- How long do I cook traditional barbecue?
Until it is done to your
liking. Pit masters of yesteryear were just that. They
knew how to cook. They did not rely on probes,
thermometers, bells or whistles. And they didn't
have the Internet to tell them what was "proper".
- What sauce is used with traditional barbecue?
It was seasoned with catsup's,
which is nothing more than a seasoned vinegar. The seasonings
could have been anything from seafood to nuts or herbs. No
tomato was ever used.
- I can't get a consistent supply of pigs or wood. My wife won't let me burn wood on the lawn, dig a hole or build a pit. And I can't even find a whole shoulder for sale, much less a traditional pig. How can I still make traditional BBQ?
"In your mind"...might
be a good place to start. If you need help with this,
try joining one of the many Internet barbecue chat groups where
you'll find folks who are highly knowledgeable on how to do this. We
suggest, if possible, that you seek out folks involved
in competition cooking for the best advice.
Will the standard formula of temp x time x weight work with a whole pig?
No, if you cook a
60 pound pig for the better part of 90 hours (4 DAYS), please
don't invite us for dinner!
Of what relevance are the cities of Memphis and Kansas City to barbecue?
They both have a Chamber
of Commerce with an overactive imagination.
Of what relevance is Lexington, North Carolina to traditional barbecue?
It's pretty close to Eastern
What kind of cooker should I buy to cook traditional barbecue?
Stop thinking in terms of
"buying" something! Money doesn't work it's
usual magic with barbecue.
Why are shoulder-butts called Boston Butts?
Because the famous Internet
barbecue portal, The Smokering, was founded in the Boston
How do you spot people who use Internet barbecue forums for the purpose of promoting their products or businesses?
They will be surrounded
by groupies, made up of the forums in-crowd. These
"groupies" will proclaim the peddler's products to be
of immense quality, the peddler's barbecue knowledge to be
unquestionable and their character to be worthy of sainthood.
What is the best site on the Internet for information on authentic traditional barbecue?
You're reading it.
What is the best forum on the Internet for discussing traditional barbecue?
The SPTSB mailing list. This
is by far the top pure barbecue list on the net. The
cumulative knowledge present on this list is tremendous. It's
not high traffic and "Jesus" type threads are not tolerated. But
if you can't get the answer you're looking for here, you're
probably not asking an answerable question.
Why has traditional barbecue all but disappeared?
- A very limited number of
the people could ever hope to do it.
- There's little
or no money to be made by keeping it alive.
- There's tons
of money to be made by destroying it and replacing it with hot-smoking,
which is basically accessible to everyone.
Why do you consider Texas or beef barbecue to be nothing more than merely a regional version of the real thing?
Colonists did not arrive
in Texas until 1821. Texas did not become a part of the
United States until 1845. This would place any Texas
barbecue practices or preferences around 200 years behind the time
settlers were cooking hogs in the Virginia region now know as Eastern
North Carolina. While Texans seem to have a colorful
relationship and history with their wood-cooked beef, it's
relevance to the barbecue history of the United States does not
date back far enough for it to be considered anything more than
a regional version.
Is "pullable" or falling-off-the bone the proper texture for traditional barbecue?
We haven't found any evidence
to support the notion that this popular texture objective is traditional
or authentic. All we have is hearsay. Our
guess is that some hogs were likely cooked to this texture,
while others were not. And equally likely was that some
people preferred more firmly textured meat than others. Common
sense would lead us to the conclusion that it probably varied according
to the pitmaster and the people he was cooking for.
Why do you maintain that meat with a heavy smoked flavor and appearance does not constitute authentic barbecue?
We examined virtually every
possible method that a pig could have been cooked in a primitive
set-up. We did not come up with any practical set-up
that would have imparted a meaningful smoke ring or smoked taste
in a pig.
The use of hardwood burned to coals would not have resulted in the
formation of a smoke ring at all, whether uncovered,
loosely covered or buried.
We then took into consideration all anecdotal accounts that we could
find in reference to early pig cooking's. We did not find any reference
to the use of any method that would have imparted a smoke ring at
Taken together, we came to the conclusion that it is highly
unlikely that heavily smoked meat containing a smoke ring could
ever be considered a replication of barbecue authentic to the United