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Carson's Ribs

Fully Cooked Barbecue Goodies Delivered Overnight

by Jeff Hoyt

Boneless BBQ Pork Chops can be delivered straight to your door from Carson's Ribs
Boneless BBQ Pork Chops

When temperatures heat up, Americans heat up their grills, but a legendary restaurant wants to make sure that barbecue season never ends. Carson's Ribs, a Chicago institution, offers overnight delivery of their fully cooked barbecue products from coast to coast in special containers, so they are ready to heat and eat.

In our sample, the styrofoam broke during shipping, but the contents were still intact. According to spokesperson Donna Giannis, dry ice keeps the meat frozen for up to 48 hours. Our large package, dubbed the Lifesaver Combo Feast*, left Chicago at 6 p.m. local time Thursday, and arrived at our Los Angeles office the next afternoon, less than 24 hours later, with the dry ice still doing its job. We put everything but the two demibaguettes of bread in the fridge, where the meat could thaw and the fixings could stay cool.

Different packages are available, but the star of this show is a slab of just over 1-3/4 lb. pounds of fully cooked pork loin back ribs sealed in plastic and soaking in barbecue sauce that can be reheated on the grill or in the oven. After basting them on the grill with more sauce, the ribs were meaty and tender. The saucy package of two ½-pound fully-cooked center cut boneless barbecue pork chops, after basting and grilling, were substantial, their meat flavor standing up to the sauce. Besides soaking in it en route, the meat came with an additional pint bottle of Carson’s signature barbecue sauce, which surprisingly contains anchovies. The concoction, labeled “Art in a Bottle,” is sweet at first, but not cloyingly so, and has a satisfying vinegary aftertaste. “I don’t know if it’s the vinegar in the sauce, but the meat ships so well,” says Giannis proudly.

Baby Back Pork BBQ Ribs from Carson's Ribs company
Baby Back Pork BBQ Ribs

The heat-and-serve bread is a fine accompaniment, and can be used to sop up dripping barbecue sauce. Only the pound of frozen au gratin potatoes didn’t stand out. Despite their satisfying texture, they were very bland. Instead, splurge on a $5.75 side order of a pint of “homemade” cole slaw, which was tangy and tasty, and repeated the vinegar themes from the barbecue sauce. Dessert consists of a pair of hearty, thick, chewy extra-large chocolate espresso brownies from La Mousse, a Los Angeles-based bakery.

The Lifesaver Combo Feast*, which serves two to four people and includes everything above except the cole slaw for $99.75 delivered, even came with four bibs, and they certainly came in handy. And after the meat was gone, the bottle of sauce proved to be a valuable addition to our pantry.

*Editor's note: The Lifesaver Combo Feast is not currently available. A similar package costs $99 (plus $20 for shipping) and includes two full slabs of ribs, a pint bottle of Carson's signature barbecue sauce, two pounds of frozen au gratin potatoes and one pint of cole slaw.

Fully Cooked Carson's Barbecue delivered overnight. Different packages are available. To order, visit or call 888-999-RIBS.

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