Linkdown: 9/1/21

Sadly, for the second year in a row the Mallard Creek Barbecue has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The Mallard Creek Barbecue is by far the oldest barbecue tradition in Charlotte, so its a shame that the 91st edition of it will have to wait another year. Assuming that’s the case, I’ll be there but will be missing their slightly controversial version of Brunswick stew come the 4th Thursday of October.

Native News

Jon G’s gets the Axios Charlotte bump

“On Barbecue” by John Shelton Reed gets reviewed by Star News Online

Smokeshow BBQ will be smoking Guatemalan Churrasco this Friday at Salty Parrot Brewing in Charlotte

Shaw’s Barbecue in Williamston is profiled by WNCT’s People & Places

Non-Native News

Secondhand Smoke is continuing the Pete’s BBQ tradition in Rock Hill and will be open this Labor Day Weekend; Pete’s BBQ served every Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day weekend for 55 years before closing in 2018

John T Edge explores the vernacular of Fresh Air Bar-B-Que’s architecture

In Houston, barbecue pop-ups are all the rage

Scott’s Bar-B-Q is featured in the first episode of “Backroad Bites” from South Carolina Education TV, which is back for a third season

The BBQ Review checks out The Southern Belly in Columbia, SC

Prayers up to Louisiana

Pitmaster Profiles: Stuart Henderson of Noble Smoke

Photo courtesy of Stuart Henderson

Monk: For this Pitmaster Profile, we are back in Charlotte to speak with Stuart Henderson, head pitmaster at Noble Smoke. I only recently met Stuart but could immediately sense his passion for barbecue. I was happy he agreed to answer some questions so our readers could get to know him a little better. Give him a follow on Instagram and then read our interview below.

If you know of a pitmaster who we should feature next, let us know!

How long have you lived in Charlotte and how did you get here?

I have lived in Charlotte my whole life, besides the years I was in college at Appalachian State University.

How did you become a pitmaster?

By chasing happiness. There was a point in my life after getting sober where I started only doing the things I love. I ended up running an Oyler while waiting on a sous chef position and fell in love with the process. Now, I can’t get enough!

What is your favorite meat to smoke? What type of wood do you prefer?

Beef. Hickory.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Henderson

What are your barbecue influences?

All those who have laid the groundwork for me to work with and continue to develop.

What is your favorite barbecue joint or style?

Barbecue is about community to me. I think it is important to support all Barbecue businesses. With that being said, I feel the atmosphere can be almost as important as the food. I do not discriminate, I like all styles.

(L-R): Monk, Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ, Stuart Henderson, and Michael Wagner)

What is your earliest memory of barbecue?

Man, I remember family gatherings and pig pickins from way back, I will always remember that first whole hog head!  

What is the best thing about barbecue in Charlotte?

We are starting to get some attention. We are serious about barbecue. 

What is a weakness or opportunity of barbecue in Charlotte?

Charlotte is a growing city, that hopefully allows for growth in the barbecue community, as well?

Anything else you’d like everyone to know about you?

Never, never, never, give up!

Friday Find: A “Mecca” Of Cue At Lexington BBQ

Link to podcast | Spotify

Monk: The NC Food & Beverage Podcast speak with with Keith “Bub” Wright of Lexington Barbecue, who married into Monk family by way of Wayne Monk’s daughter Kelly, who he began dating in high school while working at Lexington Barbecue. Bub speaks with the NC F&B guys and schools them on Lexington-style barbecue and how they do things in Davidson County. Right off the bat, he explains why they serve their barbecue three ways: chopped, coarse chopped, and sliced.

Description: The gents go on the road to one of the “Mecca’s” of BBQ, Lexington, NC. Their first stop was at Lexington BBQ AKA Monks. Here’s what they learned:

  • What makes Lexington BBQ different than Eastern NC and Texas.
  • Why pork shoulder became the meat of choice
  • Who are the major players in the Lexington BBQ game.
  • When to take your meat off the smoker.
  • How many pounds of pork get cooked per day? When you learn this in relation to the amount of people there are in the city of Lexington you will be shocked!
  • Where to put the dip versus the sauce?

Linkdown: 8/25/21

After taking the summer off to recap Food Network’s BBQ Brawl, we’re back with our weekly rundown of barbecue news. We start by first celebrating the fantastic folks over at Bar-B-Q King in Lincolnton, who we featured on the blog earlier this week ahead of their big 50th anniversary coming up September 1.

At the risk of repeating myself, its fantastic to be celebrating a milestone in longevity as opposed to mourning the closing of yet another classic NC barbecue joint, which Kathleen Purvis so eloquently did in a story for Garden & Gun in 2019 (third link). Let’s hope it continues to be more of the former and less of the latter.

Native News

The Charlotte Observer covers Bar-B-Q King’s upcoming 50th anniversary

…as does WBTV who had owners Steve and Keith on TV

..which is a nice contrast from this story from Kathleen Purvis originally from 2 years ago

Buxton Hall Barbecue reopened last week with brisket on the menu (but thankfully keeping whole hog on as well)

Southern Smoke BBQ is collaborating with Wilmington’s Flying Machine Brewing Company on an upcoming beer

Mac’s Speed Shop is expanding to Fort Mill

Cheerwine has some thoughts

After founder Jim Early’s passing earlier this year, the North Carolina Barbecue Society plans to keep things moving

Non-Native News

Congrats to Fox Bros Bar-B-Q on 14 years!

Jiyeon Lee of Heirloom Market BBQ discusses their Korean-influenced sides

John Tanner checks in at The Federalist Pig in DC, whose upcoming Hyattsville location will smoke with all wood

Both Martin’s and Peg Leg Porker make this diary of Nick Solares

Eddie Jackson describes Flay as a “mentor” and “great friend” after working with him on BBQ Brawl

Speaking of BBQ Brawl, ICYMI from last week