Arrogant Swine

Beer Hall Carolina Whole Hog BBQ

Filtering by Tag: North Carolina BBQ

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Remember the HOG DAYS OF SUMMER!!

BBQ Jew comments on Stephen Colbert's latest mockery of North Carolina BBQ.

Big Wayner BBQ reviews the Shizzle Jerk Marinade. Make sure to smoke something appropriately Jamaican while using this sauce!

The MEATWAVE brings us a little bit regional grilling. Behold the CORNELL Chicken. I'm always a sucker for food with a story. "Cornell chicken was born in the 1940s when a request was made by the governor of Pennsylvanian to food scientist and Cornell professor Dr. Bob Baker to develop a new chicken recipe. What Dr. Baker came up with was then brought to his home state of New York, where it has been used as a means to cook a lot of chicken quickly at Baker's Chicken Coop at the New York State Fair for over half a century."

BBQ Sauce Reviews takes a look at the "Buttula". "The BBQ Buttula is a spatula designed for moving, flipping, and handling of large chunks of meat such as pork butts, briskets and ribs."

Marie, let's eat reviews Hog Wild Barbecue in Douglasville, GA. This is one of the few places serving a Georgian regional dressing called "Hudson's Sauce". I'm down for some right now!

Texas BBQ Posse comments on the new top 50 BBQ joint list release by Texas Monthly Magazine.

Patrons of the Pit smokes up some sloppy joes on the grill. No you did not read that wrong! " Ever had a hickory smoked Sloppy Joe? If not, well, you’re missing out.  And you probably should finish reading this too , lest your Sloppy Joe’s reign ever smokeless. A sad plight indeed."

Man Up Texas BBQ visits his first lechonera in Puerto Rico. Ah how I love spinning pigs over fires so.....

Cowgirl Country Life documents the epic battle between a Red Angus and a Black Angus steer for burger dominance!

 

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Obsessive Compulsive BBQ found a 1906 ad for BBQ sold by the bucket. Colonel Sanders wasn't as pioneering as we thought.

Texas BBQ Posse knows that everyone is tired of hearing about Austin BBQ over and over again. Good thing for us, there's plenty of exciting things happening in Dallas right now which is giving Austin a run for its money.

Blue Ribbon BBQ shares a recipe for a hoppin' John Salad. Celebrate the new year right!

Patrons of the Pit makes some Country Rib BBQ Sandwiches! As you all know country ribs are not actually ribs and have no bones in them. But POP here gives us the greatest idea ever!! "This sandwich is something of an expedient pulled pork affair, for when you’re in the mood for a savory pulled pork sandwich, but you lack the time and fancy to smoke the big Boston butts for half the day long. In some ways, they are better even. A fraction of the time, and because the pieces are small to start with, you get an elevated smoke-to-meat-ratio. Every bite is not unlike the outer, most savory sections of a traditional butt, loaded with seasoning, bark, and smoke. Oh buddy!"

The MEATWAVE shares a recipe for Chorizo stuffed Poblano peppers. Oh man.... Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Memphis Que finds a BBQ pulled pork empanada at a food truck!! "It was basically the classier cousin of the fried barbecue pie I tried recently at the A&R Bar-B-Q on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Having cole slaw inside the crust added a nice extra element of texture and I liked that the sauce was served on the side so that I was able to decide how much to use instead of having a large quantity of it included in the filling the way it was at A&R. It was cheap, convenient and portable comfort food; perfect for a quick snack while strolling through an outdoor festival."

Man Up Texas BBQ shares a video tour of Austin's LA Barbecue's pit. Word has it that there are engineering secrets involved with this pit. Watch closely!

SFA's  Joe York remembers Ricky Parker who passed this week. A massive loss to the whole hog cookery world. "I paused over him and noticed that in his right hand someone had placed a single cigar between his index and bird fingers. His thumb rested, anticipatory, on the business end of the Swisher Sweet and in that moment I couldn’t help but imagine a scene in which Ricky saunters up to St. Peter, looks him up and down and says, “Well, Pete, you got a light for me or what?”"

OUR STATE reports on Sims Country BBQ in Granite Falls, NC. The joint features the best in bluegrass and BBQ. "With a smirk on his face, Keith shares one more story, about a reporter who came to write a piece on the restaurant when it opened.“The lady said, ‘I’m going to give you 10 reasons why you’ll never make it: You’re on a dirt road, you don’t allow any alcoholic beverages,’ and this, that, and the other. And I said, ‘Well, that’s fine. If I won’t make it because of that, I don’t want to make it.’ ”Two years later, Keith says, the same reporter came back for another story and apologized.

Big Wayner BBQ reviews Southern Spicy Sweet Shed Spread by THE SHED. "This sauce works very nicely as a finishing sauce on chicken, and I suspect it would do the same on pork chops and ribs as well.  The sauce thickened up very nicely when used as a finishing sauce, giving the chicken a great color.  The heat was definitely more noticeable when the sauce was used as a dipping sauce, and the heat level toned down a bit when the sauce was used as a finishing sauce.  I could use this as my ketchup replacement for French fries.  It’s that tasty!"

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

BBQ Sauce Review tests out the new Pit Barrel Cooker from the Pit Barrel Cooker Co. "The Pit Barrel Cooker also known as the PBC, is a drum cooker made from a brand new 30 gallon steel drum that has a very durable high-heat all-weather powder coated finish that is rated for 1,000º. The PBC is an American Made product that’s extremely well-made and can be used for low and slow cooking as well as grilling."

No Excuses BBQ definitely knows how to diversify his BBQ menu. This week he cooks up some Bear stew on his Keg. "The finished product was very similar to the beef stews we’ve cooked up in the past, although there was a definite gamier flavor. The meat was very lean, yet tender. And the dinner conversation was punny; it seems my children have picked up the family tradition of mangling the language at every opportunity."

Fed Man Walking gives you a behind the scenes look at the Austin Food & Wine Fest!

The MEATWAVE reviews Big Bob Gibson's White BBQ Sauce. "White sauce is made to do one thing really well, make chicken taste even better. On the grill, I think that's the best way to use white sauce, but off the grill it can accomplish much more. Beyond being a great dip for light meats like chicken and pork, white sauce would probably serve you well as a dressing for backyard side standards like potato or macaroni salad. I really like this sauce, but at the same time that the vinegar and creaminess are attractive, there's also a slight chemically flavor. It's because of this that it's knocked down a place or two—if you take the time to make your own white sauce, you'll get something better than what comes out of the bottle in my opinion."

Texas BBQ Posse thinks turkey is a may be a new permanent addition to the Texas BBQ canon. Maybe not but time will tell!

Full Custom BBQ visits Hammerhead in Louisville, KY. "Hammerheads is a great restaurant with plenty of imagination and mostly spot-on execution. The items I normally judge a joint on are the brisket and pork ribs. Here the brisket was average and the ribs were a bit overcooked. In the end these were the only items on the menu I had any qualms with, and I can't wait to get back to Louisville for another visit to Hammerheads."

BBQ Guy smokes up some meatballs wrapped in bacon, also known as "MOINKs"

DivaQ drops some tips on how to get your grill ready for grilling seasoning. "I BBQ all year round. I understand there are people that put away their BBQ’s at the end of summer –  (We need to talk people – you can BBQ in winter and fall!) You need to perform ongoing maintenance and grill inspection -remember a clean grill is a happy grill."

Man Up Texas BBQ visits Smoke Shack in San Antonio, TX. "Couple of weeks ago, I stopped in for my first visit to Smoke Shack, the San Antonio BBQ trailer that recently won a field-of-32 BBQ tournament for San Antonio. My order: pulled pork, quarter chicken (dark), brisket slider, pulled-chicken slider, two pork ribs."

