The Barbecue Bros Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Here’s some gift ideas for the barbecue lover in your life. The bolded items are the ones I can personally recommend. Feel free to add or suggest any other gift ideas in the comments below and I’ll update the post through the holidays.

Monk

See our 2015 gift guide here
See our 2014 gift guide here
See our 2013 gift guide here

Books

Apparel

Other

IMG_1399

Linkdown: 8/3/16

– Congratulations to Buxton Hall on being named one of Bon Appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurants (full list here)

– Washington Post critic Jim Shahin visits the barbecue scene in Charleston and calls it “the future of barbecue”

– Extra Crispy has a new bacon critic and he leans on two folks for advice heading into the job: Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn and the Denver Post’s cannabis critic Jake Browne

– The Raleigh News & Observer is doing a “Best-Kept Secrets” series of articles and has one on barbecue

– The story of a “cowboy barbecue” at the Fortuna Cowboy Rodeo in California

– While Grant and his family moved to Chattanooga a few weeks back, his impressive backlog of stories about Atlanta-area restaurants is just now winding down; as he now shifts his focus to his new home, he looks back on his favorite Atlanta restaurants, including two barbecue joints: Old Brick Pit and Heirloom Market

– The Smoking Ho joined the Chicago-based Man Meat BBQ podcast for a conversation recently

– City Barbeque is opening their first Charlotte-area restaurant later this month; check out Speedy’s review of the Cary location here

– Beer and barbecue, pt 1

– Beer and barbecue, pt 2

– A Toronto Star travel writer visits Picnic in Durham and calls it a “bellwether for social change”

House Bill 2 (a.k.a. HB2, a.k.a. “the bathroom law”) exploded out of nowhere in March. Dickson promptly ordered new bathroom signage showing Picnic’s disdain for the state government edict that people must go to washrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate.

Thing is, the law only applies to public buildings and schools, not private businesses. North Carolina, he says, has a “proud tradition of being a progressive Southern state,” and HB2 is not a true reflection of it.

Linkdown: 8/26/15

– You remember how Tyson Ho built  a barbecue restaurant in Brooklyn? He checks in with a retrospective nearly a year after it opened; if you want to catch up on the entire blog series (and I recommend that you do), check it out here

– Blasphemers!: Stamey’s food trailer was stolen from their lot Monday night

– A fire has damaged Bill Ellis’ Barbecue in Wilson but at least there’s this nugget:

“I took my plate with me,” Mangum said. “I was too hungry to just leave my good plate.”

Mangum stood beside Lisa Woodard, who was in her car looking at the smoke.

“I am as hungry as I can be,” Woodard said. “I just paid my money and they told us to get out.”

– Luella’s Bar B Que in Asheville is getting a second location in Biltmore Park Town Square

– A Charlotte vs Raleigh restaurant smackdown includes a short profile on Frank Scibelli (restaurateur behind Midwood Smokehouse) as well as a head to head barbecue smackdown between Bill Spoon’s in Charlotte and Clyde Cooper’s in Raleigh

– Marie, Let’s Eat! has been exploring Alabama barbecue this year and his latest stops on the blog are Pruett’s BBQ & Catfish in Gadsden and Ray’s Bar-B-Que in Atalla

A guide to Houston BBQ from TMBBQ

– Buxton Hall opens this Friday and I couldn’t be more excited to check it out at some point – I believe its been more than 2.5 years since its first iteration Buxton Hill was first announced, then with Rodney Scott as a partner

Buxton Hall is coming. On Aug. 28, the whole-hog barbecue restaurant will throw open its doors, permitting access to chef Elliott Moss’ wood-smoked ‘cue and farm-driven sides, all served in a cavernous former skating rink.

Linkdown: 1/21/15

– You may have heard recently that Chipotle is out of carnitas at 1/3 of its locations, but Charlotte Magazine is glad at least several local dishes aren’t affected

Midwood Smokehouse’s ribs

You know that feeling when you get to Midwood Smokehouse a little too late, and you see someone being served the last fall-off-the-bone, flavorful rack of ribs? Yeah, let’s hope that their pork supply remains plentiful. 1401 Central Ave., 704-295-4227, midwoodsmokehouse.com.

