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Old 01-19-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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My in-laws were in town this week and they wanted to eat some NC 'cue. Having already taken them to the PIT the last time they were here (they loved it and we even go to chat with Ed Mitchell for a while). So, living near Southpoint in Durham, we decided to take them to Allen and Sons, since it's closer. After hearing from Ed Mitchell how he cooks the whole hog, I was amazed to hear that Allen and Sons only use the shoulder (or Butt), and don't cook the whole hog like they do at The Pit.

Now, the 'cue at A&S is great and has more moisture than the one served at The Pit, but I was disapointed to find out that they only use a certain cut, instead of the whole hog like is traditional. I've heard that they are the only 'cue joint near or around CH that uses wood instead of gas, so I'm happy about that part, but it just might not be enough.

I want to support 'cue the way it's supposed to be and I think that, from now on, when I get the craving, I might just drive out to Raleigh instead. Unless you guys can tell me of another 'cue joint near Southpoint that I can go and have pit cooked (over wood) whole hog 'cue.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:00 AM
 
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I am pretty sure that all chopped bbq is pork shoulder, and that pulled pork is hog butt. The Pit probably does whole hog so that theycan serve ribs and other dishes that they have.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Holly Springs, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boardjnky4 View Post
I am pretty sure that all chopped bbq is pork shoulder, and that pulled pork is hog butt. The Pit probably does whole hog so that theycan serve ribs and other dishes that they have.
I'm no expert on BBQ, but "Boston Butt" is a cut of pork shoulder and is what is mainly used in the south.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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Cooking the whole pig is absolutely the traditional way to cook barbecue. Traditionally there was no waste. You cook all the meat as a whole pig, and then prior to serving you chop all of the different cuts of meat up, and mix them together for a consistent texture and lean/fat mix. You use the skin for crackings to make cracklin bread (like cornbread with bits of crunchy pig skin), and you use the organs like liver, intestines, stomach and brains to make "hash," which you mix with sauce and serve over rice. Really old school people even eat the pig's testicles.


In more modern times, and in high-falootin' locales like North Carolina, people don't cook hash as often- also, some people just prefer the consistent texture of chopped pork shoulder. I have heard that certain areas only use pork shoulders, but that isn't typical, and it defeats the purpose of the traditional "no-waste" methods. It isn't better or worse to use pork shoulder in my opinion, just different and unorthodox.

Last edited by le roi; 01-19-2010 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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In North Carolina
"Eastern style" BBQ = Whole Hog
"Lexington style" (sometimes known as western style) = Shoulders only usually, which is where the "Boston Butt" is from.
Both are good eats (but Eastern is best)
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Central North Carolina
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Originally Posted by rubber_factory View Post
Really old school people even eat the pig's testicles.
That's just nuts!

for old school, whole hog might be traditional, but if you look at the evolution of BBQ in NC, many areas focus on the butts (or picnics). I would suggest focusing on what tastes good, and not get too hung up on the lable. If A&S was better than the Pit, then who cares if it is whole hog or not, it was "better".

Also, in general, you (OP) sound like you have a true appreciation for que. You may find it worth while to take a day-trip to the east. Look for Bea's, or Parkers, or Wilburs, or others...
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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This is bringing back memories.

When I was in high school I had an old freind that drag raced cars and had his own shop. Occasionally as the summer approached he would get a job to build pig cookers. I always was around and helping with whatever. When we were down I would go and pick up a pig and we would cook that thing all day. There isn't anything like slinging a pig over your shoulder. Everyone knew when this was happening and would stop by. We never really had a chance to make bbq b/c the pig was so picked over gone that all we had was leftovers. That is what we made the bbq with. Man, the good ol days.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bmateo View Post
That's just nuts!

for old school, whole hog might be traditional, but if you look at the evolution of BBQ in NC, many areas focus on the butts (or picnics). I would suggest focusing on what tastes good, and not get too hung up on the lable. If A&S was better than the Pit, then who cares if it is whole hog or not, it was "better".

Also, in general, you (OP) sound like you have a true appreciation for que. You may find it worth while to take a day-trip to the east. Look for Bea's, or Parkers, or Wilburs, or others...
I do love me some 'cue, that's for sure.

I grew up in Puerto Rico, where we cook the whole pig on a spit over an open flame. Not exactly 'cue, but I respect the cook that tackles the whole hog more than the one that just cooks one cut of it. It's the only way to get some light and dark meats on your plate, rather than one, consistent texture.

I like the mixed textures of different parts of the pig, instead of the "consistent" texture coming from just one cut. There is nothing better than bits of butt, ham, belly, ribs, and (if you can find it) cheek meat all mixed up on a plate.

I will probably take a few trips out east this summer. The wife and I love to travel on the weekend during the late summer/early fall time, too, so I'm sure I'll get my fair share of good, Eastern 'cue.

BTW, A&S is good eats, so don't get me wrong. It tastes much better than every other BBQ joint I've been to near Durham, with the exception of The Pit (it's an even match between them, with The Pit edging A&S by a snout now that I know it's the only whole hog around).
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs, NC
440 posts, read 782,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber_factory View Post
Really old school people even eat the pig's testicles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmateo View Post
That's just nuts!
Oh I see what you did there Well played
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:02 AM
 
1,595 posts, read 2,693,471 times
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I am not sure of the whole no waste proposition in the whole hog method. If you eat the entire pig sure, but it's not like if you only make a couple pork butts you are discarding the rest of the animal.

Whole hog smoking produces a lot of meat and is more suited for a large party where you have to serve a lot of people, if you just to serve a few then you cook a smaller amount.

The best pulled pork is the stuff I smoke at home

BTW Brisket > Pork, oh blasphemy!
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