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Old 07-28-2021, 10:47 AM   #3
Babbling Farker
Join Date: 12-23-10
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC & Harkers Island, NC
Name/Nickname : Jay

My suggestion is that if you're wanting "Carolina" style, then go all the way ... salt only, and don't use any smoking wood in the drum.

I would leave the full skin on, and while you will obviously salt the meat side, also salt the skin side with a HEAVY coat. Table salt is what you want here.

For the drum, don't use any baffle/heat diffuser. Go with direct heat with fully lit minion method. In my WSM I start with a full chimney & then add 1/2-3/4 as needed. You should be high enough over the coals to prevent any charring.

Start with the skin up/meat down and go to somewhere around 175-185 before flipping. The color should be good by then...if you're too dark, then you're keeping it too hot. Brush the salt off the skin before flipping, then cook until tender. When you get close to finishing, check to see if the skin is crisping. If it isn't, then add a full chimney of lit coals...two if needed. You want to crisp it without burning it.

Again, don't add any smoking wood to your coals. The dripping fat will give you that distinctive flavor. Also, smoke doesn't do the skin any favors. "IF" you must add wood, then do it at the very beginning & only do it once. You will not get the true 'Carolina' flavor if you decide to smoke it...that isn't what we're all about.

I would assume you're thinking of using a vinegar sauce. If you do, then remember not to add too much. The barbecue should not taste vinegary...contrary to the belief of many. I often say that when seasoning with sauce after the cook, "If you start tasting vinegar, STOP ... you've likely already added too much." The best vinegar based barbecue is often that in which you really don't taste the vinegar at's in there, but it's a seasoning & NOT a flavoring. This is what many people don't get.

If you want something similar to the style of Eastern/Piedmont NC & PeeDee/Upstate SC barbecue, do what I suggest above. Anything else will simply be something else.

To add to the distinction in regions...Eastern NC & PeeDee SC barbecue is similar to each other in the fact that they both traditionally use whole hogs & pure vinegar based sauces. The Piedmont of NC & the Upstate of SC add a little tomato ketchup to their vinegar sauce, but it's typically still a loose vinegar consistency. In these latter two regions you also see the transition from whole hogs to shoulders.
"'s just heat & meat" - Circa 5/10/11 - Quote by Cook

Last edited by Cook; 07-28-2021 at 10:54 AM..
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