Welcome to Jimmy’s Pig Pen Chronicles. We are taking a journey across North and South Carolina to visit every wood-smoked BBQ joint to find the best Carolina Q. It is amazing what we are already learning. The history and lore of Carolina BBQ has a rich heritage and I will share what I find with you.
Did you know that there are less than 50 BBQ joints still in operation that cook with wood? At Jim Noble Restaurants, we have been cooking with wood for over 25 years. I could not imagine cooking without wood, much less roasting whole hogs or pork shoulders (Boston Butts) without using natural wood fires, consisting mainly of hickory and oak.
Did you know that hickory was a by product of the wood and furniture industry here in Carolina (and when I refer to Carolina I mean North and South Carolina. Henceforth I will refer to North and South Carolina as “Carolina”). When land was cleared and the wood was brought to the saw mills, most all of the wood was processed, but hickory was rejected and pushed to the side. Hickory is such a hard wood, that it would break the saw teeth of the early saw mills. Therefore, hickory wood was a by product of the logging industry and was readily available to anxious pit cooked hog aficionados. What a story!
We will begin our journey in detail on our next posting.
I look forward to bringing you the best of NC cue-sine.