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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-14-2013, 06:54 PM   #1
SirPorkaLot
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Default Traditional NC Bar-B-Q (Lexington style) - Secrets from SirPorkalot HQ

Time to get back to basics.

Strap on your reading specs, forget everything you ever knew about BBQ and join me as I take you on a journey inside Lexington Style NC BBQ.


First let's define NC BBQ (source)

The big difference between eastern barbecue and western - or Lexington-style, as it's sometimes called - barbecue is that ketchup is commonly added to the sauce of western barbecue. The other difference is that in the east they use the whole hog, both white and dark meat, while in the west they cook only the pork shoulder, which is dark meat and thus more fatty, moister and richer.


Ok, now that we know that Lexington Style is:
  1. Sauce contains ketchup
  2. Pork Shoulder (instead of whole hog)
  3. Chopped not pulled
I should also let you know a few other tidbits about NC Q.
  • It is Pork shoulder or whole hog. (No beef, no ribs, no chicken....)
  • Outside of a finishing sauce, there is no sauce used with NC BBQ, also there is not usually any rub used (other than coarse salt).
  • Cooking temps are usually in the 275 range
  • Whole logs or large splits are used, with little or no regards to TBS.


Here is my version I have been cooking for 30+ years and learned from folks much older than me who knew their way around a pit in NC.




I couldn't locate a whole shoulder out here on the left coast, so I picked up the next best thing.


A ~10lb butt & a ~10lb picnic (these two cuts are what make up a whole shoulder)


It is important to get meat from both cuts to get the true texture you would get in a NC Q joint.



They went on the smoker - naked.











that's right NAKED! No rub, no sauce..NAKED! just as God intended.

(picnic on the left, butt on the right)


After the meat has developed a good sweat, it is time to pour salt in it's wounds.

Coarse kosher salt is sprinkled liberally on the top (fat/skin is on bottom) <Important step!





and literally...I mean liberally.







Leave meat alone at this point until it hits 185 - 190 IT (no foil - ever!)
Once it hits the magic number, it goes into a cooler to rest.

I pulled these at 3am and they sat in cooler until 9am







After I pulled them from cooler, I put into bus tub to separate.







Picnic on left, butt on right










In true NC Q tradition, these were pulled into the major chunks and muscles first, then they get tossed with the finishing sauce.

On a side note: For those who question how much fat renders out in a cook. This is the fat I found un-rendered when I separated the chunks. (less than 1 cup)



note cleanliness of bone. The skin you see was on the picnic, and pulled right off cleanly as well.



Now back to the finishing sauce...




Lexington Style Finishing Sauce





Ingredients

    • 2 cups cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
    • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (or up to 1 tablespoon, if you like hotter sauce)
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients together and let sit 10 minutes. Add to chopped barbecue when hot to season the meat and keep it from drying out.





Toss it...Toss it good.











Then those chunks and muscles get coarse chopped.


To complete the NC BBQ sandwich, you must use CWB (cheap white buns), and some of the finishing sauce as a dipping sauce.
You also MUST use slaw: white coleslaw or red BBQ slaw - your choice.











That is how you make a traditional NC BBQ sandwich, anything else is not.


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3 members found this post helpful.
Unread 01-14-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Wow, that looks great! That's a great tutorial and looks delicious!
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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Looks fantastic!

Sent by my DROID...
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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Looks great!
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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Add some hot sauce and I'd be on that Sammy like a monkey on a cupcake!
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Last edited by Boshizzle; 01-14-2013 at 07:47 PM..
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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I'll have a pound with the fixin's to go, please sir....
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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Great pics, great post!!! I would love to have a taste test of that sammy.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #8
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Great road map there John. That salt thing was totally unexpected. Gonna do that cook, carte blanc.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:16 PM   #9
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I'm with cuzzin' N8! I'll take an extree pound!
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
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I like to add a little mustard to my sauce

That is a good looking sandwich John, some fantastic pork cookery.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I like to add a little mustard to my sauce
.
You must be from central SC. So you also enjoy a bag of fresh boiled peanuts?
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I like to add a little mustard to my sauce

That is a good looking sandwich John, some fantastic pork cookery.
I knew you had some S.C., in you, Bob!
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #13
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Look really good. Thanks for sharing.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:35 PM   #14
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Nice tutorial John. Because I know you pretty well it is really hard not to give you cr*p. But being the man I am, I will pass and make no comments about mustard sauce or avocados..... :) Nice post!
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Unread 01-14-2013, 07:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetang View Post
Great road map there John. That salt thing was totally unexpected. Gonna do that cook, carte blanc.
That one they keep close to the vest.

I picked up that tidbit back in 1985, when I was helping to cook pork shoulders at one of the big church BBQs they have every year.

Pit boss from local Q joint was overseeing the cook.

Only difference?

He used rock salt.
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