Thursday, May 17, 2012

Southern Living's picks for best barbecue


I tease the Southern Living folks for their surveys of places in the South, which often seem to skip our area. So I should praise them for their latest, "The Smokin' Hot List: 10 of the South's Best Pitmasters."

For once, several worthy Carolinas stops land on the list. Of course, if they were really doing it, the entire list would be Carolinas barbecue -- and it would take a lot more than 10. But still, I'm happy to see these guys get the love, for long hours doing some hot, dirty work:

1. Rodney Scott, Scott's Bar-B-Q, Hemingway, S.C.
2. Sam Jones (although they should include his uncle Jeff and their helper, James Howell, who also do the long hours at the pit -- Samuel himself will tell you that Skylight is a family affair), Skylight Inn, Ayden.
3. Ed Mitchell, The Pitmaster, Raleigh. Ed doesn't currently have a restaurant (he split with The Pit), but he tours and does events as The Pitmaster.
4. Avery Payne, Cook's Barbecue, Lexington. (That's my picture of the chopped 'cue plate at Cook's, above.)

In the same issue, SL's picks for best barbecue places include Allen & Son, Chapel Hill; Bunn's, Windsor; Jim & Nick's, all over, including Charlotte; Lexington Barbecue, Lexington; and Red Bridge's Barbecue Lodge, Shelby.

You can get the whole package, including a pitmaster quiz, a list of good bottled sauces, recipes and more, here: 'Cue Awards.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I stopped subscribing to Southern Living when it became difficult to decide if it was an advertising rag disguised as a folksy read.

Anonymous said...

Jim and Nicks?!?!?! what a joke. Try B's in Greenville NC where every major publication picks them as the winner. This article is a joke, I don't think they included one vinegar based place which is the traditional Bar bq colonists originally ate. It's the oldest and my favorite, but everyone has opinions.

Anonymous said...

Jim n' Nicks is fantastic BBQ. Not everyone likes vinegar-based BBQ that's chopped to dust. I personally prefer tomato based sauce and pulled pork, rather than chopped. That's why Jim 'n Nicks is my all time favorite. To each his or her own.

Anonymous said...

Jim n' Nicks is okay if you like paying outrageous prices for grease, I suppose. Every time I've been there, everything - including the bread!- has been coated in a film of the stuff.

Anonymous said...

yeah its ridiculous that B's is not on there. Oh well, less publicity is good since it already sells out quick enough.

Anonymous said...

Seriously?!! The benchmark for Top Southern BBQ has been defined for years at Richard's BBQ in Salisbury, NC. Your limo might not fit in the parking lot, but you will leave "recalibrated" by graduating to real smoked pork, red slaw, hushpuppies, and Cheerwine. Southern Living, I expected more of you than your juvenile picks!

Anonymous said...

You're all being ridiculous. Everybody has an opinion. There's no absolute when it comes to food. It's opinion and personal preference based. You guys are as silly as the guys who call in on sports talk shows and says things like "we're going to come down there and kick your teams butt" -- Like they have anything to do with it....other than sitting on the couch and eating doritos.

GROW UP!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Two words - Kyle Fletcher.

Anonymous said...

Jim n Nicks is a chain. They might as well have put Sonny's on the list. Maurice's is the best around.

Carl from Cramerton said...

Thanks for the link to the Southern Living site, Kathleen. I see several BBQ recipe ideas there to build on.

Kathleen Purvis said...

Actually, Jim & Nick's has been getting national attention for its efforts to support and use humanely raised pork and to work with farms to improve the quality of pork available to them.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't mean it tastes good.

Anonymous said...

I like to make my own Q, but if I'm going to spend money on it, my money goes to Ranucci's BBQ

sanitizer said...

Unfortunately there is not a good Barbecue place west of I 95 Too much red clay here and tomato sauce for good Barbecue to exist. You can't even find a good pig pickin here.

Anonymous said...

Lake Lure Smoke house across from the beach at Lake Lure is the best around.

J said...

sanitizer - NOTHING good west of I-95? Lexington has plenty of good places. Lexington Barbeque made the list and is excellent, as is Jimmy's. Of course, I'm biassed, as my in-laws are from Lexington. But then again, anything vinegar-based is what I prefer. Don't like that tomato-based stuff from Western NC and that mustard-based stuff is just a hot mess.

Anonymous said...

For me B's BBQ. And yes please leave it a secret. It really breaks my heart when I travel east and they are sold out.

Anonymous said...

Wow, some of you amatures still excited about a pork butt in a crock pot with a little liquid smoke should venture west of I-95.

Anonymous said...

You have to wake up might early just to get some of B's on a gameday before they sell out. That should tell you something!

Anonymous said...

Why in God's name would anyone choose to eat french fries with barbecue? Brunswick stew, collards, hush puppies, cole slaw, potatoes and chicken livers ... yes, yes, yes. But save the french fries for the hamburger.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who knows anything about BBQ knows that B's in Greenville is the best in the state. Hands down.

Esteban said...

Anywhere to the east of 95. EASTERN NC BBQ is the BEST!!!!!!!!!!

King Ward said...

There's a reason Rodney Scott was named #1. It's because he's earned the distinction. His is the best-tasting, cleanest barbeque you will ever taste. People come to Hemingway from all over the region, both to eat his product and to buy it in bulk for their functions back home. He's no fluke.

Kathleen Purvis said...

Well-put, King. Thank you. I haven't had the chance to get to Scott's -- yet -- but the opinions of a lot of people I trust echo your sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Kings BBQ in Kinston, NC.... the discussion has officially ended. thanks.

Anonymous said...

My picks: (1)Smokin' Hog on Hwy. 18 outside of Lenoir (Brand new place)(2)Kyle Fletcher's in Lowell on 29-74 (3)Bridges in Shelby (4)Snook's out in the sticks on a back road near Winston-Salem.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever notice that not one of the above places are in Mecklenburg County. Charlotte does not eat BBQ or coook BBQ. The Yankees still think we are talking about grilling hamburgers in the backyard.

Anonymous said...

Its Alston Bridges not Red Bridges!... When will people ever learn!

Anonymous said...

I like all 3 types....both Carolinas......it's all good.

par said...

Need to include Maurice's in Columbia SC.

Anonymous said...

Please! If you ever try the Original Earl Dukes in Orangeburg, you'll make excuses to go back that way. And that says a lot!

Dave said...

Bill Ellis IS BBQ. You want BBQ? Take 264 east and go to Wilson. Eat. Enjoy. Come again.

Anonymous said...

The Barbeque Hut, Fayetteville. Anyone who knows, knows.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dave. Bill Ellis BBQ in Wilson is the best!!!!

Anonymous said...

Alston & Red Bridges in Shelby are #1 and 1A. Nuff said.