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A late Friday afternoon with an impending storm on the horizon is when I found myself at the popular barbecue spot for an inaugural visit. Fortunately, I had reserved my extensive order a few days in advance, a wise move when dealing with a highly desired ‘cue.
KnightFire BBQ has been on my radar for a couple of years now, so I was not going to let this opportunity pass me by without sampling much of the menu. They churn out plates, meat-by-the-pound, a variety of sides, sandwiches and even a cheeseburger. My order consisted of pork ribs, pulled pork, sliced brisket, beans, slaw, potato salad and some pork candy. The latter was a small pile of candied, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly cubes. I imagine they are popular with the regulars. My suggestion is to treat these bites of joy as an appetizer, a way to excite the taste buds before the main course.
And that would be the sliced brisket.
Sliced brisket is typically not something barbecue joints excel at here in Arkansas. It’s more of a Texas thing. Slowly but surely, however, the art of crafting smoked brisket is working its way into The Natural State, as evident by an excellent representation from KnightFire. Their tender, fatty brisket has a beautiful crust but isn’t overly smoky in flavor. The meat ended up traveling quite well, as it was a good 30 minutes before I was able to sink my teeth into the brisket. KnightFire also pulls another move out of the Texas barbecue playbook by offering the sliced brisket in a taco format. Each taco comes in a flour tortilla filled with a hearty slice of meat, along with a slather of guacamole, cilantro, and pickled onions.
The pork ribs were a hit. The meat had that ideal, slightly resistant pull from the bone you often see with the competition variety. And while I enjoyed the pulled pork the next day in my breakfast hash doused in the house-made, deep maroon sauce, I thought it was a touch dry right after the original commute on Friday. The sides of beans, slaw, and potato salad were all met with approval by our group, but I would not say any of them stood out like the brisket, ribs, and pork belly did. Those three items are worth getting in your car and driving a good distance, and something tells me that cheeseburger might be as well.
After four years in their trailer on West Beebe Capps, Knightfire BBQ moved into a permanent location on S. Main Street in January 2022. With the new location came more opportunities for them to be open throughout the week. Instead of being open only on Friday and Saturday, KnightFire is now open Tuesday-Friday. You can order ahead for pickup, walk-in or even order through DoorDash.
So, whether you are in Searcy, from the surrounding area, or just a lover of great barbecue and willing to travel all over Arkansas for it, feel comfortable knowing that KnightFire BBQ is certainly worth the trip.
304 South Main St. (Searcy)
Phone: (501) 322-9971
Tuesday & Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday & Friday: 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.
(or until sold out)
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