Patrons of the Pit calls the cheese burger the Pit-master's thumbprint. Tell him how you cook your burger and he'll know the character of the cook. "My eldest brother has long-held to the tactic, when visiting a restaurant for the first time, that the safest, and most efficient stroke you can play there is to try their cheeseburger.  For they are not likely first off to screw it up, but more over, in a gastronomic gumshoe sort of way, you can tell a great deal about the rest of their fare, their cook, and their establishment as a whole, but from the mere details revealed in their humble hamburger. ... Likewise on the grill. It is a pit junkie’s thumb print, the hamburger.  And everybody who has flipped a patty has one. Every finger print is a little different it seems, and like a thumb into an ink pad, it is our most basic impression onto the BBQ arena. Want to get an idea of a pit keeper’s prowess, consider first his cheeseburger."

Big Wayner's BBQ Blog reviews Ubon's Sauce, a 5 generation recipe from Mississippi. "Ubon’s does it all and has done it all for well over 30 years.  Ubon’s Barbeque of Yazoo (and pitmaster Garry Roark) is featured year after year at the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party and has received numerous accolades.  Ubon’s is a regular on the competition circuit (and especially at Memphis in May).  Garry’s daughter Leslie is a partner in the restaurant/catering/sauce business as well as the rib & chicken cook for the competition team.  And having the pleasure of meeting the entire Ubon’s family at Memphis in May last year, I can say with 100% confidence that they are some of the nicest people I know!"

Grilling with Rich share Dave (FAMOUS DAVE'S) Anderson's story on his sauce development as well as his children's suffering from it. "I have endured the wrath of my children when they were younger, still in school, and they would get up early in the morning only to discover a kitchen basically ransacked with my fruit peelings, mashed herbs, seasoning grindings, dirty bowls, sauce splattered kitchen stove…and they had to push everything aside on the kitchen table just to find a place to eat their cereal. They were also mad at me sometimes because they hated going to school smelling like onions, garlic, or smoke!"

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Texas BBQ Posse alerts us to John Lewis of LA Barbecue's uber secret smoker. Lewis already well hailed as one of the top 5 talents in the Austin BBQ scene. While others guard their secret sauce, Lewis guards his pit design.

Marie Let's Eat visits Cabin Creek BBQ in Nicholson, GA. Takeaway is skip the BBQ and stay for the Bruinswick stew. "What I do want to note here is that this is some of the best Brunswick stew that I have ever had. It is astonishing, incredibly rich and meaty and seasoned just perfectly. It is thick and red and will leave you melting into a happy and content puddle. If any of you good people are missing the legendary stew of Harold’s in Atlanta, this might make for a pretty good replacement in your affections. I consider it up there with Turn-Around and Speedi-Pig as worth considering among the best in Georgia."

Grilling with Rich lists the top 10 must have products for the upcoming grilling season!

BBQ Nation shares his recipe for Andouille Sausage Sandwich with Spicy Sriracha Slaw. This sausage bites back!

Embers and Flames reviews the new All Fired Up: Smokin’ Hot BBQ Secrets From The South’s Best Pitmasters by Troy Black and Southern Living.

Big Wayner BBQ Blog reviews Fox Bros BBQ Sauce. "Honestly, I was ready to write this sauce off.  I tried it on chicken in a few different combinations – as a finishing sauce, as a marinade, and as a condiment.  Out of those three, I was happiest with it used as a condiment, and even then it was just okay.  It gave great color when used as a finishing sauce, but I just wasn’t thrilled with the flavors it added."

BBQ Zen's new book. Crossroads of BBQ, is now out! Check out the Austin Chronicle's review!

Obsessive Compulsive Barbecue shares his famous Old Virginia Barbecue sauce. "Here is a delicious version of an old VA BBQ sauce inspired by a 19th century VA BBQ man named Shack. It has no sugar in it, so sweet sauce fans may want to stay away." This sauce is actually really popular on the BBQ Forums. I know I'm a fan.

Memphis Que knows about Tex-Mex but Ten-Mex? Check out his discovery of a pulled pork Taco at a Mexican joint in Memphis.

Cowgirl's Country Life gets offers from both the Food Network AND the Cooking Channel! Sadly for us she isn't taking either.

BBQ Jew shares with us a detailed history of BBQ in Goldsboro, NC by one of his readers. Someone's put a lot of homework in this piece!

The MEATWAVE is ready for Cinco De Mayo with some grilled chorizo! Now he isn't just grilling some chorizo, he's actually MAKING his own. Click on for the recipe.

No Excuses BBQ is too busy for low and slow! So hot and fast was the order of the day with his BBQ brisket. "The result was a flat that was slightly drier than I prefer, but one that still had a nice smoke ring and mesquite flavor. The point was very moist when chopped; my only regret was not having time to turn it into burnt ends."

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

The MEATWAVE notes that "Bacon = awesome. Barbecue = awesome. So bacon barbecue should equal double awesome, right?" Well maybe not. Check out his review of Pigchaser Bacon BBQ Sauce.

Obsessive Compulsive BBQ brings us another fantastic history lesson. The Great Boston BBQ of 1793 - Whole Ox and the French Revolution. Why didn't they teach me this in school?

Chopsticks + Marrow talks about whole hog BBQ coming to Long Island City, NYC. About time the weekly news round up included a story about me no? "Ho knows a thing or two about whole hog and prepared the hog in the classic Carolina style. He and his crew chopped it up with two cleavers in what seemed like a matter of minutes. Bits of crunchy skin and succulent flesh were mixed with vinegar, hot pepper, and little else. Served with a side of slaw, the resulting product was so good I ate two portions."

Texas BBQ Posse visits Opie's Barbecue in Spicewood, TX. "Once inside the door, I knew I was in trouble. The huddled masses had been extremely hungry for Easter lunch. They were out of ribs and brisket, so I settled on pork tenderloin and jalapeño and cheese sausage. ... It' hard to judge a joint on tenderloin and sausage, but I can report both were very good. I took advantage of the warm vinegar-based BBQ sauce to add some flavor to the tenderloin. I'm not a big sauce guy, but this was some of the best I've tasted along the Texas BBQ trail."

Grilling with Rich reviews the SHED BBQ & Blues Joint Junk Free Barbecue Sauce Products. Well wasn't that a mouthful? The Southern Sweet sounds particularly tasty.

Marie Let's Eat visits Shuford's Smokehouse in Chattanooga, TN. "There are certainly some other good places around Hamilton County to get good barbecue, but Shuford’s is my new favorite in the area. This pulled pork is really rich and smoky. So is the sauce, which is a dark, sweet and smoky brew that mixes incredibly well with the meat. I went with baked beans and slaw as my sides and enjoyed them both a lot. I also loved the very cute garnish of a green onion on the plate. Two hundred plus barbecue joints at this blog and I am still being pleasantly surprised by unique little touches like that."

Ulika BBQ cooks a whole hog Asado style for Mule Day. I don't have farking clue what Mule Day is but I'm celebrating it from now on!!

Memphis Que finds a BBQ fried Pie! No not pie in a BBQ joint, fried pies filled with BBQ. "It turns out the pies are available with pork, beef, chicken or turkey filling... when it came out it was way too hot to eat or hold. I had to poke some steam holes in it with a fork and let it cool down. .. At $4.99 before tax the fried barbecue tax compares well to a barbecue sandwich in both price and volume. It is loaded with barbecue sauce as well as meat and ends up being similar to a barbecue-stuffed chimichanga, i.e., similar to a pothead's greatest dream"

No Excuses BBQ discovers his inner french chef and makes a Turkey a la Orange on the smoker! Words of wisdom from the wise chef "run away from all those l’Orange sauce recipes on the Interwebs that suggest using chicken broth as one of the ingredients. Trust me, there are a lot. Also trust me, and don’t use them if you want a sauce that tastes like oranges, not chicken soup with Tang".

