Friday Find: Christopher Prieto of Prime BBQ on Kevin’s BBQ Joints

Monk: Christopher Prieto was interviewed by Kevin’s BBQ Joints in a podcast that was posted last November, a few months into the restaurant opening during a pandemic. The restaurant opening is the focus of the interview, and they decide to save Christopher’s origins story for a future podcast. Kevin doesn’t have to prompt him too much, as Christopher certainly has his long-winded spiel down pat, much like I experienced in my preview of the restaurant nearly a year ago. Bonus for viewers on YouTube as opposed to the podcast: Christopher gives a tour of his restaurant, which he is clearly proud of (and for good reason).

Description:
In this episode I chat with Chris Prieto from PRIME Barbecue in Knightdale, North Carolina.

See all things PRIME Barbecue here: https://prime-bbq.com
Pre-Order here: https://prime-bbq.com/pre-order/
See PRIME Barbecue on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/primebbq
Check them out on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/primebbq
Follow them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/PrimeBBQ
See Chris on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/barbecue_nerd/

PRIME Barbecue
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday. – 11AM – Sold Out
Located at: 403 Knightdale Station Run, Knightdale, NC 27545

Be sure to check out the complete restaurant tour at the end of the video.

This chat was so great. It was actually supposed to happen over a year ago, but it seems like it was fate to happen now because we got a chance to explore what it was like to open a dream restaurant(one he bad been planning for 2 years) during the pandemic. He opened Cinco de Mayo and goes into depth the build up to realizing that his opening would be completely different than he imagined and all the hurdles and fluctuations they had to go through to turn a sit-down business into a completely to-go one.

For his restaurant he obsessed over every single detail and goes into great depth about this in our chat. He also talks about his relationship with his mom and dad and how upsetting it was to not have them there for the opening.

He goes into insane detail about everything they are offering and the logic that goes into why they are on the menu. It sounds incredible. Especially options like Creekstone Brisket, scratch-made sausage, lechon and red beans and rice.

This restaurant is 100% of what he dreamt about and he has been preparing himself for his entire life for this.

Barbecue Bros Book Club: “Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ” by The Editors of Southern Living and Christopher Prieto

Not that we’re anywhere close to being qualified enough to evaluate books but more so as a public service announcement we will periodically discuss barbecue and barbecue-related books.

The first time I personally became aware of Christopher Prieto was when this book came out by the editor of Southern Living magazine “with Pitmaster Christopher Prieto.” Who was he, and how did he get this spotlight in a barbecue book from a national publication seemingly out of nowhere (at least to me)? Of course, I now know that he is pitmaster and owner of Prime BBQ in Knightdale, but in 2015 Prime BBQ was a cooking school and catering operation and Prieto was known on the competition barbecue circuit as well as from TV appearances on Food Network’s Chopped: Grill Masters, the Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food, and Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters. His star certainly continues to rise.

In addition to Prieto’s input, there is also tips and short Q&A’s from noted barbecue personality’s such as Carolina Cue to Go’s Elizabeth Karmel, Tim Byres of Smoke (Dallas), Justin and Jonathan Fox of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q (Atlanta), Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker (Nashville), Skip Steele of Pappy’s Smokehouse (St. Louis), Harrison Sapp of Southern Soul Barbeque (St. Simon’s Island, GA), among others. So, Prieto was in nice company.

As for the book, Southern Living contributor Robert Moss wrote the foreword and refers to the book as “a comprehensive survey of the technique and styles of contemporary Southern barbecue,” and that hits the nail on the head. Officially titled “Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking,” this book heavily focuses on recipes for the backyard and home cook, with a little barbecue 101 sprinkled in here and there.

After spending some time on a brief history of barbecue in North America, there is a section on the different cuts of meat as well as fuels for the fire, the recipes for beef, pork, and poultry come fast and furious. Starting with “Low & Slow” (smoking) before moving onto “Hot & Fast” (grilling) and then “Rainy Day BBQ” (ovens and crockpots) before wrapping up with sides, rubs, and a pretty extensive section on pickling(!!). The book comes in at over 200 recipes across 350 pages and is quite the tome, complete with beautiful food photography from Greg DuPree.

I personally used their recipe for pork spareribs recently and was extremely pleased with how the ribs turned out – perhaps the best ribs I’ve ever done. I didn’t follow the recipe to a tee in terms of rubs or sauces, but the guidelines on prep and timing served me well. Take a look for yourself:

There are a lot of seemingly great recipes in “The Ultimate Book of BBQ” that would be perfect to try out at a time when you are mostly home and have a lot of time on your hands. If that happens to apply to you, consider buying or even renting from your local library.

Available at Amazon or wherever you buy books

Linkdown: 5/6/20

Prime Barbecue in Knightdale officially opened its doors Tuesday, 5/5, and you can pre-order your food on its website 48 hours in advance of your desired pickup

Raleigh’s Ole Time Barbecue is doing a few new things during the pandemic including donating eggs from their personal chicken coop, preparing meals for frontline workers and running their $5 ‘pay it forward’ program that customers can donate to

Barbecue restaurateurs in Southern Illinois have come together to feed frontline medical workers

In a rare bit of good COVID-19 news, Portland’s Smokehouse Tavern back

Clark’s Barbecue in Kernersville, NC is one of likely many barbecue restaurants experiencing meat shortages

Evan LeRoy of LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue has started his own barbecue podcast, the New School BBQ Podcast

Congrats to Hanna Raskin of the Charleston Post and Courier for winning the Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award from the James Beard Foundation

If you haven’t watched the “How Do You ‘Cue” Episode of “Somewhere South”, do yourself a favor and check it out, particularly the Florida section on smoked mullet

Linkdown: 4/29/20

More good from the Southern Smoke Foundation

Prime Barbecue was set to open a few weekends ago but that has been put on hold for the time being, as has any other businesss openings in Wake County

Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ to open a second Birmingham-area location in the town of Homewood

University of Texas football legend Cedric Griffin now has a barbecue truck in Austin

This week’s Somewhere South looks to be a must-watch for barbecue lovers

James Beard-award winning author Adrian Miller joined Vivian Hoard to tape the episode of “Somewhere South”

Thanks to The Smoke Sheet for featuring our recent post on mail order barbecue options in NC and SC in their latest issue

More coverage on the re-opening of Wilber’s Barbecue from the local paper

RIP Carter Brothers Barbecue in our hometown of High Point; it had been open since 1997 but will not reopen due to the coronavirus

D.G. Martin wonders what other great NC barbecue restaurants won’t survive either