Buffalo’s BBQ’s (Donny Teel’s) Award Winning Q is Closer Than You Think

By on January 27, 2017

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No matter the cuisine in the Tulsa Metro Area, you will find some true masters of the craft. No more is this true than in this town than with barbecue. One of the best kept secrets of truly great ‘cue in this area is Buffalo’s BBQ, just north of Tulsa at 201 N. Highway 11, Sperry, OK. The owner is famed Donny Teel, and he has gone all-in to perfect his artful handling of barbecue.

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Seven years ago, food writer Brian Schwartz began waking people up to the reality that a short drive would be a small price to pay to experience the best barbecue this area has to offer.  He put it this way:

“Out of this trailer comes the best barbecue in Tulsa. Donny Teel devotes his life to barbecue competitions and if there’s a big competition anywhere in the U.S.A. he just hitches up his trailer and drives there and chances are he’ll win first prize. He’s won dozens of awards and once or twice he’s won the BBQ equivalent of the World Series. But if there’s no contest, you have the chance to buy those award-winning ribs here. You should always phone to make sure he’s in town. It was lucky I did because though it was early in the day his daughter told me, “you better hurry we have only one rack left.””
– Brian Schwartz 2010, Original TulsaFood Article Here

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Here’s a short list of some of the titles Donny Teel has won:

Jack Daniels BBQ world Championship, Grand Champion
American Royal BBQ, Grand Champion, Grand Reserve Champion (twice)
Grand Champion in the Side Dish Contest (twice)
40+ Grand Championships in 8 states
Scored a 717.1430 out of a possible 720 in a KCBS competition
Best Pork Cook Team 2006

 

Arriving at his trailer every day by 7 a.m. to chop the wood and start the smoking, no one can question how he had won so many accolades – his work ethic or his commitment to consistent quality are the backbone of his accomplishments. And this is just a short list of the awards Teel has earned with his barbecue, so of course I had heard of Donny Teel; but I have never tried his award-winning barbecue. One sunny afternoon, I decided to change that.

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Nothing goes better with barbecue than good company, so I invited Adam Green – a relatively new face of Mac’s BBQ in Skiatook – down highway 11 to visit Teel. We confirmed that he would be in town smoking and serving during his regular hours Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or until he sells out (except when traveling to compete).

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I’m a brisket guy, so when I try someone’s barbecue for the first time, I go straight for the brisket…OK, and the ribs, too! These were both impressive and lived up to all the hype. The brisket was sliced thick and piled high, and when you bit through, it was like butter. Amazing. After that, I knew his ribs were sure to be on point. Adam ordered the pulled pork which looked as good as you could possibly imagine and we both left amply satisfied.

While making our way through the piles of smoky goodness, Adam discussed his own roots in barbecue, and how he came to own Mac’s BBQ. Adam bought Mac’s from his father-in-law, Mike McMillian, who is days away from his induction to the Oklahoma Barbecue Hall of Fame. When Teel decided to compete on a national level, he reached out to McMillian for advice and mentorship. With that knowledge, his own skill and determination, Teel began racking up both the awards and prize money at competitions across the country. I was enthralled by the history and was heartened by the connections between so many talented and accomplished masters of “Q.”

When I set out on the short trip to visit Donny Teel Buffalo’s BBQ, I thought experiencing renowned Oklahoma BBQ with a good friend was going to be the highlight of the day. But, I had the surprise of, once again, seeing how connected the food legends in and around this town truly are.

201 N Oklahoma 11 (North end of Peoria Av)

Telephone: (918) 288-6200
Address: 201 N Highway 11, Sperry, OK 74073

http://www.buffalosbbq.com/

Usually open Monday through Friday, usually till 6 PM, call ahead to be sure.

 

Joel Bein

About Joel Bein

Aside from love of family Joel is a foodie first and foremost!! From three star Michelin restaurants to hole in the wall taco shacks, there's not much he doesn't like to eat and cook. He is the chef/head dish washer of Rub, his BBQ/BBQ fusion food truck. He loves the traditional side of BBQ but also love pushing the boundaries of how people see BBQ and using smoked meat as a platform to create new dishes. He also enjoys using Rub to give back to the community through various charities and just taking it to the streets on our own to feed Tulsa's homeless. Joel has his hands full with several current projects including: Owner/Pit-Master/Chef of RUB BBQ/BBQ fusion food truck Co-owner/Pit-master of The Smoke Hole BBQ Drive Thru Co-owner/Co-creator of The Park in the Pearl, Tulsa's first and only food truck park Co-chef/Co-host of the private dinner series, Adventures in "Q" Managing Editor of the food truck section for Tulsafood.com

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