Thursday, August 9

Get on the Southern BBQ Trail: TENNESSEE

Next stop on the Southern BBQ Trail: TENNESSEE

Dry-rub ribs in Memphis. Whole hog in the rural counties just a stone’s throw from the big city. There’s a lot of barbecue in Tennessee, but there aren’t many people like Flora Payne. Flora operates Payne’s Bar-B-Q in Memphis. She never thought she’d run a barbecue restaurant. But when her husband Horton Payne passed away in 1984, Flora, along with Horton’s mother, co-founder Emily Payne, took the reins of the restaurant. Flora and her son, Ron, have maintained all of the flourishes that Horton and Emily Payne made special. The pork shoulders are still turned over hickory coals, in a recessed pit set into the wall. The mild sauce simmers all afternoon on the stove. The hotter variety is dispensed via an old liquid soap bottle. The coleslaw has a mustard base; it’s a recipe that Emily perfected. And the smoked bologna is a local favorite. When asked what makes her barbecue special, Flora, says, “You can perfect something in 36 years. I pray over this food.”

Meet Flora Payne:

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Visit the introduction to our state-by-state Southern BBQ Trail tour here.

Or, just visit the Southern BBQ Trail to meet the more than 100 people from 9 states who've shared their stories with us.

Grab a napkin and go!