Another Pint Please throws some bacon wrapped Jalapeno shrimp poppers on the grill. Nuff said.

Man Up Texas BBQ announces the winner of the San Antonio Barbecue Madness Tournement: Smoke Shack!!

Cowgirl's Country Life realized that this week's New from around the BBQ Blogsphere needs more bacon. And thus she throws in her bacon wrapped beer battered pickles! "One or two of these hot out of the oil make a meal for me.    Yea... I probably should eat healthier meals but once in awhile I crave these things. :)"

Fed Man Walking revisits Sam's Bar-B-Que in Austin, TX. Seems like they're off his top 10 Austin's best list. "And the cutter? He had no interest in slicing from any part of that newly unfoiled brisket besides the part directly in front of his knife. Not the ebony-crusted fatty end, just the pale, flaccid lean side that looked and tasted like cafeteria brisket."

Don O's Texas BBQ is running out of room in his freezer to store all the BBQ brisket he's bringing back from Lockhart!

Patron's of the Pit lives up north. Now up north here, mother nature is a jerk because occassionally after the advent of spring, she'll dump some more snow and cold on us. Patron welcomes back winter with some BBQ Chicken. "Perhaps this is the reason you never hear our state mentioned on the same pages like that of Texas, South Carolina, and Kansas City, when it comes to BBQ. If those blokes had to BBQ in sub-zero temperatures for fifty percent of the year, perhaps we northern wannabes would tally a might higher in their counts."

DivaQ makes a Memphis style pulled pork sandwich. Makes you want to give up always associating Memphis with ribs.

Southern Foodways shares a fantastic podcast on King's BBQ in Petersburg, Virginia. I promise the best thing you'll listen to all week.

Embers and Flames shares a tasty Pit Sauce from the new book Wicked Good Burgers. Baste your burgers today!

 

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Blue Ribbon BBQ Blog could just "hog" their amazing Tennessee BBQ sauce made with Jack Daniel's Old #7. They could but they didn't and are sharing the same sauce their customers crave with YOU. Thank them by ordering more ribs, cuz life's too short for half slabs.

Big Wayner's BBQ Blog visits North Carolina legend Wink's King of BBQ & Seafood. " The BBQ was perfectly moist – not too dry and not overly sauced coming out of the kitchen.  It had a fine-to-medium chop and possessed a nice nutty flavor courtesy of the wood used in the smoking process.  It did not need any additional sauce; however additional sauces are available on the table if so desired.  The slaw (a vinegar-based slaw, very much a Carolinas specialty) had just the right amount of tang and crunch.  Again, great balance here."

DivaQ shares a video on how to make Texas style beef ribs. I can tell you from experience, making a good beef rib is very very very hard. Watch with pad and pencil ready!

Bob's Brew & Cue cooks up a weird "min Brisket". "I love the point far more than the flat of the brisket and here was a small grass-fed brisket from my favorite Humboldt County producer. Purchased! Woke up Sunday morning, fired the pit and took a look at my little brisket point, and was surprised to see, it as a full 4 pound packer, well, a weird, tiny, 4 pound packer with the smallest, thinnest excuse for a flat I have ever seen. By the time I got done trimming off the membrane and such, it was probably around 3 pounds."

Marie Let's Eat visits Judge Bean's BBQ in Brentwood,TN. "I’ve yet to have a plate of barbecue in middle Tennessee that really knocked my socks off, but Judge Bean’s has come fairly close. This is very good pulled pork,... Perhaps we might make the argument that it’s better to consider the quality of Texas-themed barbecue by trying their brisket, but I’m a Georgia boy, and barbecue means pork to me. Oh, I enjoy chicken and brisket and beef ribs just fine as occasional changes from the routine, but I think that a place stands or falls on the quality of its pork. This is smoked overnight over hickory and is very tender and just a little dry."

Texas BBQ Posse visits with Pitmaster Travis Mayes at Meshack's Bar-B-Que Shack in Garland, TX. "Travis and Donna Mayes opened the now legendary Meshack's Bar-Be-Que Shack in May 2009. They led the way to a renaissance of Dallas barbecue that has been exhilarating, including the opening of Pecan Lodge andLockhart Smokehouse. New joints continue to open in the D/FW area almost monthly now, some good, some bad."

Zen BBQ shares the story of a church pastor whose day job is being a BBQ pitmaster. I'm sure his ribs must be heavenly. Afterall, he has God on his side. When I attended services at Reverend Hodge’s church one Sunday, I met a guest preacher named Reverend Jimmie Cobbin. After I asked him if he ever cooked barbecue, he smiled and said, ‘Funny you should ask.’ As it turned out, Cobbin operated a barbecue stand in Richmond called Jimmie’s Ribs for several years.”

BBQ Jew tells the curious tale of Guy Parker's BBQ Sauce. "I used to regularly travel to Goldsboro for work and was always curious about the vacant but tidy Guy Parker’s Barbeque Restaurant near the edge of downtown.  I never did figure out the story behind the restaurant until seeing this interesting article.  Between Guy Parker’s and Scott’s, Goldsboro is becoming a barbecue town known as much for its ghosts (and their sauce) as for its existing restaurants."

The MEATWAVE says what's in everyone's mind - skewers suck. They look nice but yeah ultimately they suck. Follow his tips on making Pichos Morunos to make amazing skewers.

Embers and Flame review the new Wicked Good Burgers book by Andy Husbands, Chris Hart and Andrea Pyeson. "Wicked Good Burgers won’t teach you have to make a good burger, it won’t even teach you how to make a great burger.  It will teach you to make a perfect burger.  A perfect burger, what’s a perfect burger?  Well, a perfect burger is a burger that makes you smile when you eat it.  I love all kinds of food, cooked all kinds of different ways.  But there is something about a burger, when done correctly,  that can just make you forget almost anything else you’ve ever eaten.  If you don’t understand what I’m saying then you’ve never experienced a perfect burger and you need to buy this book and read it."

Memphis Que visits A&R BBQ's Downtown location in Memphis. After a waitress mistakenly gives his rib tips instead of ribs, she offers to replace them. "Once food has been served to a customer restaurants are required to throw it away if it is sent back, even if it hasn't been touched. In my world view it would be a crime to cause such good-looking rib tips to get tossed in the trash. And speaking of good-looking food; during my visit I also noticed some mouth-wateringly delicious looking smoked sausages coming out of the kitchen. I'll definitely be trying one of them soon."

Grilling with Rich let's BBQ LEGEND Dave Anderson tell you his story in his own words. If you're a student of BBQ or just believe in redemption and the human spirit, read and reread.

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Kevin's BBQ Joints likes to be thorough. So he visits all three locations of Phil's BBQ in San Diego! Lots of tasty photos.

BBQ Jew notes there's plenty of Bruhaha about Texas Monthly having the country's first full time BBQ editor. Sorry Texas but North Carolina's Bob Garner's been writing full time about North Carolina BBQ for a LONG time.

Don O's Texas BBQ is heading to the Houston BBQ Festival and has hits up plenty of BBQ joints on his way down!

Cowgirl's Country Life smokes up some salmon using Harry Soo's Slap Yo Daddy chicken rub and brown sugar. Looked so good it slapped me across the computer screen!

Another Pint Please is facing two problems - a snow storm and a slab of ribs that might need to go in the freezer. "Even with a winter storm warning in effect, I felt obligated to fire up the grill. I had a rack of ribs in the fridge which I refused to freeze.  Fortunately, BBQ takes precedence over inclement weather." We salute you sir!

BBQ Sauce Reviews checks out Texas Sweet Hickory and has only one BAD thing to say about it. "They only sent me one bottle". Nuf said. Go buy this sauce!

