Uh oh...

It appears that you're using a severely outdated version of Safari on Windows. Many features won't work correctly, and functionality can't be guaranteed. Please try viewing this website in Edge, Mozilla, Chrome, or another modern browser. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!

Read More about this safari issue.
Central Searcy
Get directions
Central Food 4

KnightFire Barbecue is Smoking


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.


KnightFire BBQ
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)


Meet the

Learn more about .

A little about .

Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and one daughter, Sydney. His oldest daughter, Natalie, is a freshman at Loyola University in Chicago. He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, twelve years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for ten years. During that time, he’s written for publications like Little Rock Soiree, Arkansas Times, AY Magazine, and The Local Palate.

Read more stories by Kevin Shalin


Visit Kevin Shalin’s Website

Like this story? Read more from Kevin Shalin


Join the Conversation

Leave a Comment

4 responses to “KnightFire Barbecue is Smoking”

  1. […] truck community in Central Arkansas. Over the past ten months, I have covered Jude’s Delight, Knightfire BBQ, Cheesecake on Point, Lola’s, McClard’s, Afrobites, and now it is time to take a closer look at […]

  2. […] Knightfire BBQ – Considered by Kevin Shalin to be one of the top BBQ joints in the state, one visit will have you hooked. Matthew Knight prides himself on housemade, high-quality products. There is no bad offering on his menu, but I highly suggest the Godfather, a smoked burger topped with tender sliced brisket, pimento cheese and pickled onions. […]

  3. […] Knightfire BBQ – Searcy Lindsey’s BBQ – North Little Rock Ridgewood Brother’s BBQ – Russellville McClard’s BBQ – Hot Springs Suttle’s Road Hog BBQ – Beebe […]

  4. […] how about thick cubes of glazed pork belly that practically melt in your mouth? Are you sold yet? KnightFire is one of the best BBQ joints in the state, and Matthew Knight’s pork candy, as well as his […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Submit a photo

We select one featured photo per week, but we show many more in our gallery. Be sure to fill out all the fields in order to have yours selected.

  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, Max. file size: 5 MB.

Regions Topics

What are you looking for?

Explore Arkansas

Central Arkansas

Little Rock, Conway, Searcy, Benton, Heber Springs

Northwest Arkansas

Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale, Fort Smith

South Arkansas

Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Arkadelphia

Explore by Topic