BBQ Joint Stew

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A tantalizing blend of slow-smoked meats, hearty vegetables, and savory spices, simmered to perfection in a mouthwatering barbecue sauce are all components in this BBQ Joint Stew.

bbq joint stew

I love recipes that spring from practicality and this stew is a shining example of that. Most folks call this Brunswick Stew, but call it whatever you want! It’s completely delicious. 

At the first sign of chill in the air, BBQ joints here in the South start cranking out this delicious stew. It helps them use up any leftover shredded pork and chicken that they may have. By mixing in their signature bbq sauce (my No. 5 signature bbq sauce recipe is in my cookbook in case you need one) and whatever vegetables they have on hand, they can turn out a flavorful and filling stew unlike any other.

So today I’m going to show you how simple this is to make in your own home. I’ll show you how I did it using what I had on hand but feel free to make this stew in the spirit it was created by modifying it to use whatever you have on hand at your house.

Serve this Stew with some Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe or Recipes With Jiffy Cornbread and you will have the perfect dinner.

 Why You’ll Love BBQ Joint Stew:

  • Flavorful Fusion: BBQ Joint Stew combines the rich smokiness of barbecue with the heartiness of a stew, resulting in a unique and irresistible flavor combination.
  • Easy to Modify: This stew features whatever meats you have, whatever veggies you prefer…it’s a totally customizable template!
  • Robust and Comforting: The savory spices and robust barbecue sauce infuse the stew with a deep, comforting taste that warms both the body and the soul, making it a perfect comfort food choice.

Ingredients You Need:


You’ll need: Bottle of BBQ Sauce (your preference), 2 cans whole kernel corn, onion, whole fryer, potatoes, and about two cups of vegetable or bean of your choice (I’m using frozen baby limas).

I’m just using chicken but you can use chicken, pork, whatever you have. You can also buy a rotisserie chicken if you like and just use canned broth. See how easy this is to modify?

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make BBQ Joint Stew

put onion and chicken in the pot

Cover your chicken with water and add your onion. Cook it til it cries uncle, or at least stops putting up a fight.

chicken for stew

Then remove chicken from broth. Let cool while you continue making the stew.


Here is our broth, all rich and wonderful. You don’t have to make your own, though. You are welcome to just stew some chicken breasts until done in canned broth if you like. If you go that route, I’d say you need about 32 ounces (four to five cups or so). Don’t stress over exact quantities, just eyeball it and trust your gut.

Trusting my gut has served me better than I could ever tell you. I’ll write about that one of these days.

add corn to stew

To that broth that is left add two cans of drained whole kernel corn.

Whatever was on sale last time you got groceries would be fine because corn can’t read so it has no idea if it is a generic or name brand.

It all acts the same in bbq joint stew.

peel and chop potatoes for bbq joint stew

Peel and chop up your potatoes.

add in beans and other vegetables

Add in your beans and/or other vegetables. I’m using frozen baby lima beans.

add in bbq sauce

Now add in a whole bottle of bbq sauce.

I am using this kind because Dollar General had it when I sent my husband to buy some.

My favorite bbq sauce is the one I developed myself, Old No. 5, and the recipe for it is in my cookbook if you’d like the recipe and kind of funny story behind it.

I make it every few months in a big old batch and then can it. The thing is, I usually end up giving half of it away as gifts and the rest we eat right away on pork chops, chicken, etc, so I don’t have any on hand to show you today.

Oh, if you like your stew on the spicier side, use spicier bbq sauce in your bbq joint stew.

add shredded chicken back into the pot

Remove your chicken from the bone and shred it well. Add it back to the pot.

add salt and pepper to bbq joint stew


Season with salt and pepper and simmer, stirring often, for about half an hour, or until veggies are done all the way

(I used those frozen limas so they need a full thirty minutes).

How to Serve your Stew

bbq joint stew

Serve hot with saltine crackers, or a crusty bread. And be ready to go back for seconds!



BBQ Joint Stew


  • 1 bottle bbq sauce
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn drained
  • 1-2 cups baby lima beans or whatever beans you want to use
  • 1 whole fryer
  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes peeled and chopped (use more potatoes if you need stew to go further)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste I start with a teaspoon of each but always end up adding twice that!


  • Place fryer in stock pot and cover with water. Add chopped onion. Cook over medium heat for about an hour, or until fully done and fall apart tender. Remove chicken from stock and set aside to cool. Add all other ingredients to stock and stir well. Debone and shred chicken and add back to pot. Add in Salt and Pepper. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer, stirring often, for about half an hour or until vegetables are fully cooked. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed (I like a LOT of pepper in mine).
  • *This is excellent with a bit of hot sauce.
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


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  1. Christy…just gotta throw in a can of tomatoes (drained and chopped) adds just a little flavor and pretty to boot!!

  2. Isn’t it amazing how the same recipes travel to different regions in the south? Brunswick stew is served in all the barbecue joints here in southeastern NC; same recipe as you have in Alabama. Great for chilly weather!

      1. I’m making this recipe as I type, but I wouldn’t call it authentic Brunswick Stew. I’m from Brunswick, GA.

        1. I must say that you never claimed it to be any type of Brunswick Stew. I followed your recipe, using only one very large potato, a small pack of frozen baby limas, etc. Added a bottle of BBQ sauce. Then added some Chef Paul Prudhomma’s Magic Pepper Sauce and some genuine Tobasco Sauce. Otherwise there was no variation. It did take quite a lot of water to cover the whole chicken. Therefore it took a good while to reduce the water by simmering. Tastes very good. Thank you. I will be doing this again.

  3. Hi Christy. I have been meaning to drop you a line to tell you that you are an absolute delight anf a great ambassador for our beloved Deep South. Your quotations and sayings are wonderful and and I enjoy reading them and applying them to my life. With all this being said, your recipes are excellent and are very Southern. Thank you for making each day bright like a ray of sunshine.

  4. It’s rainy and chilly here today in NC and I am making a 16 bean with ham mix. If I had seen your post first I would be having the BBQ Joint Stew. I love that stuff. Have a great weekend. Weather is improving soon.

  5. I’m loving this Southern Cooking stuff! You Southerners really have those yummy flavors figured out. This BBQ Joint Stew is beyond excellent & high in flavor. I used my crock pot, I put 6 breasts in & chicken broth, then followed the directions for the rest of it & I did add several shakes of hot sauce as per suggestion. Awesome! Thank-you!

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