Wicked Smoke brings Memphis BBQ to Waterloo - Republic-Times | News

Wicked Smoke brings Memphis BBQ to Waterloo

By on August 9, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Pictured out back by the smokers are Wicked Smoke owners Lance Kingston and Chrissy Sperduto. The restaurant is located at 951 N. Illinois Route 3 in Waterloo. (Corey Saathoff photo)

Waterloo’s newest restaurant was inspired by two former residents who desired to share their love of Memphis-style barbecue back home.

Lance Kingston and Chrissy Sperduto opened Wicked Smoke Bar-B-Que at 951 N. Illinois Route 3 in Waterloo last Tuesday. They’ve had trouble keeping up with customer demand ever since — and also catching up on sleep.

“It’s a lot of work and it gets tiring, but I really do enjoy it,” said Kingston, a 1995 Waterloo High School graduate. “There’s still a learning curve right now until we get a feel for how many regular customers we will have.”

Kingston, the lone pitmaster of the BBQ operation, goes in at about 1 a.m. daily to start the smoking process and sometimes does not get home until around 9 p.m.

Kingston and Sperduto were living in Memphis — where Kingston was working for the railroad — when they decided it was time for a change. Neighbors and friends in Memphis had enjoyed Kingston’s home cooking, so they started thinking of ways to turn that into a career.

“He just didn’t want to be on the road so much anymore. We originally thought about doing a food truck, then it just sort of evolved into this,” Sperduto explained.

All of the meat at Wicked Smoke is smoked fresh on-site daily using hickory and cherry wood to fire two 1,700-pound, six-foot-wide by four-foot-deep Myron Mixon smokers. Each smoker holds up to 35 gallons of water, or an apple juice mixture, to aid in the cooking process…>>>

Read the rest of this story in the August 9 issue of the Republic-Times.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.