THE MEATWAVE doesn't hand our props like candy! So when he awards Rufus Teague Blazin' Hot Barbecue Sauce a stunning 8 out of 10 points that's reason to click in and check it out.

Obsessive Compulsive BBQ digs deep into American history and finds a fun little tidbit. "In the early 19th century, during the administration of president Andrew Jackson, two groves of trees were planted on the Capitol Grounds for barbecues." Read the entire article - WORTH IT!!

Fed Man Walking visits Stiles Switch in Austin, TX. "Stiles Switch is my go-to for BBQ without the BS. They’re open when they say they’re open. They cook enough meat to last the day. Even if the line wanders the 15 yards to the door, pitman and slicer Lance Kirkpatrick keeps it moving without sacrificing an affable sense of ease. I can dodge in, get a half-pound of moist brisket and be out the door in five minutes most days."

Marie let's Eat hits their 200th BBQ review! For the this milestone they hit up Texas style The Rib Ranch in Marietta, GA. "I was happy to tilt my head back and let the smoky taste of the ribs linger while considering all of the silly Texas kitsch and bric-a-brac on the walls, but Marie was keen on dessert and tried a hot fudge brownie, which she loved. I accepted her offer of a bite, expecting the cool taste of cold chocolate syrup instead of piping hot brown goo. That was an unpleasant surprise."

DivaQ smokes up a crispy duck dish. "I think duck doesn’t get used nearly as much as it should be. Its an incredibly rich dark and forgiving meat that lends itself well to many applications.  Plus I have been watching many episodes of Duck Dynasty on A&E lately and well its been making me hungry and Si cracks me up. HEY!"

Texas BBQ Posse shares two little known facts about Slow Bone BBQ, the newest joint in Dallas. I won't give it away but this line is worth quoting (concerning their BBQ Drugs sign) - " I've always believed that good BBQ is like good drugs"

Patron's of the Pit gives you tips on how to clean your pit without getting covered in ash. "Every pit should come with its own built-in Shop Vac we think. For there were times I’d wheel over the garbage can and just invert my grills and ash pans over it. The result naturally resembled something akin to loitering on the flanks of Mount St Helens after a modest eruption."

BBQ Master thinks out of the box. When I think of cabbage & BBQ I'm thinking slaw. But then I'm not a MASTER. She stuffs it with sausage and smokes it on the grill! So much I need to learn.

Memphis Que visits newly opened Razorback BBQ in West Memphis, TN. "After glancing over the menu I asked the two employees present which they thought was better between the ribs and the pulled pork. "I just took the ribs off this morning and they turned out great today," was the answer I got so I ordered a half-slab plate.The hefty portion of ribs was incredibly tender and served in my preferred dry-with-sauce-on-the-side manner. They didn't have a ton of smoke flavor but I liked the dry rub on them. The beans and slaw were both pretty standard with the slaw being creamy but not obnoxiously so."

Whole Hog BBQ - Tools of the Trade II

Rammstein is a metal band based in Germany and one of my favorite forms of musical entertainment. I like them for their tongue-in-cheek lyrics, storyline rich music videos, heavy jams and their insane feats of pyrotechnics. It is further proof that adding a flamethrower to any situation makes it all that much cooler. I’m confident that if the US Federal government would mandate the use of flame throwers in our children’s math classes, we’re probably have the highest math scores in the world – we’d also need to hold math classes outdoors which wouldn’t be too bad of an idea.

The very first time I ever smoked a pig, I had a secret weapon. I found a massive bottle of Zippo lighter fluid which, due to its utility, has very little in terms of scent. People don’t like smoking anything that tastes like gasoline. I was a GENIUS! I had all the power of lighter fluid with none of the smell!! Well turns out I was an absolute MORON as we hosed down over 80lbs of charcoal with Zippo fluid, had a big poofy fire which lasted as long as a jelly donut at fat kids camp.

So we gave in and rushed to the deli for a jug of regular charcoal lighter fluid. Lighter fluid isn’t necessary a bad thing. I know it’s BBQ orthodoxy to hate on it, but plenty of the top cookers in the world use it to start their coal. I guarantee if I had you taste their food you wouldn’t taste the fluid. Plus I like the smell of burning lighter fluid on a small scale – reminds me of childhood summers (along with burnt chicken).

But burning that much coal with that much lighter fluid is not pleasant at all. Someone suggested one time I use chimney starters. Have you ever had to start 80lbs of charcoal with chimney starters? We’d probably spend the next 3 hours just lighting coal!

So in comes the solution – a baby FLAMETHROWER!!

More specifically it’s a Lincoln Electric Inferno Propane Torch.

Like everything with whole hog BBQ it’s a great crowd pleaser. The most popular photos people take are

#1 Them standing in front of my smoker

#2 Them holding a pig’s head

#3 Them shooting flames out of my baby flamethrower.

In the annuals of badassness, this tool ranks pretty high up there. When fired up it shoots out a jet stream of fire and will get your coal lit in almost no time. It’s actually kinda disappointing sometimes how effective it is as I’d love to just burn some more stuff. It even sounds like a jet! Make no mistake, it’s loud. The first time I had my buddy work it, he darn near wet himself. And my buddy’s a tough guy! Tatted up, big muscles, bald head – scary. I swear when that fire busted out he was ready run home to his mommy. You've been warned.

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Kevin's BBQ Joints reviews Just Leave the Bones BBQ sauce. "This is hands down one of the most balanced, satisfying sauces you can find. I tried it will pulled pork, brisket, sausage, and even some secret items (to be seen later) and they all matched perfectly with this vinegar based sauce with a slight kick (not too much though). Let’s just say I am incredibly impressed by this Carolina based sauce that goes on thin enough to cover a large surface area, but with enough thickness to not be considered watery."

Patrons of the Pit knows how to impress women - caramel rolls on the charcoal grill! I'm not sure that it works but I sure am impressed! "A few blogs back we showed you how to impress a woman by baking her bread on the grill. Women chimed in from all across the blogosphere, and were impressed left and right, and a good thing had been done"

Full Custom Gospel BBQ is living the dream. Turning BBQ from a hobby to career and is now Texas Monthly Magazine's BBQ Editor. Congrats!!

Grilling with Rich tries out Fox Bros BBQ sauce. Seems like Georgia BBQ sauce is on the rise!! Watch your back Kansas City. "Overall, the barbecue sauce was great and would work perfectly on a great piece of grilled chicken and also any sort of ribs. If this is a definition of what Georgia barbecue sauces taste like, then I better start looking for more Georgia style sauces, because they are amazing!"

Texas BBQ Posse posts their top 10 blog posts of all time! I guarantee you, you don't want to miss their post on butcher paper wrapping. Pure gold.

Man Up Texas BBQ tells you where to get the best BBQ pork sandwich in all of Alabama.  "I don't get many chances to stop at one of my favorite BBQ joints, but when I do, I always pop in for a pork sandwich and iced tea. The pork sandwich at Kendall's B-B-Q in Georgiana, AL, is easily one of my favorites in the state. The pork is supple, and they put a perfect amount of sauce to complement pork and seep into the soft bun."

No Excuses BBQ shows off some photos of his "ugly ribs". I'm not sure what he's looking at, they look sexy to me!

BBQ Geek visits Quick Bite Bu-Ba-Q in Woodstock, GA.. "This day we sampled ribs and pulled pork.  I thoroughly enjoyed my ribs - properly smoked and not overcooked.  But as you can see in the picture, the pulled pork was over-pulled and dry (aka hammered).  The pork was the same for my wife and daughter's pulled pork sandwiches."

BBQ Nation has a grilled Bananas Foster recipe ready to submit for the upcoming Kingford Charcoal One Bite Challenge!

