Barbecue Bologna {Oklahoma Prime Rib}

If you live in Oklahoma, you probably know all about barbecue bologna, also known as Oklahoma Prime Rib.

If you are not from Oklahoma, you might think I am a bit crazy for posting a recipe involving bologna. But my husband has been trying to get me to post about barbecue bologna for quite a while now and I finally decided it was time to share this Oklahoma specialty with all of you.

After all we would not want to keep the secret of barbecue bologna all to ourselves here in Oklahoma.

And actually, I have no idea if this is just an Oklahoma thing. I do know that I had not heard of it until moving to Oklahoma. And a lot of people here call it Oklahoma Prime Rib, so maybe it is just an Oklahoma thing.

Now, really some of you may think I am joking about barbecue bologna, but I am not. It truly is served and loved by many people here in Oklahoma. Almost every barbecue restaurant that you eat at will have it on the menu.

My first experience with barbecue bologna was years ago, at a really nice barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma City, where my in-laws took us to eat. I looked at the menu, with all the high end steaks and meat, and saw barbecued bologna, and could not believe bologna was on the menu. My husband and in-laws could not believe that I had never had, or even heard of barbecue bologna.

Well, let’s just say that barbecue bologna is not something on many menus, or dinner tables, in Oregon. The only way I had ever had or seen bologna was the kind that you buy sliced in the package at the store. The kind you eat on a regular old sandwich. But I quickly learned that in Oklahoma they take their bologna seriously.

Now you will meet a few Okies that do not like this specialty, but most enjoy it. Last month we served this at a church picnic and I could not believe how popular it was. My husband thought that there would be plenty of meat with just barbecue pork and barbecue bologna, but I insisted we also do chicken because I was not sure many people would eat the bologna.

Well, was I wrong. I think more people ate bologna than anything else. Everyone Okay almost everyone loved it.

Now here is where I admit, that although my family loves barbecue bologna, I am not a huge fan of it. I have told my husband many times that bologna is bologna no matter how you serve it. But since the rest of my family, and most of our friends and family enjoy it, I do fix barbecue bologna a few times a year.

Now, after all that are you curious how it is done. It is actually really easy.

Now, do you all think I am crazy? Or have you had barbecue bologna?

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. Never heard of it before! But I was known to fry up a slice or two of bologna when I was a kid. Yum! :)

  2. I have never heard of this! Where I lived in Indiana, however, it seemed common to throw cut up hotdogs (or the mini ones) in a crockpot with barbecue sauce and eat them that way. I had never had that either. I love learning about different “regional specialties”. So interesting!

  3. How unusual! I’ve never heard of this!

    My FBF hop is up again, hope you can link up again this week!
    ~Carolyn
    Flash Back Friday #11

  4. Never heard of this before, but we do have ‘baloney burgers’ up here (just thick slices of bologna bbq’d, like a burger, complete with all the toppings!) or ‘newfie steak and eggs’ which is just fried bologna and eggs…. but, its true, you have to use ‘high quality’ bologna for these (if there is such a thing…) =)

  5. My dad is from near Pittsburgh, PA and they have something there they call “ring bologna” ~ this would work great with that! Now I am curious to try this! And, Joy ~ I think we all love fried bologna!! =)

  6. wow! i was born and bred in Oklahoma and have never heard of this….how interesting!

    • @leah belle, That makes 2 of us. I spent the first 17 years of my life in OK and never heard of it. Checked with a couple brothers still living there…they never heard of it either.

      • @Anne, I wonder if it is regional even with in Oklahoma. We saw it at bbq places in the OKC area when we lived there and my husband grew up in NE OK and that is where we live now and almost all the bbq places have it on the menu. So, it could be certain parts of OK or certain types of bbq restaurants.

  7. I’m from MN so bologna ranks right there with hotdogs, not sure what they’re made of but kids like them.

    This sounds like a similar take on spam but opposite. Living in MN the home of spam we joke about it and try to find all kinds of weird ways to make it but in Hawaii it’s a delicacy. Huh? So to each their own. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  8. Oh my word…I moved to Oklahoma from Kansas City, MO a few years ago and was introduced to this…oddity? My husband loves it (as does his whole family). I figure, I’ve gone this long without eating bologna (maybe when I was very young, but I don’t remember) that I see no reason to start now…lol. However, I think I’ll tell my father-in-law about cutting it before he smokes it next time.

    • @Bri, That is kind of how I felt about it after I first moved here. :) I think the cutting just helps the smoked flavor go through the bologna a little better. Plus you can pour some rub in that area also.