Mac’s Speed Shop’s pulled pork 

Chipotle may be able to pull it off, but barbecue joint without pork? This is one place where if we’re coming in for the smoky, Carolina-sauced pulled pork, we won’t be so happy to substitute the chicken. 2511 South Boulevard, 704-522-6227, macspeedshop.com.

– Robert Moss’s 5 great interstate highway barbecue joints includes Fuller’s Barbecue, who we visited last fall

– In Madison County, Robin Reeves is raising her heritage-breed pigs partly on whiskey mash; introducing: WhiskeyPigs

The WhiskeyPigs name refers to Troy & Sons’ spent mash, which the pigs and Reeves’ other animals slurp down for 30 days prior to slaughter. With 10,000 pounds of mash per week, the distillery produces more than enough for the WhiskeyPigs fleet. The majority of the 2-3 percent alcohol concoction is collected for another local dairy farmer’s cows.

“They’re a little bit calmer, because they’ve had a little buzz,” says Reeves of the pigs’ final month, “but they’re pretty calm as it is. It’s their personality.”

– According to Atlanta Eats, Buxton Hall’s barbecue pop-up at Kimball House in Atlanta is one of the best things they ate this week

Upcoming Asheville BBQ joint, Buxton Hall made the journey down to Atlanta on Sunday. In one word: incredible. The line was long to get to the porky goodness, but it was SO worth it. The pulled pork was perfectly cooked and I’m still thinking about the fresh bread it rested on. So, roadtrip to Asheville soon?

Barbecue for breakfast? It’s definitely a thing in Texas.

– The latest barbecue stops for Marie, Let’s Eat! are Paul’s Bar-B-Q in Lexington, GA and Rooter’s BBQ in Athens

– The barbecue Illuminati gathered for the Whole Hog Extravaganza at 17th Street BBQ this week:

– Daniel Vaughn has some great photos, in particular

– Sugar Creek Brewing in Charlotte and Team Spearhead are having a barbecue benefit this Saturday to benefit the Charlotte Bridge Home; brisket and barbecued chicken will be served

– According to this, Kansas and Missouri are the only two states with “BBQ” restaurants at a disproportionate level of representation, according to Yelp; more explanation here

Here’s the breakdown for NC for your reference; I wonder if all those “Southern” restaurants also included barbecue

North Carolina

  1. Southern — 229 percent higher than national average.
  2. Cheesesteaks — 207 percent higher than national average.
  3. Hot dogs — 80 percent higher than national average.
  4. Chicken wings — 47 percent higher than national average.
  5. Soul food — 39 percent higher than national average.

Linkdown: 12/10/14

– Charlotte gets a new barbecue spot in Improper Pig, located in Cotswold, and it looks like they will be doing a little bit of everything

Here, they’re doing ‘cue, in what they’re calling a “portal to the barbecue explorer’s world.” That means it’s got St. Louis-style ribs in addition to the pulled pork and chicken and brisket, plus Southern egg rolls (sweet potato hash mixed with collards, with spicy mustard), Korean barbecue salmon, a “no pig” portobello sandwich…

– Speaking of new barbecue restaurants, Asheville is getting a new one in Bonfire Barbecue next spring that will be using a wood-assisted Southern Pride gas smoker (the article conflates the two, but to me, a Southern Pride is a gasser at heart)

– For the brisket lover on your Christmas gift list, here’s some leather butcher’s coasters

– A Wilson, NC man with ALS is planning to go to Franklin Barbecue as part of his bucket list and will be ordering the brisket and ribs (via)

– Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ has an interview with Adam Perry Lang, who is currently working on a barbecue project in Los Angeles

– The latest stops on Marie, Let’s Eat!’s “circumnavigation” through eastern NC: Jack Cobb & Son Bar-B-Q in Farmville, Bum’s Restaurant in Ayden, Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, and B’s Barbecue in Greenville

– Our State profiles Chapel Hill’s The Pig in their latest issue

The Pig belongs to Sam Suchoff, who is a 33-year-old California dude — pertinent facts, both of these. California dude is pertinent because seriously? California? And 33 because I’ve eaten barbecue older than that. He is, by far, the youngest cook I’ve met on this expedition. It’s fitting, though, and necessary, because if our children’s children’s children are going to be eating barbecue in the year 2525, someone from Generation Y is going to have to keep the pit fires burning.

