921-3535
Website »

More information

Get a new wave haircut and prepare for the raddest event in the city...it's the 15th Annual 80's PROM! • What to expect: Attendees​ arrive in over the top 80's costumes, some...

Cost: Advance $19 | Day of Show $23

Where:
Cain's Ballroom
423 N. Main St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Okkle Music
Telephone: 918-584-2306
Contact Name: Rob
Website »

More information

Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa
View map »


Telephone: (918) 582-7669
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Sungate Pool offers annual private pool memberships for families in the Tulsa community at an affordable rate. Take advantage of our early bird pricing before it ends May 1. Applications available...

Cost: $300/Family of Four

Where:
Sungate Pool
5358 South 70th East Place
Tulsa, OK  74145
View map »


Sponsor: Sungate Pool
Website »

More information

The Champions of Health awards recognize those who make a difference in the health of Oklahomans. Winners in select categories will receive $5,000 for their organization or program, and will be...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Contact Name: Ben Johnson

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Where:
Yeti
417 N Main St
Tulsa
View map »


Telephone: (918) 936-4994
Website »

More information

Cost: $5-$15

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N. Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: SOLD OUT

Where:
Cain's Ballroom
423 North Main Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918.584.2306
Website »

More information

TBA

Cost: TBA

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Benefits Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Telephone: 918-594-8014
Contact Name: Anhna Vuong
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Champions of Health awards recognize those who make a difference in the health of Oklahomans. Winners in select categories will receive $5,000 for their organization or program, and will be...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Contact Name: Ben Johnson

More information

Tulsa Global Alliance presents Savor! An International Food Tasting Event Tues., May 2 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Tulsa Community College's Center for Creativity. Enjoy small dishes from Tulsa's...

Cost: $50

Where:
Tulsa Community College's Center for Creativity
910 S. Boulder Ave.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Global Alliance
Contact Name: Lisa Johannsson
Website »

More information

Tulsa Tycoons, a night of monopoly, 2nd edition will feature amazing food, mobile bidding silent auction, live auction, networking, and stories of JA impact! In addition attendees can engage in a...

Cost: $250 or $125 for under 40

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Benefits Junior Achievement of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-663-2132
Contact Name: Martha Rongey
Website »

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

Where:
Yeti
417 N Main St
Tulsa
View map »


Telephone: (918) 936-4994
Website »

More information

Where:
Gypsy Coffee House
303 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Tulsa
View map »


Telephone: (918) 295-2181
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Champions of Health awards recognize those who make a difference in the health of Oklahomans. Winners in select categories will receive $5,000 for their organization or program, and will be...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Contact Name: Ben Johnson

More information

“American Wrestler: The Wizard” comes to movie theaters nationwide for one night only on May 3 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. local time. Based on true events, the heartwarming coming of...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Tulsa, OK

More information

Curated by Anh-Thuy Nguyen and Janet Hasegawa, and in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, the exhibition aims to look at the past, present, and future of tea - and the way this...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

More information

The phenomenal Celtic Woman, about to embark on yet another world tour, is this year celebrating 12 years of success, with over 10 million albums and 3 million tickets sold worldwide.

Cost: Tickets start at $46

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »


Sponsor: Mabee Center
Website »

More information

Multi-platinum international music sensation Celtic Woman presents VOICES OF ANGELS a captivating new show for 2017. VOICES OF ANGELS showcases the angelic voices of Susan McFadden, Mairéad...

Cost: $70

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 SOUTH LEWIS AVE
TULSA, OK  74171
View map »


Website »

More information

You know you've always had a yearning to be on-stage, and what a great place to start. Auditions for our 63 plus year raucous comedy is the 1st Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Cold...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Historic Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Telephone: 918-587-5030
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Champions of Health awards recognize those who make a difference in the health of Oklahomans. Winners in select categories will receive $5,000 for their organization or program, and will be...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Contact Name: Ben Johnson

More information

Bring your pup out for a special evening to enjoy a walk in the Garden together.  Free for Garden members and member dogs; Regular admission applies; $4 per dog for non-members. Dogs...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $0-8 for admission plus $4 per dog for non-members

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

Curated by Anh-Thuy Nguyen and Janet Hasegawa, and in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, the exhibition aims to look at the past, present, and future of tea - and the way this...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

GermanFest 2017 14th Annual GermanFest is set for May 5th – 7th  2017 at the GAST Center located in the heart of Midtown Tulsa, just one block west of Lewis on 15th Street. ...

Cost: Free Admission! Free Parking!

