BBQ Joint Stew

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.

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?

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. I am making your BBQ Joint Stew right now, that’s how good your recipe looked. Chicken is almost ready to come out of the stew pot to cool. Everything else is ready to be added to broth.

  2. I’ve often thought about canning stews because I don’t like the texture of frozen potatoes when reheating freezer leftovers. Any tips on how to pressure can this? This and the chicken stew is great!

    1. Hi John, I don’t own a pressure canner, although it is on my list for “someday”, so I can’t really answer that. There should be instructions on how to can stews included with your pressure canner and those would be the best to go by.

  3. Christy, I made this tonight! It is wonderful and yes- you spice it up or down depending on the BBQ sauce you choose to use! It is great for both dark and light meat chicken fans— only trouble will be the fighting over what leftovers may be in the fridge the next day! Great with cornbread or grilled cheese…
    Thanks so much!

    Winette in Virginia (author of Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee Cookbook, Celebrate Virginia! Cookbook, and Very Virginia Christmas Cookbook)

  4. Christy this sounds so yummy! I make soup all year round as love soup. Plus soup always makes a lot for minimal amount of money. I always have plenty to share with my neighbors. I truly do break all the rules about just eating it in the cooler weather.

  5. Christy, I just finished making this delightful stew! I did a few things differently, but only so I could use up some canned goods taking up space in my pantry. I used green peas, corn, a can of okra/tomato/corn mix, fresh red potatoes, the onion, and some all purpose seasoning. I made the broth with chicken legs I got on the cheap today. Oh, and I used the BBQ sauce of course! I used the Sweet Baby Ray’s because I have been wanting to try it. Awesome flavor!

    At the end I added some broken up angel hair pasta, but only a tiny bit. I’m taking most of this to my Aunt who is under the weather, and she loves pasta in her soups so I did it for her. I will let you know how she likes it. She jumped all over it when I told her it would have BBQ sauce in it. That surprised me, lol, as she is usually a purist.

    As for me, I plan to make it again and again. It is so different and hearty and tasty! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Christy, you mentioned using a rotisserie chicken and I thought that sounded like a great idea for a quicker version. Is there any difference in the recipe when substituting it for the boiled bird? I have always wanted to try to make this and this recipe sounds so super easy. Oh and how big of a pot do you need? 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

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