An All-American Barbecue Favorite

Photography by Wes Battoclette

There are few culinary arts more all-American than barbecuing. But barbecue is not simply tossing charcoals on a grill or firing up the gas ovens; old-fashioned barbecue takes time and uses only the freshest ingredients cooked in wood-fired smokers. 

Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ is a locally owned restaurant striving to create the perfect barbecue in this manner. Each step in the process is meticulously planned, from where the food is purchased to what type of wood is used to how it’s prepared.

 “This is an authentic southern-pit barbecue,” says Jim Emig, owner and founder of the restaurant. “Just because something has barbecue sauce on it does not make it authentic. Smoking the meat is very important – it changes both the flavor and the texture of the meat, altering its moisture retaining ability.” 

And with 30 years of experience spent perfecting his method, Emig worked out every detail and trained his staff to expertly execute every step necessary. 

“The science behind it is fascinating, and not all of the flavor going into the meat comes from the smoke,” he says. “A lot of flavors are generated from the heat and fire itself, and that changes based on the wood. We use hickory and cherry wood to get the perfect flavor.” 

The company will open a new location that will offer an expanded menu and larger dining area in Monroe next year, and is unveiling a brand new, state-of-the-art concession trailer to serve its gourmet barbecue on the go. The company will be at the River Grill Before the Big Chill barbecue competition on October 9 and 10 at Sawyer Point Park – an excellent opportunity to see how delicious Jim Dandy’s food truly tastes.

Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ is located at 2343 East Sharon Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241. You can reach them at 513.771.4888 or visit their website at