  9. Never barbecued it but I grew up eating fried bologna sandwiches. Yum! Haven’t had one in at least a decade but boy were they good. White bread (it’s the only kind of sandwich I prefer to eat with white bread), bologna, cheese, a little mayo, and some mustard. Killer :)

  10. Never heard of it, but you’ve certainly given me a craving for a bologna sandwich, maybe a fried one with bbq sauce? Thanks for sharing!

  11. I’m not going to lie, that doesn’t look appetizing to me one bit. But, I have lived in OR my whole life and as you know, that is not something we eat around here! Funny how different food is in different parts of the country.

  12. I have never heard of that before! I am a major bologna lover, my secret shame, and cannot wait to try it. I’ve only ever had bologna on a sandwich or fried in a grilled cheese (waves at my Daddy). Another secret shame? We always have it in the house, even extra in the freezer. That’s how much we love it.

    And if this isn’t interesting enough some of the commenters wrote some other types of bologna dishes. Guess who’s running a search when she leaves this blog? Yup, me!

    Thanks for sharing, I’m glad you did or I probably never would have heard about this.

  13. I’ve never heard of it or had it, but now I want some! I actually have a weakness for bologna. Fried. Growing up, it was comfort food at our house. I don’t eat bologna often now, but this is really tempting. Thanks for sharing, Lynn! Tell hubby he was right … we needed to know about barbecue bologna. :-)

    Shirley

  14. I grew up eating BBQ bologna in Wyoming but my Grandfather was from OK and he did all the cooking so I guess it makes sense.

    He cooked it on the grill low-and-slow in the summer and rubbed it down with mustard and brown sugar and baked it in the winter. Emeril Lagasse has a great “fancy” recipe (uses dijon mustard) posted on line.

    I make it a couple of times a year for parties and potlucks and it is always very popular. I have never tried dry rub though and I think that sounds very yummy.

    • @Melissa,
      I’m a lifelong OKie, and my family (myself included) love the smoked bologna. The mustard & brown sugar sounds awesome. Can’t wait to try it! In my area of the state (northeast), smoking is pretty much a sport, or favorite pastime. My husband will try smoking just about anything with fur, feathers, or fins, and bologna too!

  15. My dad used to smoke bologna when I was a kid but I haven’t had it in years! He didn’t put the rub on it, he only sliced it in half and put it on the smoker. We all loved it. I don’t have a smoker right now but I think I am going to have to get one and try it this way :)

  16. Funny I read your post about this after telling my kids about it last night. I am from Oklahoma and so miss this. When I was telling my kids we would buy the bologna logs ans slice it ourselves, they couldn’t believe it. Every time I read your posts, you remind me of home. I am going to show the kids your post.

    • @Sabra, That is so nice to say that my blog reminds you of home. I know exactly how you feel though. I read several bloggers from Oregon and feel the same way, so it is nice to hear you feel the same way about my site. Thanks! And there is nothing quite like bbq and bbq bologna to remind a person of Oklahoma. :)

  17. Fried bologna, yes I’ve had. I like it as a rare treat as it renders some of that fat out and browns a bit. My husband has family in Wisconsin where ring bologna is completely different sort of sausage experience. Moving here to Tennessee, I first encountered Bar S chubs of bologna and other sizes of bologna beyond the typical sliced packages from my childhood in Ohio. Occasionally I’ll see 3-lb chubs of Bar S bologna appear in my local grocery, but I don’t think I’ve never seen a 5-lb one. With the variety of things smoked around here in Tennessee, I am surprised I haven’t seen it on the menu anywhere. I guess it *really* does show how regional pork preferences can be.
    It does seem a little crazy to use a rub on a sausage before smoking it. But the smoking it doesn’t seem odd, given that many sausages are smoked as a given.

  18. nope, never heard of it before. Have lived on the west coast most of my life, and now the last 8 years on the east coast….just not much inbetween. Yea, plenty of types of BBQ back here to choose from, but have not seen that on any menus yet.
    Elizabeth

  19. I AM FROM WEST VIRGINIA AND WE LOVE FRIED BOLOGNA SANDWICHES (ON WHITE BREAD, NO LESS). LOVE THIS IDEA.

  20. hmmm… never heard of smoking it. Fried… OH YEAH! I grew up calling them “boloney angels”… my mom used to cut 4 slits in them to keep the bologna from curling… reminded me of the shape of an angel. I stopped at a little restaurant in TN one day for breakfast. Imagine my shock at finding “fried bologna” as a choice of side with my fried eggs.

