Help a German Learn About ‘Cue

Somewhat ironically, has offered to help a German journalist who is writing a story on North Carolina barbecue.  The journalist, Merten Worthmann, writes for Zeit Magazine, a German publication, and will be in town this coming week to tour the state and its barbecue.  Merten is eager to find a pig pickin’, BBQ fundraiser or other such event to attend while in our state and I don’t know of any going on next week (between Wednesday and Saturday).  Any ideas?  I’m sure he’d love an invite to an authentic family or church/synagogue/mosque pig pickin’…

Waste Not, Want Not

Thanks to the illustrious J.S. Reed for sending along the below image of a World War II British propaganda poster. The poster begs the question as to whether loyal citizens should save pork scraps should to feed the hogs.  Yes would be my guess, as the way that fat pig is winking and grinning, it looks like he’s been eating barbecue.


Andy Griffith, Apple Pie, Pork and Bluegrass

Happy Fourth of July everyone!  There are few things more American than Andy Griffith, who recently passed away in his beloved our beloved home state of North Carolina.  I was trying to figure out an excuse to talk about Andy on this blog but it seemed like a stretch.  I mean, what does Andy Griffith have to do with pork?  Well, my good friend Eric “Cracklin’s” Calhoun answerwed that question for me with the following video.  Take a look and pay your respects to the man who everyone loved and who helped give NC a good name (even if most of us have been subject to a handful of Mayberry-golly-gee stereotypes over the years!).


Andy, you’re an honorary BBQ Jew in my book.  Rest in peace.



Major League Blogging

Like many underprepared minor league players before me, an injury-decimated major league squad had no choice but call me up.  Or at least that’s my assumption.

I received an invitation to guest blog for the Southern Foodways Alliance during their summer of barbecue blogging.  I can only assume this means that their starting bloggers all came down with swine flu, and nobody else was left.  Or maybe there just aren’t many folks willing to write posts for someone else’s blog without pay.  Either way, I’m happy to help, as the SFA is a spectacularly cool organization.  Give them a Google if you don’t know what they do, and come on over and visit me and the other summer bloggers in the weeks ahead at

No Experience Necessary

Everyone once in awhile I get an email that stands out from the dozens–okay, just two or three–that I get each week.  Last week I got a note from someone I will call “Mike” because his name is Mike.  I had no good answer for Mike and hope some of you loyal readers can help me out.  Mike’s email follows verbatim (even his use of the word perspicacity, which I had to look up):

To my favorite parttime purveyors of pork perspicacity,

You have a great blog, its a constant source of much joy, and the first time I ever cooked a whole shoulder I used your rub recommendations with some minor tweaks. It was awesome.
I’m writing because you seem like you interact with plenty of NC BBQ types and so you might be able to answer my question. Due to a serious change in personal circumstances, my previous career is ending, and so I’ve got some time to go back to square one and chase my real dream: cooking pig for a small living, and getting to meet cool people in the process.
This is obviously not easily accomplished, so I’m looking for a pig-ternship of sorts in the RDU area, some place where I can go to learn, bust my ass, and smell like smoke when I get home. I’ll do whatever I need to do, but I’d like to get my foot in the door.
I’m wondering since you seem to have an ear to the ground of sorts- is there some pig pit in particular where a skilled and willing amateur could go beg for a job without getting laughed out of the kitchen? ([Name deleted] from [restaurant deleted] seems like a possibility…)
I know career advice isn’t in your normal job description, but this is a pretty non-traditional situation. All the best!
Alright folks, let’s help Mike chase his smoke-filled dreams.  If you have ideas leave them in the comments or email me at bbqjew at and I’ll connect you with Mike.

Canned Pork Madness

After a weekend of visiting with family and more than my fair share of college hoops watching, I have run out of time create original content for Monday.  Instead, I present you the following canned, but BBQ Jew-approved article from my good friends the complete strangers at Man Tested Recipes. (As for me, I’m not sure why this website can’t be woman-tested too so feel free to read on ladies).

“5 Reasons Why Pulled Pork Is The Perfect March Madness Food

Thanksgiving has turkey, the Super Bowl has wings, and the all-you-can-eat buffet of basketball that is the NCAA tournament should have its own signature food. proposes that pulled pork should be the unofficial food of March Madness.

Here’s why: 1) Pulled pork can stay warm while you watch 12 hours of hoops. Delivery pizza gets cold, sub sandwiches get soggy, but pulled pork can stay warm in your slow cooker or oven all day.

