Diners lining up to be served at new restaurant

Connye Griffin
A Smokin’ Jones employee prepares take-out from behind the counter.
Corny bread, potato salad, coleslaw, brisket, pulled pork, and cheesy sausage.

Two years ago Mike Jones opened Jones Outpost in Montreal where diners count on tasty, crisp fried chicken, lobster, “katfish,” and onion rings served hot and fresh. Helping Jones deliver good food is a staff of good people — so many that Jones needed more space and places for them all. They earned his faith in them, and he favored them with another restaurant, Smokin’ Jones on Business 5 in Camdenton, north of the courthouse.

Opened in September 2020 as a pandemic rolled across the land, Jones took another leap of faith, and that leap has paid off. One local fan of Smokin’ Jones says the barbecue is righteous — just another way of saying it’s genuine and excellent. Jones says the reason is as simple as the barbecue process, beginning with quality meat smoked slowly using local Ozark hickory and ending in portions guaranteed to satisfy.

Smokin’ Jones often sells out before the close of business, especially on Friday and Saturday nights even though the daily roast consists of 20 briskets, 40 slabs of ribs, 16 pork butts, three hams, and eight turkeys. Brisket is the big seller, but turkey and pulled pork are close seconds. Another popular menu item is a specialty known as the Hillbilly Bowl, made with smoked brisket and bacon, pepper jack cheese, fried potatoes, onions, peppers, and Alabama white or house sauce drizzled on top. It’s a platter in a bowl.

Another specialty is a dessert known as Memphis Mafia Pie, named in honor of Elvis’s mafia — his entourage of friends and cousins. Everyone in Elvis’s squad knew he loved a chocolate-peanut butter-bacon-banana sandwich better than any other so the Memphis Mafia Pie has each of those flavors baked right in. At Smokin’ Jones, however, dessert choices change daily so diners may want to inquire or check Facebook announcements to see if that Memphis marvel is on the menu.

Portions are generous at Smokin’ Jones, and that includes 12 different sides. One of them is unique to Smokin’ Jones: it’s cheesy corn, tasting exactly as its name suggests. In addition, barbecue fans can count on a creamy mayonnaise coleslaw, beans rich and thick with brisket meat, potato salad, garlic butter baby reds, sweet pickles, and white beans with ham.

Mike Jones enjoys working, loves cooking, and likes meeting the challenge of owning and cooking for two different restaurants. He also values hard-working, loyal people so much that he opened Smokin’ Jones to give them another place to work. They share his mission: serve good barbecue in the fine tradition of Missouri, one of the top 10 states for barbecue in the United States.  Camdenton is now one fine destination for righteous Missouri barbecue, prepared the Mike Jones way.

A slab of ribs.
Brisket is the big seller, but turkey and pulled pork are close seconds.

Smokin’ Jones

1174 N. Business Rt. 5, Camdenton


Open Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed Monday