But sauces and slaws aside, it’s the distinctive smoky flavor in that meat that draws people to old-school North Carolina barbecue. And that flavor comes from pit cooking. At the pit at one of the most popular destinations in town, simply called Lexington Barbecue, the cooking process starts at 6 a.m., just like it did 50 years ago when it opened.
The wood fire heats up to around 2,000 degrees. Then, the coals are shoveled out and spread under racks of dozens of pork shoulders. As the meat cooks, its juices and fats drip down onto the coals, creating that smoky flavor. Then it’s chopped up and served to customers….a LOT of customers.
Manager Rick Monk says, “I serve between six and eight thousand people a week, and I’m closed on Sunday…so we stay busy.”
WFAE reporter (and friend of the blog) Duncan McFadyen along with fellow WFAE reporter Marshall Terry file a report on Lexington Barbecue.