Abe’s BBQ Smokehouse: Columbia’s Wing King

Many folks argue about what flavor pairs best with the chicken wing. Should they be spicy? Maybe sweet? Should you dunk them in ranch or maybe blue cheese? The ways to eat wings are endless, but most people start off by deep frying them and then dunking the wing in sauce. And this is exactly what sets Abe’s BBQ Smokehouse apart. He doesn’t fry them. He smokes them.

Smoking chicken wings may seem odd to some, but Abe’s BBQ Smokehouse is an award-winning food truck that uses smoke as the foundation of their entire menu. By coating wings in their house dry rub, and keeping them under the watchful eye of pit master Abe Everett, the end product is a smokey, flavorful wing that cannot be found anywhere else in the city.

“Everything in our food truck starts with the rub” says Everett. “Its a rather complex rub borrowing from both Texas and Memphis styles. I worked on this flavor profile for a long time until I got it perfect. Everything builds from there.”

But the rub is only half the puzzle. By being highly selective on the woods that go into his smokers, Everett can ensure the flavors of his rub and in turn his wings, are consistently amazing.

Once he had the rub and the smoke just right, the only other ingredient was the wing itself. And like every item on the menu at Abe’s, the portion size is enormous.

“I hate wimpy wings” said Everett. “We couldn’t in good conscience sell sandwiches and taters as big as we do only to turn around and offer puny, little wings so we found some big boys.”

In some of the best tasting research I have ever been involved with, I ordered myself a half pound of wings. My only regret is that I didn’t order the full pound order as the rub and smoke combined to form one of the best wings I have ever had. As someone who paid their way through college working for Buffalo Wild Wings, I have eaten my fair share of wings, but the difference here is in the smokey bark to the chicken.

In a typical fried wing, you get a nice crust, but then it’s lost once the wing is smothered in sauce. These wings need no sauce as they have all the flavor already. Now of course, I had to try them with sauce also, but just like the rub, Abe’s house bbq sauces are engineered to pair with, not overpower the flavor of his smoke.

In addition to wings, Abe’s offers a variety of traditional bbq fare. His pulled pork and chicken are both excellent, as is the brisket. Any of them can be ordered by themselves or on a sandwich, tater or nacho plate. He also has fantastic ribs that we featured in our 6 Must Try BBQ Dishes  story last month.

As with most food trucks, Everett can be seen all around the city. Before the pandemic and isolation we are currently in, Abe’s BBQ Smokehouse could be found every Thursday outside of Bad Idea Brewing Company in the Columbia Arts District. Often on Saturday, the truck sets up shop by the Columbia Tractor Supply.

But on most days, you can find Abe’s food truck set up at 1075 N. James Campbell Blvd in front of Fernwood Garden Center.

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