Friday Find: Tyson Ho Talks Carolina Barbecue on the Beards, Booze, and Bacon Podcast

While I had previously enjoyed Tyson Ho’s series of blog posts on Serious Eats entitled “How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn” documenting the opening of Arrogant Swine. I also enjoyed meeting him at the restaurant in 2015. However, I would quibble with a few of the things he says on this podcast:

  • He continually refers to whole hog barbecue as “Carolina” style which isn’t completely accurate. Ho is smoking eastern North Carolina style whole hog barbecue, which is similar as the style of barbecue from the Pee Dee region of SC. And of course there is Lexington-style which just smokes pork shoulders. There really is no singular style of barbecue called “Carolina Barbecue” that is only whole hog as he asserts.
  • He refers to “outside brown” as the “burnt ends” of pork and says its an off menu item. It’s not really – its just the bark from the pork shoulders in Lexington-style barbecue which locals know to ask for extra in Lexington joints. Not to mention that there’s actually a thing as “pork burnt ends” which is just cubed smoked pork belly tossed in sauce.
  • I’m not a big barbecue competition circuit guy but I wonder how accurate his classification of KCBS vs Memphis Barbecue Network competitions are when he says that KCBS contestants are way too serious where Memphis just wants to party

Regardless, I do appreciate Tyson Ho preaching the gospel of NC barbecue (both eastern and Lexington-styles, serving both at his restaurant) when the trend in barbecue for the past few years is all about Texas and brisket.

Having been born in New York, Ho wanted to know: Who makes the best barbecue in the country. This set him on a quest that would take him across the country, but he realized one thing soon. To him, the best barbecue was that from the Tar Heel State. After spending time learning from legendary pitmasters, Ho took his newfound knowledge and skills back to New York and opened Arrogant Swine.

But what actually makes North Carolina the best barbecue in the country? (Note: The editors do not agree on this point.) What even constitutes true North Carolina barbecue? Want to know where to get that barbecue and fulfill all of your porcine desires? Well, you’re in the right place. ‘Cue this episode up and prepare to be hungry.

Linkdown: 4/1/15

– It’s Saw’s BBQ in Birmingham, AL vs Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby, NC for the championship in Garden and Gun’s Ultimate Barbecue Bracket Challenge; vote until 10pm ET Thursday

RIP Old Hickory House – it is closing in large part due to the light rail blue line extension construction slowing down business but could reopen somewhere else; CBJ’s article on the closing

Old Hickory House BBQ will close its doors for good on April 4. The well-known, family-run barbecue joint has been in business since 1957, and has operated at its current spot at 6538 N. Tryon since 1972.

– Ed Mitchell’s whole hog barbecue is now available at Midwood Smokehouse as of 5pm on Monday:

– Speaking of Midwood, looks like things are starting to take shape at their forthcoming Ballantyne location

– A few barbecue terms you may not be aware of, including “dip” and “outside brown”

More on the recently uncovered Lexington barbecue pits from Our State Magazine

Sure, the halls of City Hall are lined with Barbecue Festival posters going back to the first one, in 1984, and there’s a little pig statuette across from the municipal cashier’s desk, but the outside is just boring, a squat one-story yawn of an office with a pointed gray roof and white stucco that sounds hollow when you tap it. And even here there is barbecue, archaeologically speaking. “They found the pit,” Vinson says, really punching the last word.

– Marie, Let’s Eat! takes in Bama Boys BBQ in Henagar, AL and Sugar’s Ribs in Chattanooga, TN

– From the sports world, the latest in the “bbq”/”barbecue” vs “cookout” debate

Linkdown: 10/23/13

– The 84th Annual Mallard Creek Barbecue is tomorrow


– However, Kathleen Purvis warns everyone to be careful at church barbecues (and similar events) in light of the recent salmonella outbreak in Shelby last month

– NC (specifically Lexington-style) and TX barbecue: maybe not so completely different? Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ thinks so when it comes to outside brown and fatty brisket.

– Diva Q stopped by Charleston last week and helped with a fundraiser for a local charity (thanks to the reader Robert who submitted this story!)

– For August – National Sandwich Month – Zagat listed a sandwich for each state that best embodies “the spirit of each community and its local cuisine.” The good: they picked a chopped pork sandwich for NC. The bad: they photographed one at Bar-B-Q King in Charlotte. It’s as if they flew into Charlotte and found the first barbecue joint they could find (4 or so miles out Wilkinson Blvd from the airport) and just went with that.

– The winners of last week’s Q-City Championship, with Ranucci’s Big Butt BBQ winning the grand championship