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Holy Smoke

Listen to this Destination: BBQ article.

So, as I mentioned before, my wife Heather works at Boone Hall Farms. Working at the tent, she gets to speak to lots of people, discuss recipes, and, occasionally, talk BBQ.

Yesterday, she was working in the tent beside Highway 17, and she overheard a customer named Gary speaking with his friend and the manager, Rhetta. He was telling her about the fact that he was making 20lbs of BBQ. Rhetta told him about our summer BBQ tour and introduced him to Heather.

He told her that he made “the best BBQ in Charleston” and that he would put his BBQ up against anyones. He went on to tell her how he makes it (details may not be entirely precise):

He puts a dry rub on some Boston butts and lets them sit overnight. The next day, he is ready to start. He has a Big Green Egg, and in it, he starts his charcoal. He adds hickory and apple wood to it for flavor. He cooks them fatty side up until they reach 130°. He then wraps them in aluminum foil and continues cooking until they reach the proper temperature, 165°. He pulls it out to rest, wrapped, for two hours in a cooler. Once rested, he pulls and chops the meat. He enjoys this with a “dipping sauce” of cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, and some other spices we can’t remember.

They went on to discuss BBQ restaurants in South Carolina, and he then recited the following poem/song for her enjoyment:


Holy Smoke!
What smells so good?
Is someone burnin’ hickory wood?
What’s that cookin’ on those coals? Why it’s a pig!
Lord bless my soul!
We’re gonna have some barbecue. Boiled potatoes. Brunswick stew.
Slaw that’s white or maybe red.
Hush puppies or fried cornbread.
And sauce from an old recipe known only to the family.
A great big glass of sweet iced tea.
Holy smoke! That’s heav’n to me.

— by Tommy Edwards, The Bluegrass Experience


Monday 25th of June 2012

Thanks, John!

John Hewett

Monday 25th of June 2012

Just wanted to confirm that 190 degrees is in fact the internal temperature that pork butt should reach before removing from the smoker.