BBQ Sauce Reviews tries out Black Bart's Brisket Rub from Tasty Licks BBQ Company. "I did two different cooks with this rub — a low and slow cook using some beef ribs and a hot and fast cook on the grill with a tri-tip roast.  I was pleased with the results in both, although it was interesting to see how the flavors changed between the two cooks.  The heat level of the rub was definitely more noticeable in the hot and fast cook, while it seemed to blend in more with the other flavors on the low and slow cook.  In both cases, the meat had a beautiful color when finished."

Barbecue Master reviews Cowboy Joe's Pit and Grilling Sauce (Vinegar Sauce). "The darker color was throwing me off, but when I opened the jar, this was what I call a mop. It's thin like a classic North Carolina vinegar sauce but with a sweeter smell. What this means is that you can use it as a marinade, and you can brush it on while grilling where on thick sauces you need to wait until the meat is almost done, or the sugars will burn, and your barbecue meat will be charred on the outside."

The MEATWAVE is here to help you out. Your traditional grilled steak sandwich is dry as leather and tastes like ass. "I was late to jump on the banh mi bandwagon, so much so that the all out craze they had going so many years ago was breathing its last breath when I finally joined. Still, my first taste of one of these Vietnamese sandwiches was a revelation—the contrast between the sweet and salty meat, pickled diakons and carrots, fresh cilantro, and airy, crusty bread was nothing short of spectacular. Whether in or out of food fashion, I still think these are royalty among sandwiches, deserving continued prominence, which is why I'm bringing you this grilled steak banh mi today."

Marie let's Eat reviews Bailey's BBQ in Ringgold, GA. " I had the vinegar slaw, which was awesome, and some really curious Brunswick stew. Packed with lima beans and carrots, this was like vegetable soup with some meat in it, and it was served with oyster crackers, which might be a first. Once in a while, you’ll run into a Georgia barbecue joint that will give you saltines, but I really don’t know that I’ve ever seen oyster crackers served with stew. The sauces are thick red tomato-based, both a mild and a hot. The hot was not particularly lethal, and went very well with the meat. We enjoyed our barbecue very much, took Marie a sandwich that she also enjoyed (no slaw, mild sauce), and thanked our hostess for a satisfactory meal. Not extraordinary, but a fine time kicked back in what is clearly a popular local spot with lots of regular guests."

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Another Pint Please notes that nothing says St. Patrick's Day like Guinness and nothing says dinner like Cajun Rub & Smoked Guinness Beer Can Chicken. I'm not really a fan of the shoving a beer can up poultry ass cooking but that sure looks tasty.

DivaQ had the midnight munchies. So she decided to take some smoked breakfast sausage, stuff them with cheese, jalapenos, cheese and wrap them in pastry. Mind blown?

The Meatwave takes on an old favorite - Stubbs Spicy BBQ Sauce. Stubbs & I have some history in the sense that we both spent a good deal of time in Lubbock Texas. While it's fan base is strong, the MEATWAVE is unimpressed. "I'm trying hard to like this sauce, but I still can't say its up in the higher echelons of greatness. While the heat of this spicy version improved the flavor for me compared to the original, there was a slightly chemical and off-putting aftertaste both out of the jar and after being cooked. That being said, looking back at everything I've reviewed, this deserves more of an average or slightly above average rating for its good balance of flavor, even if it's not the most exciting sauce on the planet."

Fed Man Walking visits Franklin's BBQ. You'd expect him to join the chorus of devotee's to what has been called America's best BBQ joint. Well you'd be wrong. Fed Man found the brisket to be "Sunday dinner-table chuck, with only the rosy edges to speak for its time in the smoke." and the ribs "Blindfolded, I would have said these came from a crockpot." Ouch.

Once Upon a Stein had a great time at the recent aPORKalypse NOW event here in NYC. Seems like she enjoyed my hog! "Now here’s the funny thing – I don’t really like pork! At least that’s what I thought before the event. Turns out I’m just picky about my pork. The food was delightful. Pork from a smoker, marinated in au jus, served on artisan bread, or my favorite, served up as Chicharrónes."

Texas BBQ Posse visits Fat Boys BBQ in Cooper, TX. "The meats at Fatboy's continue to be cooked low and slow using only seasoned pecan wood. Marshall declared the ribs and brisket cooked "absolutely perfectly." That's a real compliment from a guy who has 30 years experience cooking real Texas BBQ. Shannon has added a simple salt and pepper rub to his brisket and ribs, just enough to add another layer of flavor to Fatboy's meat offerings."

Full Custom Gospel BBQ visits Black Diamond Smokehouse and awards it a vaulted 3 stars. "Once again the brisket was deeply smoky as well as dried out. The ribs had improved. There was still a heavy smoke flavor that verged on overkill, but a lighter rub had been applied that allowed a crisp bark to form on these moist ribs. As I concluded my meal I could still see the potential. A fattier cut of brisket closer to opening time may be great, but the slices I got were just above acceptable. The ribs seem like a safer bet."

Grilling with Rich shares a photo of a massive pile of juicy pulled pork. Sometimes that really all you need isn't it?

BBQ with Franklin (the fellow bashed by one of the posts above) shows us some Texas style pulled pork. Guess you get tired of brisket after a while. Interesting enough the country's brisket king prefers pork butts.

No Excuses BBQ smokes up an entire pork chop rack! Really nothing much to say about this other than the fact that when I saw the photo (posted on top) my jaw dropped.

Man Up Texas BBQ is in Hoover, AL visiting Golden Rule BBQ. Mixed chopped pork sandwich with food porn galore!

Whole Hog BBQ - Tools of the Trade I

I guess if there was one definite difference between North Carolina BBQ and our cousins in Texas and Kansas city, it's our tools.

When I used to cook fancier cuisine, your tools would come from pricey culinary outfitters or restaurant supply shops. My straight carbon steel knives were forged in France and German. We used a mess of different tools from Japan to make plants look like little footballs, chocolate look like snowmen, etc. I even have a pair of scissors whose sole job is to snip the top off a quail egg - to garnish a jewel-like plate of tuna tartar of course.

The funniest part of the Carolina tool kit is that most of it comes from hardware stores! So I'll be writing a series of various different tools you can pick up for whole hog cooking.

THIS is no good

The most intimidating thing about cooking a whole hog is getting it prepped for cooking. Even the smallest pig I have ever cooked is larger than most people's ovens. Even highly  trained French chefs have difficulty handling the entire animal as my highly talented friends will attest

To prep a whole hog for smoking you need to get the back split, the collar bone removed, and the breast bone cut off. Now this will be a completely separate post where I'll explain how to do that. You essentially want your pig looking like this

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As you can see the top half is cleanly split, the collar covering the shoulders are removed and there's no breastbone. After this we split the lower half a little just flatten the hog out.

Now the tool of choice here is the reciprocating saw. I use a Sawzall which is made by Milwaukee Tools. If you never seen a bunch of grown men try and split the hog's backbone without the saw, you're in for all manner of funny. The use of the tool was taught to me by some good ole southern folks down in Georgia and it has made my life INFINITY better.

A pig is a powerful animal. It has lots of predators out there looking to eat it and it's hell bent on not becoming chow. Hence the tusks and tightly compact body. So if you're looking to butcher a hog for BBQ, it would be worth your while to stop by the local Lowes or Home Depot. Trust me, nothing will get your more frustrated than trying to split bone.

It's also great in removing the forearms and feet as well. Again if you're really into seeing a hilariously macabre show, give a 240lb strong dude a cleaver and ask him to chop off the feet. You'd be surprise how little strength will help you here. Those tendons and sinew do their job really well. There is indeed a trick to cutting all 4 of them off in less than 3 mins but it requires a lot of practice. Unless you're looking to cook as many pigs as I do, it's not likely you'll get too much practice - stick with the saw.