– Robert Moss’ latest blog post is how to spot a wood burner; spoiler alert: the woodpile (and size thereof) gives it away

– Looks like the Buxton Hall crew was doing some research in eastern NC last week:

– If you are in Charlotte Thursday, The Great NC BBQ Map will be at the All Arts Market in NoDa

Linkdown: 11/19/14

– Charleston-based food writer Robert Moss (who has written two books on barbecue) is named barbecue editor for Southern Living magazine

SL: How about a little preview. Where are the best places to grab barbecue in the Carolinas?

RM: There are so many great places to eat barbecue in the Carolinas [note, folks in “the Carolinas” always say “the Carolinas” and not “Carolina,” because to us they are two distinct places, just like the Dakotas] that it’s hard to narrow it down. But, here are a few can’t-miss places that should be on everybody’s list: Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, SC; Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC; Allen & Son in Chapel Hill (the one on Millhouse Road, north of town); Stamey’s in Greensboro, NC; Jackie Hite’s in Leesville, SC; and, just about any of the dozen joints in Lexington, North Carolina, that still cook with wood, like Barbecue Center, Lexington Barbecue, and Cook’s Barbecue.

– Speaking of which, here is his first blog post on Southern Living’s The Daily South blog on John Lewis and his upcoming Charleston barbecue restaurant

“I’ve been looking for another city to go open a barbecue place,” he says. He considered Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, but decided the soil wasn’t fertile enough there. “South Carolina is deeply rooted in the barbecue tradition,” Lewis says. “People here [in Charleston] have been very receptive to what I make.”

– Belmont-based competition team Ranucci’s Big Butt BBQ took home a grand championship at last weekend’s When Pigs Fly Barbecue Festival in Fayetteville, the latest NC BBQ Association event

– Interesting question posed by Burger Mary: Are you eating bad BBQ or just being served by bad staff? (via)

– Mac’s Speed Shop here in Charlotte is the latest to get the Our State barbecue profile treatment, though I think the writer goes a little too far in his praise of the joint

– More coverage on Carolina ‘Cue and its creator Elizabeth Karmel, who is coming to next month’s Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival

– The Great NC BBQ Map team stops by WNCN in Raleigh to have an east vs. west barbecue tasting

They also have some map signings coming up around North Carolina, starting on November 28 in Belmont

– Pro tip: Don’t forget to rest your brisket

– Midwood Smokehouse is taking orders for smoked turkey (and other meats and sides) until next Monday, November 24th

– Elliott Moss (of the forthcoming Buxton Hall) is doing an eastern style barbecued heritage turkey as part of a pick-up dinner for Thanksgiving; details here
Buxton-Hall-Thanksgiving-Splash

Linkdown: 8/27/14

– Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine writes a post about creating a menu at his upcoming whole hog joint in Bushwick and has this great quote:

“Every time brisket shows up on a Carolina menu, God runs over a basket of sweet fluffy kittens with a Mack truck.”

– Marie, Let’s Eat! returns to Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q and provides some great perspective on Atlanta barbecue in the process; also, Grant, I’ll take you up on that offer next time I’m in town!

– Sounds like crowds weren’t quite as good as hoped for at last week’s RibFest in Raleigh due to competing activities in downtown

– Carolina Barbecue off Business I-85 in Spartanburg gets some good marks

“Valley BBQ tradition involves caring” includes a little bit of history

“Virginians don’t have a barbecue tradition,” Matthew Poteat, a Stauntonian from eastern North Carolina, starts to say, then rights himself before setting off a small war.