Where:
GAST Center
1429 Terrace Drive
one block west of Lewis on 15th St
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: German-American Society of Tulsa
Telephone: 303-514-9146
Contact Name: Cheryl Baker
Website »

More information

The Champions of Health awards recognize those who make a difference in the health of Oklahomans. Winners in select categories will receive $5,000 for their organization or program, and will be...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Contact Name: Ben Johnson

More information

An exhibition to give artistic voice to immigrants, who have in recent years dealt with barriers and hardship, particularly in states like Oklahoma. The show aims to inform non-immigrant...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 E Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Living Arts of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-585-1234
Contact Name: Laura Eccles
Website »

More information

Curated by Anh-Thuy Nguyen and Janet Hasegawa, and in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, the exhibition aims to look at the past, present, and future of tea - and the way this...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

More information

This unique tournament is played at night with glow-in-the-dark balls and glow sticks marking tee boxes and holes. Golfers will tee off in teams of four at the 9 p.m. shotgun start. All holes are...

Cost: TBA

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Benefits TARC
Telephone: 918-582-8272
Contact Name: Craig Thompson
Website »

More information

‘A Woman’s Eye’ MAINLINE is excited to present a new exhibit featuring 3 local photograhers Tahlia Ball, Christina Parson & Madison Rayon. From ‘quiet...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »

More information

Bartlesville High School presents The Addams Family a New Musical.  THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate...

Cost: $10 Student/$15 Adult

Where:
Bartlesville High School Fine Arts Center
1700 Hillcrest Dr
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Bartlesville High School
Contact Name: Alex

More information

Author Laurie Halse Anderson will receive the 2017 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. She also will present awards for the 2017 Young People's Creative Writing Contest.

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Hardesty Regoinal Library
8316 E. 93rd St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Benefits Tulsa City-County Library
Telephone: 918-549-7391
Contact Name: John Fancher
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

THE BLUE ROSE CAFÉ PARTNERS WITH TANGO TAB TO BRING MEALS TO TULSANS IN NEED At Second Ever Feed the City Event in Tulsa (TULSA, Okla.) — The Blue Rose Café will be...

Cost: cost of food supplies listed on facebook event page

Where:
The Blue Rose Cafe
1924 riverside drive
tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: The Blue Rose Cafe
Telephone: 918-748-0111 x2122
Contact Name: Ashley Bode
Website »

More information

Germanfest 2017 14th Annual Germanfest is set for May 5th – 7th at the GAST Center located in the heart of Midtown Tulsa, just one block west of Lewis on 15th Street.  This premier...

Cost: Free Admission! Free Parking!

Where:
GAST Center
1429 Terrace Drive
one block west of Lewis on 15th St
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: German-American Society of Tulsa
Telephone: 303-514-9146
Contact Name: Cheryl Baker
Website »

More information

Saturday, May 6th, Accent Realtors is hosting their 4th Annual Shredding Event. Come on by the office from 11-1 to shred any unwanted documents and enjoy free drinks, food, and games. ...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Accent Realtors' Office
4625 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Accent Realtors
Website »

More information

The Champions of Health awards recognize those who make a difference in the health of Oklahomans. Winners in select categories will receive $5,000 for their organization or program, and will be...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Contact Name: Ben Johnson

More information

Enjoy an afternoon at Tulsa BoysÕ Home signature Kentucky Derby themed fundraising event with races simulcast live, on-site betting, silent & live auctions, raffles, wine & cigar pull, best hat &...

Cost: 200

Where:
Pavilion at Expo Square
4145 E 21st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Benefits Tulsa Boys' Home
Telephone: 9182450231 ext 5055
Contact Name: Lucy Willis
Website »

More information

Curated by Anh-Thuy Nguyen and Janet Hasegawa, and in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, the exhibition aims to look at the past, present, and future of tea - and the way this...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

More information

An exhibition to give artistic voice to immigrants, who have in recent years dealt with barriers and hardship, particularly in states like Oklahoma. The show aims to inform non-immigrant...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 E Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Living Arts of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-585-1234
Contact Name: Laura Eccles
Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

‘A Woman’s Eye’ MAINLINE is excited to present a new exhibit featuring 3 local photograhers Tahlia Ball, Christina Parson & Madison Rayon. From ‘quiet...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »

More information

Bartlesville High School presents The Addams Family a New Musical.  THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate...

Cost: $10 Student/$15 Adult

Where:
Bartlesville High School Fine Arts Center
1700 Hillcrest Dr
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Bartlesville High School
Contact Name: Alex

More information

Making plans for this weekend? You can't do better than The Drunkard & The Olio at the historic Spotlight Theater. You know you've always wanted to go, and now's your chance. And if...

Cost: Adults $20, kids $12, seniors & military $17

Where:
Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags