north carolina

Governor Tryon’s Barbecue

Nov 16, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Protest season seems to be upon us after the recent election. Citizens are taking to the streets to show their displeasure with a new leader, which isn’t anything new in the United States. Before the original Brexit united us, we were anything but polite. Of course you remember the Boston Tea…

The New Carolina Barbecue

Aug 23, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Barbecue in the Carolinas means pork, but it’s not just any pile of pulled pig that’s revered in eastern North Carolina. Whole hogs cooked over wood fill the legendary pit houses in this part of the state. It’s the traditional route, but it’s harder to execute than pork shoulders, which are…

Barbecue Uniformity

Sep 30, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

“Barbecue is the closest thing we have in the United States to Europe’s wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes.” Barbecue historian John Shelton Reed wrote the above line just over a decade ago for an essay printed in the food writing collection Cornbread Nation 2, and in…

Smoke Gets in Your Food

Sep 22, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Just when it appeared we had hit peak bacon—last week’s introduction of Sizzl, Oscar Meyer’s dating app for bacon lovers, could be pinpointed as the moment things jumped the shark—Chris Shepherd, the chef at Underbelly in Houston, found a way to improve the most popular ingredient of the past five…

Eastern North Carolina BBQ at Skylight Inn

May 4, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Skylight Inn cooks whole hogs over wood coals in Ayden, North Carolina just like they did when they first opened in 1947. This past weekend I embedded myself with Samuel Jones, the third generation of the Skylight Inn family, at BBQ on the Neuse. The event…

Interview: Samuel Jones of Skylight Inn

Oct 29, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

Samuel Jones (right) with NC BBQ legend Ed Mitchell (left) Co-Owner/Pitmaster: Skylight Inn; Opened 1947 in Ayden, North Carolina Age: 33 Cooker: Direct heat brick pit Wood: Oak and Hickory Samuel Jones is part of a North Carolina family that was cooking barbecue back in the nineteenth century. He’s been at the…

Dia De Los Puercos

Oct 27, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

Legendary whole hog cooker Samuel Jones is bringing a special taste of North Carolina barbecue to Dallas this Sunday (tickets here). The Jones family has been cooking whole hogs in eastern North Carolina since 1830. In 1947, Samuel’s grandfather, Pete Jones, opened the Skylight Inn restaurant…

True ‘Cue

Nov 18, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

True ‘Cue logo A campaign has been started in North Carolina that could turn into a national movement. It’s called True ‘Cue and it aims to certify those barbecue joints that use real wood to make their barbecue. “We think the world will be a better place…

Finding Common Ground

Oct 18, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

Texas is a beef barbecue state; in North Carolina they prefer pork. This isn’t news to most of you, but it may surprise some Texans to hear that people outside of the state our signature smoked brisket doesn’t meet the very definition of barbecue. A plate of…

The Barbecue Editor Disputes a Tar Heel

May 15, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

The following is a correspondence between Daniel Vaughn and John Shelton Reed. Reed lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is the co-author, with his wife, Dale Volberg Reed, of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. Vaughn is the barbecue editor of Texas Monthly and the author of Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through…