The phrase “now you’re cooking with gas” dates back at least to the 1940s, when advertisements used the tagline to tout the performance of gas stoves, and likely earlier. By the 1940s, gas ranges had been around for decades and had supplanted wood stoves in urban areas but were being challenged by a new competitor–the electric range. In North Carolina, of course, “now you’re cooking with gas (or electricity)” is not something to be proud of when your cooking barbecue. But when the gas with which you’re cooking barbecue comes from North Carolina, it’s newsworthy.
According to a story on WRAL News, Patterson Exploration Services of Sanford operates North Carolina’s only natural gas well in nearby Chatham County. On Saturday, a group of scientists and others celebrated with a barbecue. As the WRAL reporter points out, “for the first time in history this is pork cooked with North Carolina gas.” Personally, I’d rather have been around to enjoy the first time pork was cooked with North Carolina hickory wood, but this is one of those rare occasions when cooking pork with gas seems like a pretty good idea.