For the second year running, Free Range Brewing and Order/Fire combined powers to host a premiere screening of an episode of the web series with a pig pickin’ to follow. While last year’s episode featured four NC breweries (Burial Beer Co., Fonta Flora Brewery, Fullsteam Brewery, and Free Range Brewing), this year’s episode was on Sam Jones and Skylight Inn. Sam joined the festivities and smoked a 230 pound hog the night before for the pig pickin’. The whole shindig and its $10 suggested donation for the barbecue benefited the Community Culinary School of Charlotte, so there was an abundance of reasons to make it out to Free Range on a Sunday afternoon.
The 40 or so minute episode of Order/Fire was primarily a discussion between Sam and host Mark Jacksina that took place at Skylight Inn with topics ranging from the history of Sam’s family and barbecue to his first experiences gaining exposure outside of Ayden and his involvement with the Fatback Collective. It was a casual conversation between the two, with Sam peppering in his usual mix of one-liners and idioms. The packed house enjoyed the screening and you can view it here once it is made available online.
Now the first time I tasted Sam Jones’s barbecue, it was at when he smoked a whole hog at Midwood Smokehouse’s Southern ‘Cue Supper in 2013 and the whole hog literally (actually figuratively) blew my mind. I had not yet tasted cracklin’ skin mixed in with whole hog barbecue and absolutely loved that texture. The whole thing was a “revelatory experience” I hadn’t been able to try in the 3.5 years since. That is, until this day, and it definitely did not disappoint in the slightest. I’m still thinking about that pork as I type this, as a matter of fact.
Afterwards, I made a resolution: I will visit Skylight Inn and Sam Jones BBQ in 2017. Mark it down.
Vivian Howard loves the slaw at Skylight Inn, so she went to the source to see how they make it,
Vivian visits Sam Jones at the famous Skylight Inn to talk cabbage and see how they make coleslaw.
– WOW: Picnic is hosting a three-day “bbq revival” and bringing in Elliot Moss of Buxton Hall, Sam Jones of Skylight Inn and Sam Jones BBQ, Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin BBQ, Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine, John Lewis of Lewis BBQ plus a lot more
– Speaking of Buxton Hall Barbecue, they have been named the #9 best new restaurant in America 2016
– Grant visits Zombie Pig BBQ in Columbus, his last new Georgia barbecue restaurant for awhile
– First We Feast gets another esteemed panel of experts to discuss “The Most Influential BBQ in America”; Barbecue Bros faves Stamey’s and Scott’s makes the list from the Carolinas
– Daniel Vaughn revisits Fox Bros Bar-B-Q after a few years and comes away impressed
– Question #1: Why are there two styles of NC Barbecue?
– Question #2: How would you describe SC barbecue?
Adding one more layer of complexity, he said that a third (or fifth, depending on who’s counting) sauce should be included: “rust gravy,” a ketchup-and-mustard blend found statewide, especially at the Dukes Bar-B-Que restaurants.
– Charlotte Agenda reports that Mac’s Speed Shop is opening a downtown Matthews location, just around the corner from Moe’s Barbeque
– Tim Kaine spent his Monday night eating barbecue at Buxton Hall and jamming with a bluegrass band nextdoor at Catawba Brewery
– So you can eat barbecue and lose weight; The Smoking Ho offers proof
Eater and The Southern Foodways Alliance visit Ayden, NC:
This week’s pick from Southern Foodways Alliance’s documentary program profiles Skylight Inn BBQ, once named the “capital of barbecue” in America by National Geographic. The all-wood, whole-pig production at Skylight Inn has been family-run for three generations, and it’s renown (for quality, flavor, and values) extends far beyond the city limits of Ayden, North Carolina.
Ahead of this weekend’s July Fourth festivities, Bon Appétit Magazine talks with Sam Jones of Sam Jones BBQ (duh) and Wyatt Dickson of Picnic to discuss the changing landscape of American barbecue.
The two reminisce about being raised in households where everything down to the greens had pork fat in it. Says Jones: “My grandfather was one of those people who was like, ‘This is the way we cook BBQ, and if you don’t cook it this way you’re going to hell.” Meanwhile, Dickson has been “getting hell” about how his hush puppies are, apparently, “wrong.” And if you believe beer with your BBQ is par for the course, the people of eastern North Carolina have a few words for you—not many of which are nice.
