SEARCY, Ark. — When you think of America’s greatest BBQ cities, your brain might jump straight to Kansas City, Memphis, and Austin. But, we have one of our own right here in the Natural State-- Knight Fire BBQ located in Searcy!
The coolest thing about this local business was that smoking meat began as just a hobby for owner Matthew Knight. The process felt familiar for Knight as it reminded him of his grandfather smoking a whole hog each Fourth of July.
Knight worked full time in the agriculture industry, having never worked a day in the restaurant business. But each time he’d fire up the smoker his friends and family insisted he should cook professionally.
It was a request that he eased into. Initially serving up his slow smoked BBQ from a food truck before opening his first brick and mortar location in 2018.
Since opening the doors a few blocks from downtown Searcy, he sells out almost every day he’s open. In fact, it’s best to order ahead to ensure you can enjoy his Austin-style craft BBQ.
So, what makes it so good? Well Knight chalks it up to trial and error.
“I'll say that I'm very open about what I do here. A lot of this is just years of trial and error and tweaking what I’ve learned,” Knight said.
While pulled pork sandwiches are the best seller here, Knight is a big advocate for trying the brisket. His personal philosophy? “Brisket is king,” and once you taste it, you’ll understand why.
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of the beloved restaurant is the menu itself. You’ll find the classics such as smoked sausage, pulled pork and baked beans.
But, the menu goes beyond the hallmark picks. There’s a lot of unique options such as brisket served on an “everything bagel” or a sandwich that has sausage, pork, and brisket.
For foodies that like to explore new culinary creations, you’re in for a treat at Knightfire BBQ.
While Knight doesn’t claim to have any secret recipes, one technique he uses certainly elevates the flavor profile.
What is it, you may ask? Sustainability. Nothing goes to waste. Everything that is trimmed off a brisket gets ground into burger patties. All pork leftovers are made into sausage. Literally nothing goes to waste.