Tomorrow we'll talk about shovels.

aPORKalypse NOW 2013 - Whole Hog BBQ!!

aPORKalypse 2013_056 See ALL the Photos and food porn of aPORKalyspe HERE.

I live in Queens. Now this for a long time marks the complete opposite of hip. Queens doesn’t have the same sex appeal as Williamsburg and definitely doesn't have gentrified air of Park Slope in Brooklyn. What I have found lately is the massive booming food communities of Astoria and Long Island City (LIC). People are extremely passionate about their neighborhood  With Village Voice awarding #1 BBQ status to John Brown Smokehouse and the charcuterie savant Ian Kapitan cooking at Alobar, Queens might just give Brooklyn some competition for coolness.

This year’s aPORKalypse Now was featured at Alewife NYC – voted #1 craft beer bar in NYC by ratebeer.com. I’m no expert on cool but I gotta say, this had to have been one of the coolest bars I have ever been to. The place was MASSIVE! High ceilings would be an understatement. It was like a renaissance chapel built for the devotion to sacred suds. Two floors, thick sofas, AND a patio. Breath taking.

The mission was simple – three 100lb pigs were at my disposal to smoke and produce North Carolina BBQ. John Brown Smokehouse was given the call to provide BBQ and as the joint’s resident whole hog expert, my pit pulled up the night before the event ready go. In order to get 300lbs of meat into my smoker we sectioned 2 of the pigs into 6's – loins, shoulders, hams. This allowed me to jigsaw puzzle them into my pit. The last one I left whole and simply cut in half for show.

4:00 AM me and my partner, Angel Mercado, loaded the hogs into my truck and arrived at Alewife to fire up my pit with charcoal and thick oak logs. This took longer than I liked but as it was really early in the morning I didn’t want to wake up the neighbors with my flamethrower. If you have never heard my flamethrower before, it sounds like a jet exhaust. A perfect recipe for cops being called on me at 5AM. By 5 the hogs were on and the first cigar of the day with a much needed cup of coffee was at hand.

Maintaining the heat was royal chore! First off it was really really cold. So cold I heard the polar bears at Central Park actually called in sick. So I was firing up the pit 3 times my usual rate. Thanks to my trusty burn pit and shovel this wasn’t a problem. The one interesting thing about cooking hog is that more of your equipment actually comes from Home Depot than restaurant supply stores.

By 2:30 we pulled our first half pig off in order to feed the people from Session I. A bit of a miscommunication as I didn’t realized we were cooking for 2 sessions. It would have also been a logistical nightmare as I literally had 2.5 hours worth of sleep just to try and finish this pig for the evening session.

In the meanwhile my massive black pit provided lots of photo foder for my fellow New Yorkers who are not used to seeing a smoker the size of a small car.

By 4 all the hogs were done and we keep the process exactly as my teacher, Ed Mitchell, taught me. Picked the meat off the bones, chopped them, dressed with my vinegar pepper sauce and topped off the with crispy skin. Unlike other BBQ styles, I can’t just slice something and serve it on a plate. Cooking hog requires that you taste a lot of it. Adjusting seasoning as I go. So often times you’ll see me not eat a plate because I’m so full from tasting all that hog. With 3 hogs smoked, that’s a lot of pig I had to taste.

Our line was nonstop! We chopped a half hog at a time to keep feeding the hungry crowd. Most of the people there had never had North Carolina BBQ before. How much the crowd loved it was voting with their wallets. As part of their tickets, guests got a few drink tasting and food tasting vouchers. More tickets to me meant less option to taste someone else’s food. People came back for 3rds and 4ths! One gentleman loved us so much he placed his entire voucher supply on our table saying he didn't care to eat anything else for the evening but our hog!

As part of the gag I browned one of the pig heads in my firebox and placed it on the table as a center piece. I swear my pit and this pig’s head get more loving from the ladies than I could ever hope for. It was passed around, posed for photos, kissed etc. At the end of the evening a guy asked to take it home with I gladly gifted as it meant less cleanup for me. The missing pig head distressed a group of women though. Apparently they wanted to take the head home as well. I gave away the remaining two (raw) pig heads sitting at the back of truck. I never realized that women were so fond of raw pig heads. That’s some wife material right there.

aPORKalypse NOW 2013 was an amazing event. So happy to see so many people enjoy my BBQ and a great way to kick off a 2013 filled with BBQ events.

See all the Photos and food porn of aPORKalyspe HERE.

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News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

BBQ Sauce Reviews tries out Zurrell's BBQ Sauce after their label make over. Great to see more people heading for the tangy end of the spectrum in the "Stubb's Mesquite" style.

Bob's Brew & Que turns his grill into a wood burning pizza oven! "I have been pondering my lack of a wood stove or dedicated pizza cooker for some time, and have been playing around with different configurations for making pizza. I have tried fires on the bottom of the kettle, offset, in the middle, and decided I would try building the fire on the back side of the cooking grill, to see if that worked. It did not work well enough, the pizza stone, in this case a cast iron version, never got hot enough to cook the crust as I would like. But the overall pizzas were still pretty good."

Cowgirl's Country Life is ready for St Paddy's Day! On the grill tonight - Grilled corned beef and cabbage wraps with chipotle thousand island dressing.

Kevin's BBQ Joints convinces Ms Virginia Willis to name her favorite BBQ joints. This included Heirloom BBQ; Fox Bros BBQ, Fat Matt's, and Community Q all in Atlanta, GA.

Patrons of the Pit makes some Apple wood smoked spare ribs! "During the next three hours, I naturally took up periodic residence in a gamut of my favorite easy chairs, whilst watching out of the corner of my eye, the apple wood smoke quietly curl from the cooker. I don’t know what it is exactly, about a smoking pit, and meats quietly cooking there, but it stirs me. It cultivates a great contentment in me, and for a while at least, I am in need of little else. And as I repaired on the couch with my favorite father in-law, our feet propped up, lovely beverages in hand, I declared that this was indeed the high rigors of BBQ, but more over, that we were undoubtedly up to the task at hand. We raised our beverages with the rising smoke, saluting the BBQ arts, and then I think father in-law may have even nodded off a bit. Bless him and his true BBQ posture"

Grilling with Rich reviews Slap Yo Daddy's Competition Chicken Rub. "Upon, taking the chicken out of the smoker, you automatically see the effects of the rub and you get that nice mahogany color  that we all strive for and will have a big impact on your appearance scoring. The one thing that I realized when making the best barbecue chicken possible is that you must leave the rub on for about max 20 mins so that the rub really penetrates the skin of the chicken before you put the chicken in the smoker."

Man Up Texas BBQ gives us some great shots of the pits at Opie's BBQ in Spicewood Texas.

BBQ Guy Blog is done with competitions. His post is well worth reflecting on. "As regular readers of this blog probably know, I stopped competing in bbq contests a few years ago. I decided that instead of spending money on a hobby that didn't produce a respectable return on investment, I would prefer to spend my time and hard earned money pursuing other hobbies that do produce realiable consistent income with reasonable certainty."

BBQ Jew alerts us to the fact that Cooper's is turning 75! " If Clyde Cooper walked into the barbecue restaurant that bears his name today – 75 years after he opened its downtown doors – he still would know the recipes for the short, simple menu and recognize some of the regulars in the straight-backed wooden booths."

Texas BBQ Posse shares several 360 panoramic views of the top BBQ joints in Texas.
Another Pint Please shares a tasty recipe for the grill. Chicken Grillsicles with Rum Butter Sauce.
The BBQ Grail preps up something tasty - Grilled Tenderloin stuffed with Walnut Romesco.
Fed Man Walking visits the new John Meuller Meat Co and Texas' most infamous pitmaster still has the chop's "Even as the brisket shakes off the rust of a shakedown cruise, Mueller’s beef ribs are the staves that hold the ship together, complicated beams of fiber and ruddy crust on the outside, a marbled motherlode on the inside, with the bone just starting to recede at the edges for an ideal tension.".

