Soul Food Scholar Adrian Miller writes about the union between July 4th and barbecue; thankfully he is “not talking about hamburgers and hot dogs on a kettle grill. I’m talking about ‘old school’ barbecue, where a whole animal carcass was skewered with wooden poles and cooked over a trench filled with burning coals from hardwood trees.”
“Some folks think barbecue is a man’s world. But in Brownsville, Tennessee, it’s synonymous with a woman named Helen Turner. Mrs. Turner was the winner of the SFA’s 2012 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award.”
A film by Joe York, who also directed “Capital Q,” the Southern Foodways Alliance documentary on Skylight Inn.
The Gravy podcast from the Southern Foodway Alliance interviews Ed Mitchell and his son Ryan on the past and the future of their barbecue ventures and how it hasn’t been so easy for a black man to innovate barbecue in eastern NC.
Description: Ed Mitchell’s name has come to be synonymous with Eastern North Carolina wood-smoked whole-hog barbecue. From Wilson, North Carolina, he grew up smoking hogs and has tried to continue that tradition, using old techniques and traditionally farm-raised pigs.
But almost since the start, Ed Mitchell’s barbeque journey has not been a straight line—business relationships, racism, and smoke have all shaped his rollercoaster ride.
Reporter Wilson Sayre is our guide in looking at those twists and turns.
Chicago barbecue is a less heralded style of barbecue that has origins in the American South but is only found in the southside of Chicago. Primarily rib tips (a remnants of a St. Louis cut rib) and sausage links, they are smoked in a steel and glass “aquarium” smoker that allows for year-round smoking in the harsh Chicago winters. I’ll link to another podcast next week with more on this style of barbecue but for now, here’s a short podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy podcast.
Barbecue purists from the Carolinas to Texas might balk at the notion that Chicago, Illinois, has a barbecue tradition all its own. But owing to the Great Migration, and to a special piece of equipment called the aquarium smoker, reporter-producer Ambriehl Crutchfield finds that Chicago barbecue has evolved into a style unto itself.