Time to break out the smoker and tear into some brisket. May 16 is National Barbeque Day. CONTRIBUTED

Break out the napkins: It’s National Barbecue Day

The forthcoming Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s this week, it feels like the season has come early. With summer comes barbecue, so it works out perfectly that May 16 just so happens to be National Barbecue Day, a meat-lover’s holiday dedicated to all things grilled.

If you’re not ready to haul out the charcoal just yet, here are four spots in and around Springfield where you can grab a few platters of your favorite fare and let someone else man the grill.

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Rudy’s Smokehouse

It’s safe to say that in Springfield, everybody knows Rudy’s. This spot on the South Limestone Street corridor has been ingrained in Springfield’s food community for years, all thanks to its award-winning smoked meats and side items. Rudy’s has a flagship spot as well as a food truck, but if you can’t make it to either, don’t worry: they deliver.

Riddle’s Ribs and BBQ

This small spot on South Witterberg Avenue has gotten rave reviews from customers. A few barbecue fans have said their ribs and brisket can’t be beat, and the macaroni and cheese they offer as a side can’t be missed. Modest prices and good portions make the place a good value.

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Big Willie’s Smokehouse

This Urbana pit located on Monument Square has people going crazy over their selection of smoked meats. The turkey is a crowd favorite, but going by the reviews, none of it is to be missed. People have also said the staff, pricing and portion size — on top of great flavor — has given many a reason to come back for seconds.

Crossroads BBQ and More

This Fairborn establishment on Colonel Glenn Highway has pulled pork to die for, according to some customer reviews. People also rave about the wide variety of sauces available and the draft beer selection. Good portion sizes are another huge draw for the venue.

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