Miller and Sons BBQ in Knob Noster has been open for a year, but their barbecue is not new — the family has been catering it from their church, Mt. Calvary Apostolic in Warrensburg, for several years.
On Thursday, Sam Miller, 26, and the spokesman for the business explained about the family’s barbecue technique and style. He said the family — his parents, Marvin and Linda, and his brother Jacob, 32 — own the business together. Barbecue has always been in the family, being passed down from their father.
“It’s something that our father taught us,” he said. “I don’t know if he learned it from his father, but it’s a family tradition. He passed it down to my brother and Jacob is the pit-master. He kind of took the rubs and took the basic recipes and expounded on them and mastered them.
“We’ve been doing catering since 2007,” he added. “We were doing it out of my father’s church, and we kind of outgrew the church, and we decided that we were going to go ahead and open a permanent location.”
Miller said customers will find quality barbecue at their establishment even if they have to throw product away.
“When we first opened there were many ribs that we just threw away,” he said. “Because they were just not up to par. Of course it’s trial and error with anything. But you’re going to find a down-home family environment.”
The barbecue is moist and full of flavor and smoked with homemade rubs.
“All of our meats are hickory smoked, slow smoked,” he said. “It provides a flavor like none other … we stick to hickory predominately. It takes a lot of work.”
The family does all the smoking on site, and besides selling St. Louis-cut pork ribs they also sell hand-pulled pork, brisket, moist turkey breast, chicken, ham and Italian rope sausage.
“We use a premium turkey breast,” Miller said. “It’s rather hard to keep turkey moist, but the breast that we use always renders moisture. There will never be a time that you will get a dry piece of turkey here.”
All the rubs are made by the family and are a combination of salt, sweet and smoked flavors.
“It appeals to all of your senses,” he said. “But what we try to target is a little bit of an explosion in your mouth, we want to appeal to all of your senses, nothing being more overwhelming than the next. We don’t sauce anything. We don’t sauce anything and we don’t baste anything. We do nothing but dry rubs.”
Miller barbecue is unique in the sense that unlike Memphis barbecue they don’t baste the meat after applying the rub. They use dry rub exclusively.
“Texas they use a dry rub and Kansas City they use a dry rub as well but they like to sauce things afterward,” Miller said. “So all regions are a little bit different. It’s a rarity to find anything that comes out with just dry rub alone. The thing is this, the reason we do it, is say if you were going to go to a steakhouse and you order a filet mignon, or porterhouse and it comes out with A-1 sauce on it. So the first thing you are going to ask is ‘what are you hiding?’ Are you hiding the flavor, are you hiding the moisture, what are you hiding? We want everybody to taste the meat for itself, we want you to taste the moisture, the smoke flavor.”
The family makes three different sauces, sweet and smokey — a molasses-based sauce, a hot and spicy with more of a vinegar base, and a tangy Carolina with a mustard base, to go on the meat at the customer’s discretion.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t like to eat with sauce,” he said. “And we don’t want to dictate how much sauce someone uses.”
The Millers also serve homemade side dishes such as sweet potato and home-style fries, cole slaw, potato salad and appetizers such as spicy fried green beans, battered mushrooms, fried pickles and deep-fried sweet corn nuggets.
“We also have a peppercini bite which is kind of like a deep-fried pizza bite, but instead of the onion and green pepper per se, it has peppercinis in it,” Miller said. “You have pepperoni, you have sausage, and mozzarella cheese. They’re all very good.”
The Millers still cater, and have catered as far as Kansas City and for as many as 400 people. Miller said they could take on a larger event if need be and pricing is variable.
“We do not have any set catering prices, reason being because meat prices fluctuate,” he said. “We never exceed a price, yet we could always go down in price. So we always try to give the consumer the best price as possible. All they need to do is give us a call and we’ll give them the pricing.”
Miller added that from 5 to 8 p.m. on Mondays is all-you-can-eat rib night for $11.99 at the restaurant.
Miller and sons BBQ is located at 109 E. McPherson St., in Knob Noster, and they are open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; they are closed on Sunday.
For more information on Miller and Sons BBQ call them at 233-8300 or visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/MillerandSonsBBQ or email them at MillerandSonsBBQ@gmail.com.