    And… rats! I don’t own a smoker! :o(

    • @Mama Owl, That’s right! If you don’t slit it, it does curl and won’t lie flat in the skillet. I like fried balogna just fine but my mama used to fry it until it was black. That’s not so good.

  21. I don’t have a smoker, wonder if setting the grill on low and putting the bologna on the top rack would create a similar effect, with some wood chips?

    Thoughts?

    My grill is gas

  22. Back in the 60′s there was a little joint on the side of the road on the way to Lake Benbrook in Fort Worth, Texas that had bar-b-que bologna. They had it on a spit over an electric grill and would brush it with bar-b-que sauce every few minutes. They served it sliced about 1/2 inch thick on a bun with pickle, onion and mustard. That is the only place I have ever seen it and it is awesome. I make it every once in a while because my husband and kids do not like it but my grandkids do. As a matter of fact, we are having it tomorrow night for dinner. Use good quality bologna!

  23. I’m from Tulsa and yes we love for BBq’d Bolonga. I’m now living in Arizona. I have a 5 pounder in my fridge right now that I can’t wait to put on the grill. I told some of my coworkers that once I BBq it I will bring them some.

  24. I was born in OK and raised in WY. My mom introduced us to BBQ bologna at an early age and continued cooking it for dinner when we went to WY. She did a simpler way, put the bologna cubes, sliced onion and BBQ sauce in a frying pan and turn it on. After awhile you can have some pretty decent BBQ bologna. Missed out on the smoking. When I go to Tulsa, I always try to find a good BBQ joint that has it. Next favorite thing to Coney Island Hot Dogs!
    She always made me Spam or Bologna sandwiches going to school.
    Actually, I have some bologna in the fridge earmarked for the BBQ

  25. I just bought an electric smoker last week. I am definitely going to be trying this! I love me some grilled bologna, so why not smoked???? I’m thinking applewood….

  26. My father’s family lives in Tulsa, and I grew up on BBQ bologna. So naturally I thought every knew of it and had tried it! Wrong! And yes people think I’m crazy! I LOVE it, they only reason I didn’t serve it all the time is, no smoker! But my husband just bought one last week and yes it will be on my Christmas dinner menu! :-)

  27. David Collier says:

    Not to bust the Oklahoma BBQ Bologna bubble but my dad told me he had eaten BBQ Baloney (as we here in Texas call it) since he was a little kid and he would have been 85 this year. My in-laws in Louisiana had never heard of it though until I introduced it to them a few years ago. I do like the nickname ‘Oklahoma Prime Rib’ though. Down here a lot of us call it ‘Poor man’s round steak’ but that’s not hardly true anymore. Decent bologna such as Boars Head can be as much or more than some cuts of steak. I saw you were using BarS brand. Personally don’t care for it. Too many preservatives,nitrates, and salt. Happy cookin’!!!

  28. David Stone says:

    Back in the 70′s, I remember the parents used to BBQ a 5lb bologna each weekend on a rotisserie in the grill (instead of a smoker) along with the obligatory burgers and hotdogs for neighborhood block parties or little league family get-togethers.

    Very similar to your recipe, but instead of one deep cut to allow smoke inside, they would make shallow spiral crisscross cuts about 1/2″ deep all around the bologna from end-to-end to make a nice diamond pattern. Then, it went onto the spinning rotisserie spit over hot coals where it was basted regularly with thick BBQ sauce while it cooked until browned and the BBQ sauces was caramelized.

    It was then sliced for sandwiches or sometimes just cubed and served with toothpicks on a large party platter with a bowl of more BBQ sauce in the center. Good times.

    Regarding the taste of bologna, I agree with David Collier above. Not to knock Bar-S, but there are noticeable differences in quality of any type of processed meat across brands.

    • I bet it would be really good cooked on a rotesseie in the grill. That sounds good. And I usually buy the Bar-S because that is the only one I can find in the large size. I will have to look around at other stores to see if I can find a different brand next time. Thanks for sharing that!

  29. Billmish says:

    Try it on a toasted bun with cole slaw. AMAZING

  30. Michael Bennett says:

    Howdy mam, I live in Tulsa and before that it was Los Angeles. Being originally from these parts I was familiar with what I call smoked baloney. When I was in LA some mexicans turned me on ceviche at a cinco de mayo celebration so next year I came with my Okie specialty, bbq bologna. They really liked it. It goes well with an ice cold dos equis and hot pico de gallo. Mike Bennett

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