Us, We, They, Them

In my most recent craft beer event cooking North Carolina whole hog BBQ, one of the more popular questions was where in North Carolina I came from. Many NC expats who attended the event told me my hog was exactly like how they ate back home and asked when was I returning to New York. For native New Yorkers I was part of “them” – folks living in the State of North Carolina, for NC natives I was part of the “us”.

This actually becomes more clearly funny once you realize that I’m ethnically Asian. It’s also significant to me given the implication of the question. Asian Americans do not really get associated with America. If a black man said he was from Texas or a white woman said she was from Montana, no further inquiry is needed. They quite clearly are American, we simply need to drill down and figure out what flavor of American are they. No one thinks about ancestries tracing back to Ghana or Western Bavaria. They are quite plainly American – red, white & blue no qualifiers needed. Being Black or White means you could basically be from anywhere in the US.

With Asians this basically never happens. You can’t just be from New York, or California, or Texas. The ever looming question of “where you are really from” is always the follow up. You basically aren’t just really American, you’re American-lite. Not one of us, just some folks we allowed in. The child of British immigrants to this country will receive the “American nod” immediately, while 3rd generation Koreans will still be questioned on their true heritage.

I have spent so much time researching North Carolina BBQ – techniques, seasonings, history, tradition – and apply it in my whole hog smoking, that I’ll tend to talk about “we” when referring to the Carolina-  style. What I do is no different than what some guy in Wilson, NC is doing in his backyard. Given the amount of practice I’ve had, I might even beat him. So the weekend was interesting. Through the world of BBQ, people asked not of where in Asia my grandfather’s from, but where in North Carolina I’m from. I’m not. But it’s nice for a moment to hear that I’m from my slice of the American pie.

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

Obsessive Compulsive has a new official theme song and video for his competition cook team Man vs. Pig

BBQ JEW is on the trail following my teacher, the Pitmaster Ed Mitchell in his secretive upcoming restaurant in Durham.

BBQ Grail reviews the latest in BBQ gadgets! Eyewear?

No Excuses BBQ smokes up some game hens on the pit. Because who doesn't love to have their own bird? I know I don't like to share.

Man up Texas BBQ gives us some massive food porn both in front and behind the scenes at Black's BBQ.

Don O's BBQ picks up 25 lbs of Franklin's Brisket. Yes you read that right. TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS!!! Well that's a lb of beef a day. I'm sure my doctor would approve.

Texas BBQ Posse finds the best picture/comment EVER!! If you love all wood BBQ you gotta check this out.

Our State Magazine does a thorough review of Hillsborough BBQ Company in Hillsborough, NC. Pay the site a visit and definite make it part of your BBQ road trips.

Marie Let's Eat visits True BBQ in West Columbia SC. "The chopped pork is certainly worth trying. It’s smoked overnight on a mix of wood – Ernest told us that he smokes over whatever he can get, but prefers pecan when it’s available – and then chopped quite fine. It is smoky and lip-smacking good. Since Marie was trying the more Alabama/Georgia-styled tomato-based Sexy Lady sauce, I suppose that I should have tried the mustard-based Pretty Lady, but I’d already had a delicious mustard-based sauce at Jackie Hite’s for lunch and so went with an unnamed and thin Lexington-style pink vinegar sauce. Maybe they should call it Sassy Lady or something."

The MEATWAVE reviews DennyMike's Hot 'n Nasty BahBQUE sauce. "So many "hot" barbecue sauces don't deliver on the heat, but DennyMike's Hot 'n Nasty does, and I immediately give it props for that. Moreover though, the sauce builds great layers of barbecue flavor that are very bold out of the jar and bit more balanced and slightly milder after being cooked. The mouth scorching heat may make this a good choice mainly for heat seekers when used as a condiment or dip, but it created tremendous flavor on the chicken, and with more sweetness and less spice, I think it's something almost anyone can enjoy."

BBQ Sauce Reviews tests out the Gril-Lit automatic grill light. Because who doesn't love grilling in the dark?

aPORKalypse 2013 is coming!!!

I will be cooking North Carolina Whole Hog BBQ at this year's aPORKalypse Now event as part of the NYC Craft Beer Week festivities. We're celebrating local craft breweries with 10 chefs cooking 10 heritage pigs!!!! 

Me and my brothers from John Brown Smokehouse, where I proudly serve as resident Hog Expert, will be bringing the taste of Ed Mitchell BBQ to the folks in Queens. This will be done out of Alewife's Bar.

Champions team up with champions!! You can't beat this roster

Alewife Bar - Voted #1 Craft Beer Bar in New York City by Ratebeer.com!!

John Brown - Village Voice's 2012 #1 BBQ Joint in NYC

Me - well I'm not gonna toot my own horn but I smoke a pretty mean pig. A faithful student of the Pitmaster Ed Mitchell.

Hope to see you there!!!

Some press from last year's event from Serious Eats  The Finance Foodie and I Drunk That.

Best Kept Secret in Lexington-Style BBQ

IMAG1137 Peru has over 4,000 varieties of potatoes. Like most of the world, the Peruvians also enjoy fried foods. So in the course of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, how did they never invent the French Fry? It seems like a fairly logical result – Potato + oil = awesomeness.

In Western North Carolina, whole skin-on shoulders are cooked over hardwood embers for hours until the flesh is meltingly tender.  In the process of doing this, skin exposed to the heat continually renders fat and becomes deeply flavored with hickory and soul-echoing crunchy. So how does one serve such a culinary delight? An item that can only be crafted by time and hand fired wood heat? Well they don’t. For the most part the skins go into the trash!!

Now this isn’t the end of the world but it does seem very very odd. It’s like peeling the crust off a pie and throwing it out so that you can eat the filling. Interesting enough, when you head down to South Carolina, skins are definitely a menu item. In certain places in the Palmetto State, there is a limit on how much skin you can take.

The best kept secret when eating BBQ in the Piedmont region (Greensboro/Winston-Salem area) is to ask for some of the crispy skin. It’s not likely that they’ll charge you as it’s going in the trash anyway and you’ll be enjoying perhaps the best thing off the pit.

How to order BBQ in Western North Carolina

One of the more bizarre attributions given to Asian foods is somehow the idea that we like putting oranges in our food. The criminally disgusting “Orange Chicken” found on Chinese takeout dives all over the country would not be consumed by any self-respecting Chinaman. These days any jackass wanting to make something “Asian” will invariably add oranges to the mix. McDonald’s even jumped on the stereotype by placing mandarins into their “Asian” salad.

Fairly similar is the perpetual menu item in generic BBQ places around the country. Carolina pulled pork will always be on the menu. Of course pulled pork is almost nowhere to be seen in North Carolina!! Now I’m sure there has to be some joint somewhere in the state that does a pulled pork sandwich, but I’ve eaten BBQ from Ayden all the way to Lexington and not a single big name joint offers their pork pulled. In Eastern North Carolina you can have your BBQ hog anyway you’d like just so long as it’s finely chopped.

In Western North Carolina located up in the Piedmont Triangle (aka “Lexington Style”) you actually get a number of choices on how you’d like your pork served. Think of Western NC BBQ like espresso drinks. While it’s all the same espresso and milk you can order a doppio, cortado, cappuccino, viennois, au lait or latte and basically receive a different drink. Now here’s my guide to helping you order BBQ like a pro.

THE CHOP – Remember Carolina BBQ is not pulled it’s chopped or sliced.

