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.
– NC barbecue legend Bill Ellis has passed away at the age of 83
Ellis was known as a barbecue missionary, carrying the gospel of Eastern North Carolina barbecued pork from coast to coast, and his restaurant was a barbecue mecca.
– His operation was apparently known as the “Microsoft of Barbecue”
– The Wilson Times honored Ellis on their front page yesterday
– City Barbeque has opened its second Charlotte-area location in Matthews as of this past Monday with a grand opening this Saturday; I’ve still yet to check out the Ballantyne location but plan to soon as Speedy had a good impression of the Cary location
– Sauceman’s will be smoking two whole hogs at Lenny Boy Brewing’s patio release party on March 11; you get one free plate when you purchase a 22oz. beer of SouthEnd MAAgic Yogi, a Belgian Ale brewed with Jasimine Tea & Lemons.
– Rick Bayless details how live fire cooking has influenced him
– The Smoking Ho has photos from The Sausage Kings of Austin Festival in February
– On Jess Pryles, the Austrialian-born now-Austin native
– The latest barbecue stops for Marie, Let’s Eat! are Uncle Gus’s Mountain Pit Bar-B-Que in Decatur, TN and a couple of joints north of Chattanooga
– From Daniel Vaughn and Robert Moss:
Eater’s How We Eat video series takes a trip to Nashville to talk with Pat Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que.
In West Tennessee, whole hog barbecue is a dying art, but pitmaster Pat Martin is working to change the story. How We Eat visits Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville this week to learn about the smokey tradition, how it differs from other barbecue methods around the country, and what Martin and his team are doing to preserve the practice.
A short, under 2-minute video from Swig & Swine’s owner/pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo at the newish Summerville location that is smoking whole hogs.
A 9:30 video on Rodney Scott’s BBQ that’s part profile and part technique and process. Nicely produce from the Barbecue Tricks YouTube channel. Can’t wait for Rodney Scott BBQ to open in Charleston.
– BBQ Hub has a peek inside the pit room at Swig & Swine, the new whole hog joint in Summerville, SC
– Speaking of whole hog, looks like Kentucky is getting more whole hog in the form of a monthly event from Red Barn Kitchen BBQ in the Louisville suburb of Lydon
– Marie, Let’s Eat! stops in B & C Melrose BBQ in Nashville
– Charleston’s getting more barbecue: Wild Hare Barbecue opens in February in the West Ashley neighborhood and will be smoking with an onsite stick burner
– Would love to make the trip to Garland
Whole hog pulled pork plate from Buxton Hall Barbecue
Q: What was the best barbecue (new or old) that you ate in 2016?
- Whole hog barbecue from Buxton Hall Barbecue, Asheville – It’s simply a revelation that you can find true eastern NC/Pee Dee whole hog in the mountains of NC. I can’t wait to get back to Buxton Hall.
- Lamb belly from Hometown Bar-B-Que, New York – I didn’t quite know what to expect with lamb belly. It was pulled similar to their pork but had completely different flavor profile. I don’t know where else I might be able to try it again that’s a little closer to home but I want to in 2017.
- Hash and rice from True BBQ, West Columbia, SC – Grant of Marie Let’s Eat! said it best about the hash and rice from this West Columbia joint which opened in 2011: “It’s two-hundred mile hash.”
- Brisket from B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque, Atlanta – From review: “The seasoning was amazing, and the meat was tender and juicy. Overall, this was in the upper echelon of briskets that I’ve tasted.”
- Beef rib from Hometown Bar-B-Qu, New York (above) – From review: “It was seasoned well, providing some bark on the outside, and was cooked to perfection – tender but not overly so.”
- Chopped pork from Lexington Barbecue – Every year.
- Brisket and sausage sandwich from Black’s Barbecue, Austin (above) – From review: “And it was amazing, because the fat from the brisket was soaked up by the bun, giving it a rich moist taste. The spice from the jalapenos also gave the sandwich some great flavor. The brisket was the same great brisket you are accustomed to getting from Black’s, as was the sausage. “
What was the best barbecue you ate in 2016?
– A nicely written, in-depth article from Robert Moss about the uptick in whole hog barbecue restaurant openings:
– BBQ Hub breaks down the worst barbecue news of 2016
– On this episode of Charlotte Magazine’s #DiscussCLT podcast, Frank Scibelli reveals that the Midwood Smokehouse Park Rd location should open in March(ish) and they are planning to open another one in Lake Norman this year
– Speaking of Midwood, they have a new burnt ends recipe that’s more in line with traditional KC style
– Marie, Let’s Eat! checks out a “Chattanooga-style” barbecue joint called Porkers Bar-B-Que
– Congrats to The Smoke Pit on the opening of their Salisbury location
– Daniel Vaughn on “big city barbecue” (don’t call it “craft barbecue”)
The foundation of big city barbecue is a focus on premium quality meats, such as prime grade beef from boutique brands like Creekstone and 44 Farms. There’s a reverence toward slices of fatty brisket served without sauce. A big city meat cutter might cringe at the idea of chopping their beautiful briskets, looking down on the staple of Texas barbecue that is the chopped beef sandwich. The ribs and pulled pork (and trust me, there will be pulled pork) will likely be identified by breeds like Duroc or Berkshire. Its hard to make a decent profit, even when charging $20 per pound for that prime—or in some cases Akaushi (also known as Texas Wagyu)—brisket, so the menus are diversified with cheaper items like pork shoulder and turkey breast. You won’t find big city barbecue joint that’s a single meat specialist.
– A Pakistani website has the NC Historic Barbecue Trail on its list of best trips for foodies around the world
– A review of D.G. Martin’s book released earlier this year, North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries
– Includes brisket from Franklin Barbecue at #1
– Grant and Marie give Hillbilly Willy’s Bar-B-Que in Chattanooga another try, a place that uses Memphis-style dry rub on their ribs
– Mighty Quinn’s opens its latest outpost in…Manilla, Philippines?
– BBQ Hub has a list of whole hog barbecue restaurants across the southeast and even in Brooklyn
– The more you know
FS Food Group has put up a video featuring Midwood Smokehouse pitmaster Matt Berry taking on the challenge of smoking whole hog in their Texas-built rotisserie smoker. This looks to be episode 1 of a new web video series.