The nationally renowned North Carolina-barbecue style came from Tidewater Virginia, the Carolina Q Pig Pickers owner admits.

Pig done Poteat’s way involves pulling pieces of pork off the roast, chopping it coarse with a cleaver, and mixing the dark and white meat together, crispy skin and all. His sauce is “vinegar and red pepper sauce, real thin.”

While Texas and other states prefer red sauces, the vinegar-based sauce is the oldest and first in the country according to Poteat, who’s also a history professor at Lynchburg College.

– Look for The Great NC BBQ Map folks on Charlotte Today next Friday

– More from Buxton Hall:

Linkdown: 8/20/14

– Wayne Monk, Sam Jones, and other “old-school pitmasters” weigh in on how the barbecue industry is changing

“To cook pork shoulders the way we do it, it’s a 10-hour process. It’s hard these days to find young men to learn a trade like this that they’re proud of, that have 10-hour days. People take shortcuts, like gas cookers. But the more gas cookers there are, the better my business gets.” – Rick Monk, Lexington Barbecue (Lexington, NC)

– You may remember this bill from a few months back due to its dubious claim to South Carolina being “birthplace of barbecue,” but in any case its finally official: barbecue is South Carolina’s “southern picnic cuisine”

– Speaking of South Carolina, would the Senator Frank Underwood from House of Cards really be eating ribs instead of pulled pork?

– Registration for the 2014 Q City Charlotte BBQ Championship is now live until slots fill up; also, it is now a NC BBQ Association event rather than a Memphis BBQ Network one as it had been in years past

– According to Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor of Texas Monthly, “[t]he brisket I’ve had in New York lately is better than a lot of places in Texas”

– Vote for best barbecue (as well as other cuisines) in Creative Loafing Charlotte’s Best of 2014 survey

– On September 7, five Louisville chefs will compete in a whole hog challenge to determine who will be crowned the “BBQ King or Queen” (via)

At the stand-up tasting reception, they’ll serve six dishes that illustrate entire animal usage, scored on utilization, presentation, barbecue influences and flavor. The perfect plate spotlights the whole pig and can ultimately inspire restaurant owners to greater support of local agriculture, according to event founder Brady Lowe.

– This Eater guide to the best pulled pork in Austin features a couple of the usual suspects plus a few I hadn’t heard of before (via)

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Papa Joe’s BBQ Pit and Cook Out in a review from last week

– This month’s Carolina ‘Cue feature from Our State is Big Mike’s Barbecue, a food truck out of the Raleigh area

At this writing, there is but one place you can find Big Mike’s Barbecue: It’s indeterminate, location at present unknown, its setting determined by demand, a roving outlet for the conveyance of pork in its various guises. Big Mike calls it the Red Barn. You would, too, if you saw it, because that’s exactly what it appears to be. No room for towering bales of hay or horse stalls or tractors, though, just big enough for a sink and a counter and a little smoker toward the back, on what looks like a screened-in porch, and small enough to be pulled behind a GMC Sierra 2500HD. You order through one of the barn windows. On the window is a drawing of a pig holding a fork and knife, a pig with a big smile on his face, as if he’s happy to be eating himself. And, on any given day, the Red Barn could be in the parking lot of the building where you work, near a bar you frequent, or at a party where you’re the guest of honor.

– Brooks Sandwich House, home of Charlotte’s best burger, has barbecue available seasonally and it is back; I’m not sure what to expect from it but when I try it I’ll at least get a burger as well

– A preview of things to come from Buxton Hall?

Linkdown: 5/28/14

Here’s What You Need to Know About North Carolina Barbecue according to Southern Living

– Buxton Hall is getting ready:

The Pit Durham, who have a sign that reads “No Weapons. No Concealed Firearms” on its front door, was unfortunately  robbed at gunpoint by three men a few Sundays ago, luckily no one was injured

– Garden and Gun Magazine’s recommendations for finding barbecue in NYC includes Mighty Quinn’s, BrisketTown in Brooklyn, and Arrogant Swine

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Brooks Barbeque in Muscle Shoals, which he would “happily rank Brooks alongside Brick Pit in Mobile as the two best barbecue restaurants in the state, and top ten in the country.”

