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First and foremost, the folks at Southern Foodway Alliances deserve all the credit for the videos featured below. They do fantastic work, and I hope that by featuring their work here their message and efforts are able to reach even more people. Please check out their site at the link above. Also, they have a great article about SC BBQ written by Jack Hitt that you should read, if you have a moment. It serves as an introduction on their site to the videos embedded below.
In the interview below, Angela Brown of Brown’s BBQ in Kingstree, SC, discusses barbeque gravy, cooking whole hogs with propane, making hash and much more. While our review of Brown’s wasn’t terribly flattering, they happened to be our second stop on our original tour, right after our visit to Scott’s. The bar was probably set unfairly high and the Brown’s review may have been skewed by comparison. Brown’s is listed as a Top 100 barbecue spot and certainly has a good reputation throughout the area.
Cooper’s Country Store in Salters, SC, which opened in 1937, is a fantastic place which will bring you back to a much simpler time. We tried to catch a meal a with at Cooper’s when we happened to be passing by, but they were closed at the time. We have heard great things about their BBQ and look forward to making a trip there to try it out. Russell Cooper talks about himself, his building, his vinegar-based sauce, and cookin’ and talkin’.
Dukes BBQ on Whitman Street in Orangeburg, SC, is a local institution, but it is not the only Dukes in Orangeburg. There is another, different Dukes on Chestnut St. In fact, there are a string of Dukes BBQ’s around the SC Lowcountry. They are not franchises. They are not all the same. Rumor has it the folks who own them are all loosely related.
Like Brown’s BBQ, our review of Dukes was not glowing. We found the pork dry and the mustard sauce not to our liking, but again Dukes has been in business a long time and have lots of loyal customers. Just because our one experience left us flat doesn’t mean they weren’t just having a bad day or that our tastes simply differ.
In this interview, Tony Kittrell discusses how his family became part of the Dukes empire, how it got started, his menu, prices, regular customers and more.
Jackie Hite is a well-known across SC for his BBQ. He cooks his BBQ the right way, over wood coals. Being in the midlands, his is a mustard-base, and frankly, it was too “mustardy” for me, as you can read in our review. To tell the truth, I’d visit just for his side dishes alone.
In this interview, he talks about how he got into cooking barbecue, some great advice from his father, and what it means to cook BBQ. Enjoy:
If the Dukes family has great name recognition around the state, the Bessingers can’t be far behind. Bessinger’s restaurant history goes back to 1939 when Big Joe opened the Holly Hill Café. His descendants have opened restaurants around the state, from David Bessinger’s Melvin’s Legendary BBQ on James Island to Maurice’s Piggy Park in Columbia. In this interview, David Bessinger discusses his famous family and how his grandfather and the Sweatmans leaned on their German roots to come up with the “Golden Secret.”
Midway BBQ in Buffalo, SC has stood the test of time. Founded in the early 1940’s, Midway BBQ continues its legacy of making great hash and BBQ. In this interview, Allen discusses the history of Midway, “Hash King” of Union County, how he joined the family and the restaurant, what to look for in buying livestock at an auction, and running a butchery, too. All that and much more. Enjoy:
The South Carolina Barbecue Trail begins and ends with Rodney Scott of Scott’s BBQ in Hemingway, SC. Scott is a legendary pitmaster in SC and beyond, and Scott’s BBQ is one of only two places we’ve tried up to this point that we consider truly elite BBQ. His BBQ is simply exceptional.
We featured a video about Scott several months ago on the website, also produced by Southern Foodways. This interview shares some of the same topics, but each stands on its own. Scott discusses how Scott’s got started, the ingredients in his sauce, including the primary ingredient, how each week starts by sharpening the chainsaw, and the ubiquitousness of importance of BBQ.
Sweatman’s BBQ in Holly Hill has a long history and a great reputation. We found their BBQ to very, very good. Not quite exceptional, but just a tier below. Sweatman’s, like all great BBQ places, cooks whole hogs with wood coals.
Douglas Oliver has been cooking hogs for Sweatman’s for 35+ years. He discusses growing up in the area, his mom and her cooking, how he learned to cook hogs from an older man who worked there, and goes back to discuss how Sweatman’s got its start.
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