5 Questions with Bethanie Schemel of KC Barbecue Tours In Kansas City, Missouri

KC Barbecue Tours
By Bethanie Schemel

KC Barbecue Tours simply began with married couple, Karl and Bethanie Schemel’s, years of love for Kansas City barbecue. After years of sampling the various Kansas City barbecue options the couple realized that Karl’s past experience on his dad’s Chicago boat guided tours and Bethanie’s exposure to Kansas City barbecue, could unite to provide a bus guided food tour of the best barbecue in the world. Karl and Bethanie’s hope is that each guest will leave the tour with the same love and appreciation for Kansas City barbecue that they have.

1. What makes Kansas City barbecue different from other styles of barbecue?

Kansas City is like the melting pot of barbecue, but our prized possession is burnt ends. While Texas boasts their brisket served “dry”, Carolina prides its pulled pork with vinegar based sauce, Memphis serves up “dry” or “wet” pork ribs with a vinegary mustard based sauce, Kansas City perfects it all with a sweet & peppery tomato based sauce either served over the meat or offered on the table to be added.


Meats are smoked over various woods and served with a tomato based sauce. Each barbecue restaurant in KC has their own unique method of prepping, smoking and serving their meats.

2. What can people expect on your barbecue tours?

Guests of our bus-guided tours can expect to get a full belly of barbecue with a little history on the side.

Everybody loves BBQ
Everybody loves BBQ

Each of our tours visits big-name, historical and hidden-gem barbecue joints in the Kansas City area. We also give guests some time to see Kansas City as we travel from restaurant to restaurant pointing out historical landmarks along the way.

3. When it comes to barbecue, what do we need to know about side dishes?

Typically the top choice for KC Barbecue side dishes is the beans, which usually have a smoky flavor with hint of sweetness in them. However, depending on the restaurant the beans may not be the standout side dish.

The gang's all here
The gang's all here

4. What places should beer lovers check out while in Kansas City?

If someone is looking for brew to go with their barbecue, they can check out our ‘Cue & Brew Tour. If someone is just wanting the brew, without the barbecue, some great places to check out would be: KC Bier Company, Boulevard Brewery, 75th

5. Give us some barbecue trivia

  • Q: What are the most common woods used to smoke beef & pork meats?
KC Barbecue Tours
KC Barbecue Tours
  • A: Oak & Hickory. These are considered the king & queen of smoking woods.

  • Q: How many barbecue restaurants are in Kansas City?

  • A: There are over 100 listed barbecue restaurants, with new restaurants popping up every year and roadside stands that come & go.

  • Q: Has Kansas City style barbecue sauce always been sweet?

  • A: Nope. Kansas City style sauce actually started as a peppery sauce and has been sweetened up over the years.

Leave a Comment