A short profile on Garland and Amanda Hudgins, a SC couple who teach barbecue classes and compete (and occasionally win) in competitions

– Myron Mixon, never afraid to mince words, believes that most cooking shows on tv are too complicated (h/t bbqboard)

Barbecue is not that way. There’s fire and smoke and you can take some ingredients out of your pantry and then you’re cooking. It’s a style that relates so much more to common people.

– La Barbecue tops The Austin American-Statesman’s Matthew Odam’s list of best barbecue in Austin

– Big Wayner’s got some great photos from this year’s Memphis in May

– Well, this certainly is a list: CBS Local’s list of best barbecue in Charlotte

– Another week, another confounding barbecue list: Nashville is Travel and Leisure’s best city for barbecue in the US. Plus, there are no NC cities on the list, but it does include such barbecue meccas such as Denver, Providence and Orlando in the top 20 list.

Linkdown: 5/21/14

– Texas really isn’t taking TripAdvisor’s list that listed them #3 behind Georgia and NC barbecue very well; no really, they aren’t taking it well at all

– The Charlotte Observer Archive Twitter account (@Observer Archive) has this archive photo about Stanton’s Barbeque and Fish Camp Fly-In Restaurant in Bennettsville, SC (across the NC/SC state line from Laurinburg) that is still in existence today:

– Trucking Info is definitely not my usual source of barbecue content, but here’s an article entitled “I Came to an Engine Teardown and Learned About Barbecue”

Inspired by Shell’s relationship with the BBQ Pitmasters show on Destination America, the barbeque pit will be used for industry and customer events. The pit, which can cook enough barbeque to feed 100 or more people, was built by champion barbeque grillers, Pitt’s and Spitt’s.

Houston-based, Pitt’s and Spitt’s has more than 75 years of combined experience designing and fabricating custom competition barbeque trailers, grills, pits and smokers. The Pitt’s & Spitt’s World Champion Cooking Team has won over 30 barbecue and cooking awards, and Shell Rotella is a sponsor of the team this year.

“The Best Barbecue I’ve Ever Had Was Made by a Bunch of Damn Yankees”

– Alex and Zoe Ranucci of Ranucci’s Big Butt BBQ, Grand Championship-winning team of the 2013 Q City Championship, were featured in the first issue of a new magazine called Barbecue America

– Bill Spoon’s is featured on this list of “great barbecue restaurants” from USA Today as part of their National Barbecue Month coverage

– Both Rodney Scott and the SC Barbecue Trail get a mention in this article entitled “SC barbecue business gets a boost from social media” (h/t bbqboard)

– The Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival is looking for between 300 and 500 volunteers for June 13 and 14

– Elliot Moss’ previous barbecue concept, Buxton Hill, is dead. Long live his new concept, Buxton *Hall*

Moss’ thing is whole-hog, wood-fired barbecue. “He’s bringing a really artisanal, traditional approach to barbecue that he feels has been missing from a lot of barbecue in the south,” said Irani.

Many Asheville barbecue restaurants, including 12 Bones, Luella’s and Little Pigs Bar-B-Que, use smokers fired with both gas and wood, a system that makes it easier for cooks to control time and temperature while cooking.

– Charlotte-based food writer Keia Mastrianni accompanied two restaurateurs from San Francisco on an epic Carolinas barbecue tour (research for their now-opened barbecue restaurant Smokestack) which included Lexington #1, Wilber’s, B’s Barbecue, Scott’s Barbecue, and several more; part 1 and part 2

– The Charlotte couple behind The Great NC BBQ Map gets interviewed in Charlotte Magazine this month and shares a few more details about the map coming next month

AA: You promised to be comprehensive. That’s a big statement.

AAF: We have talked about the national chains and statewide chains and things like that. And definitely statewide chains are going to be on there, but we’re leaning toward not doing the nationwide ones because that feels a little different and it’s not so much about North Carolina history and heritage and everything.