  • Chopped – This will be the default they’ll give you if you can’t decide. The pork is minced fine and dressed with the house dip (Lexington BBQ has “DIP” not sauce). The vast majority of your Carolina brethren have grown up eating this and it’s pretty much the standard order.
  • Sliced – If you like your pork white and lean this is your cut. It’s slightly drier and is a favorite among the older folk who don’t want to pay money for fat. It comes from the picnic portion of the shoulder
  • Coarse Chopped – As the name implies, the pork is not finely minced and you still get some meat texture. I personally like this one better. More so because by ordering this, you’ll ensure that your meat is freshly chopped. Places that do fine chopped will sometimes put their meat in this blender like machine called a “buffalo chopper”, it’s awful as the meat dries out quickly. To avoid the dreaded buffalo chopper, order the coarse.

BROWN or WHITE?

  • White - North Carolinians don’t tend to like their BBQ too smokey. Thus many places will focus on providing the soft interior parts of the smoked meats where the flavor is not intense. If you don’t specify brown or white, you’ll likely get white.
  • BROWN (sometimes called outside meat) – This is the “bark” of the meat. The exposed flesh that gets the most amount of love time with those hickory embers. The flavor of this is intense and slightly drier. Not everyone likes it, but if you’re a fan of smoked flavor, this is it.

So best success you’ll want to get  a tray of Course Chopped outside brown. This earns you instant Carolina cred.

News from around the BBQ Blogsphere

SmokingPit.com slow smokes a Tri-Tip roast and stuffs it with breakfast!

BBQ Geek shares with us Fox Brother's BBQ event  to promote awareness of breast cancer. Having lost their head chef to a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, they wish to honor her memory and do what they can to get more people involved to find a cure. If you're in the Atlanta region, do show your support!

The MEATWAVE tries a new Chris Lilly recipe and grills up some sweet and spicy pickles! Summer burgers have never had a better companion.

Marie, let's eat visits Big Oak Bar-B-Q in Commerce, GA a joint serving up North Georgia BBQ. "He smokes hams for seven hours and the result is a meal very much like the excellent restaurants in the surrounding area. The chopped pork is dry and mildly smoky, and tastes pleasant and light, but it really cries out for sauces. The taste of the meat is very similar to what you get at the nearby Bar-H, and also Bar-B-Q Shack, among others. There are two sauces, mild and hot versions of a not-too-thick tomato and vinegar mix; the hot version is enhanced by Red Rooster."

Memphis Que reviews Elwood's Shack, a literal shack sitting in a parking lot of a Lowe's in Memephis. "The sandwich ended up being a gloriously big, sloppy beast that I mostly ate open-faced with a fork. The pork was well-smoked, the jalapeno slaw added a nice extra kick and the bun was perfectly toasted and buttered, which showed some impressive attention to detail despite the unusually high volume of customers that day. For $6 it is one hell of a sandwich."

Patron's of the Pit shares with us the story of Jim Minion. If you're a BBQ guy, it's likely that you're cooking using the minion method. This was a method of keeping a low and slow burn that Jim came up with by accident.

BBQ Illuminati shares a picture of a real BBQ dragster. Some things just render you speechless don't they?

Texas BBQ Posse did a  35-hour, 700-mile barbecue tour to the Texas Gulf Coast and back just to find good smoked meat in Houston. Well let's say they didn't quite find what they were looking for.

Obsessive Compulsive BBQ, my favorite BBQ historian, shares some photos and stories of the annual Pie Town Fair BBQ from 1940.

Man Up Texas BBQ shares with us a very very very tragic story. "Sadly, a pit fire shut down Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor, TX) yesterday. They might reopen tomorrow (I'll update later.) but will do so without the brick pit in the kitchen. It's a sad loss, but everyone is okay, so that is something to be thankful for. Our best wishes to Wayne and all of the folks at LMB.."

Another great week in SAUCE!! 

  • Big Wayner's BBQ reviews Crazy Bitch Gourmet Sauces. With names like Sassy, Chicken Shit, and Hott how this possibly be bad?
  • BBQ Sauce Reviews takes a look at Char Crust Amazin' Dry Rub Cajun Seasoning. Could they possible have come up with a longer name?
  • Pork N Whisky makes a hot sauce using the "Brian Strain" pepper, the world's hottest pepper. It rates up in the 1.2+ million Scoville range (jalapeno are in the 5000 range).
  • BBQ Grail shares a Chipotle-Peanut BBQ sauce. Sounds delicious!
  • Another Pint Please shares a beer variant of a classic French sauce to go with his BBQ. Instead of a Bearnaise, it's a BEER-naise! Right up my buddy  WDM's alley.
  • No Excuses BBQ tries out Big Butz Chicken Dust and Hot BBQ sauce
  • Barbecue Master reviews and presents an offer from Tantonka Dust Beef Rub.

Western Carolina BBQ - Don't Order the Sliced BBQ

Hill's Lexington BBQ - sliced & chopped Plain steamed white rice is the bedrock of a Chinese dinner. It is warm, filling and really bland. The intention of this dull starch is to be canvas in which more seasoned proteins and vegetables are painted on. The rice itself has a very specific intention and the eaters of the cuisine would not have it any other way. There is no desire to cook it in chicken stock, or add secret herbs and spices to it. So imagine how a Chinese person would feel, if you went to their favorite restaurant and ordered the white rice and wrote a bad review about it for being bland.

In the life of eating, most foods can be divided up into one of two camps. That which sustains and that which enhances. For foods that sustain i.e. foods that we eat twice a week or more, we seem to demand a certain level of pejorative qualities to it. Elements of dryness, blandness, single dimensional flavors etc. In West African nations this comes in the form of the pounded yams or cassavas known as Fufu. In Austria, dinner comes in the extremely not sexy boiled beef dish called Tafespitz (delicious btw). In Mexico chicken is boiled until it’s dry as a board, pulled and then sauced to add moisture back for tacos.

In a recent blog post, a writer visited Stamey’s BBQ and upon the recommendation of the waitress got the sliced BBQ. As I write on tomorrow, there’s several different ways you can order BBQ in Western North Carolina. Our writer was extremely disappointed in how dry it was. How could the “best” that the waitress recommended be so underwhelming?

When we’re visiting these “shrines” of BBQ, we’re expecting eyes rolled back, breath stopping, nearly sexually gratifying bites of food. For much of the country, BBQ is pretty much this way. It’s sweetly sauced, complexly seasoned and piled high. In North Carolina, BBQ is ingrained in life. No one makes special plans to eat BBQ any more than one would plot out a trip to get meatloaf. State citizens eat BBQ twice a week or more. It’s at highschool games, quick lunches, dinner etc. Thus the tourist and the citizen are starting at different points. One is seeking an experience and one is seeking sustenance.  That which sustains life vs that which enhances life.

The Sliced BBQ is a holdout of an aging population. This older generation grew up in a generation that doesn’t value fat as much as we do now. Many BBQ joints in Georgia and South Carolina take pride in serving non-greasy BBQ which is a marked difference in what we enjoy now. We love fat so much that a local favorite BBQ joint actually collects all that grease and sells it as a separate menu item named “master fat”. When this older generation gets a white lean piece of meat, they see value and prefer it. This is why many joints in South Carolina and Georgia will smoke the leaner hams for BBQ rather than shoulders.

Western “Piedmont/Lexington” Carolina BBQ smokes only whole shoulders. Within a whole shoulder you get two primal cuts – the richer dark butt and the more white meat picnic. The sliced BBQ comes from the picnic which is not as tender or fatty thus giving older folk their preferred cut. I wouldn’t call it inferior BBQ just as it’s senseless to call boiled white rice inferior rice. It has a specific audience and intention. For people who are traveling around the state on a BBQ tour, I’d recommend that you skip it and just get the coarse chopped. If you're open minded about trying what others enjoy, it might be worth your while to order it.