– NC State University is holding a barbecue camp in June
– Sam Jones and Ed Mitchell are once again part of The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
– Grant visits Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, AL – home of the white sauce and “perfectly fine, middle-of-the-pack barbecue”
– TMBBQ interviews Laura Loomis, the 28 year old female pitmaster of Two Bros BBQ in San Antonio
– A roundup of barbecue cookbooks out this spring
– Bullock’s Bar-B-Que in Durham will be closed for a few weeks after a fire
– The Barbecue Festival in Lexington is a food festival within driving distance from Charlotte that defines NC cuisine, according to Charlotte Five
– Speaking of Lexington, this blog considers it one of the 14 best places in the world for barbecue and we fully agree (although it mistakenly attributes Stamey’s in Greensboro to Lexington)
– Houston Chronicle BBQ writer JC Reid on the pitfalls of defining true ‘cue
Needless to say, a few pitmasters took umbrage with this definition and compliance method. Pitmaster Carey Bringle of the popular Peg Leg Porker barbecue restaurant in Nashville responded on his Facebook page: “I can assure you that (the True ‘Cue folks) are not experts. First off, they are writers, not pitmasters.”
– Potential “Pitmaster General”?
– Friend of the blog Sarah Crosland has a couple of pork and cocktail pairings from Customshop and the Ballantyne Hotel’s Gallery Restaurant included in this list of Charlotte’s top cocktail and food pairings
– A London publication’s view on the 32 best barbecue restaurants in the American South
– Sam Jones gets profiled in the Raleigh News & Observer
It’s not as if more upscale barbecue restaurants don’t exist – look at the Pit in Raleigh and Durham or Ed Mitchell’s former ’Que in Durham or just about any barbecue restaurant in New York or other large cities. (Let’s be clear: it doesn’t take much to step up from the linoleum-floor, vinyl-seat charm of the old-school places.) It’s just that in this part of the world, east of I-95, Sam Jones Barbecue is the outlier. He’s changing the definition of what a whole-hog barbecue restaurant can be in the part of the world most identified by the tradition.
– According to John Lewis
– Home Team BBQ opened its new location in downtown Charleston yesterday and Eater has what you can expect
– Barbecue and whiskey event at Queen City Q’s Ballantyne location
– This article on barbecue treats from Robert Moss considers the misleading names of Texas Pete, Cheerwine, and burnt ends
– Sam Jones has partnered with Heinz to create a “Carolina Vinegar Style” barbecue sauce
– John Shelton Reed has a new barbecue cookbook coming – appropriately titled “Barbecue”
– He’s also having an event at the new Durham barbecue restaurant Picnic to celebrate the release of his book
– Midwood Smokehouse is havin a ‘cue and wine pairing at their Ballantyne location on March 16
– Only In Your State has 10 More Restaurants That Serve The Best Barbecue in North Carolina and well, it certainly is a list
– Interview with our friend Johnny Fugitt
– Midwood Smokehouse is asking for votes for Charlotte Magazine’s Best of the Best Awards 2016
– Are black-owned barbecue joints dying?
– Tourism is booming in SC thanks in large part to barbecue
While multiple factors have boosted recent tourism growth in South Carolina, including a recovering economy and lower gas prices, Parrish said the influence of SCPRT’s DiSCover marketing campaign, which included promotion of the official South Carolina Barbecue Trail, also motivated travel.
– Over at Marie, Let’s Eat!, Grant visits two Georgia barbecue joints, Southern Soul in Saint Simons Island and Sandfly BBQ in Savannah
– Moore’s Old Tyme BBQ in New Bern is switching owners but thankfully still planning to cook with wood
– TMBBQ goes deep on the Mel-Man Sandwich, an East Texas specialty
– A couple more stories from Our State’s barbecue issue; B’s Barbecue
– …and Sam Jones’ new barbecue joint
– Daniel Vaughn’s best Texas barbecue bites in 2015
– Upcoming Durham restaurant openings include Picnic, a “modern take on barbecue joint” set to open in early February as well as a “biscuit and barbecue concept” at the American Tobacco Complex
– Franklin Barbecue is on this list of Austin restaurants that are opting out of open carry; on the other end of the spectrum, Brooks Place in Houston is giving open carry patrons 25% off
– Midwood Smokehouse is one of the restaurants who have expanded from the uptown area to the ‘burbs
– The year in Kansas City barbecue
– Rodney Scott gives thanks