2) College hoops and pulled pork share a home. Eat pulled pork during March Madness as an homage to North Carolina, that hotbed of great BBQ and great college basketball. [ editor’s note: Amen!]

3) Pulled pork is ridiculously easy to make. Can you pour a bottle of sauce over a hunk of meat, then turn a dial? Then you can make pulled pork. [ editor’s note: well, so long as you don’t claim its barbecue.]

4) Pulled pork can feed a crowd for cheap. Throwing a March Madness party? Pulled pork is your pal. Pork shoulder, the preferred cut for homemade pulled pork, is one of the best meat bargains around.

5) Pulled pork is friggin’ delicious. Tender, juicy meat, delicious BBQ flavors, slapped on a sandwich bun if you choose. What’s not to like? The pickiest eaters can agree on pulled pork.”

Hard to argue with any of these reasons, and I’d added that there is no better time to check on a smoker for 12 hours than while your around the house watching hoops for 12 hours a day.

Article provided by:

Last Chance at Free Pork

People, people, you should be ashamed of yourselves.  You have a chance to win a free box of barbecue delivered to your doorstep, yet only a few of you have entered.  Enter the contest by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday.  The winner will be announced next week.  C’mon, folks, I’m counting on you.

President’s Day Words of Wisdom

Happy President’s Day!  (Now how come we don’t have a Congressmen Day holiday too?  It’d sure help the public approval ratings of that side of government.)  I sincerely hope you are lucky enough to have today off from work, so that you have sufficient time to shop the mattress sales that make our nation the greatest on earth.

If you thought that President George W. Bush was the most barbecue-friendly George ever to hold the highest office in the land–what with his Texas ranch and all–you’d be wrong.  Of course, that George W. was a member of the northeastern elite and came to embrace his down home Texas side fairly late in life.  The original George W., on the other hand, was a serious ‘cue hound.  That’s right, there are various accounts of barbecues hosted and attended by our first president, George Washington.  In fact, with all the pork Washington ate it’s a miracle his canoe didn’t sink while crossing the Potomac.

When Washington was a mere lad–before he turned 16 and at least a few months before he bought his first set of wooden teeth–he transcribed a short document called “Rules of Civility &  Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation.”  These rules contain many timeless bits of wisdom, such as:

  • “When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy  Discovered.” [Modern translation: don’t scratch your nuts in public.]
  • “Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.” [Modern translation: Uh, don’t shift your weight around or chew your nails?]
  • “Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you  See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexteriously upon it if it be upon  the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own  Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.” [Modern translation: If you still have this problem in the 21st century, good luck getting a date.]
  • “In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not  Knowing therein.” [Modern translation: Keep your prescription meds to yourself.]
  • And, notably for us at, “Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.”  [Modern translation: Don’t choke to death while stuffing your face like a pig.]

There are many more words of wisdom from GW available in this document, so check it out by following this link.  Thanks to my colleague, Mr. “Outside” Brown, for making me aware of this terrific booklet.

Barbecue-Based Super Bowl Predictions

Through a combination of rigorous research and modest 6th grade math skills, I have devised a  formula for determining which two teams will play in the Super Bowl and who will win.  The foolproof-ish formula is  (-D + B^2) x Q – O/P + BBQJEW

Where the factors are as follows:
D = the number of cities in the team’s home state that have Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchises.
B = the number of players on the active roster with barbecue-related names (e.g., a wide receiver named Smokey Pitts would count as 2).
Q = the “Quetient”, or the age of the team’s starting quarterback divided by the approximate number (35) of wood-burning ‘que joints in North Carolina.
O = Odds of winning the Super Bowl, according to the first website that popped up on my Google search, expressed as a fraction.
P = State’s rank among U.S. pork “marketings” in 1996.  I recognize that this dataset is 16 years out of date, but since the “marketings” metric is convoluted to begin with I feel confident it doesn’t matter.
BBQJEW = Arbitrary number selected by Porky LeSwine to ensure that the predictions reflect his preferences.


New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers (-D + B^2) x Q – O/P + BBQJEW
Giants: (-3 + 0^2) x 31/35 – 1/3 /31 + 1.01 = -1.66
49ers: (-20 + 2^2* ) x 27/35 – 1/3 /25 + 15  = 2.65 WINNER

*Tarrell “Outside” Brown and CJ “I Hope the Sauce Don’t” Spillman

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots (-D + B^2) x Q – O/P + BBQJEW
Ravens: (-1 + 4^2*) x 27/35 – 1/6 /29  + (-9.02) = 2.54 WINNER
Patriots: (-1 + 4^2@) x 34/35 – 5/6 /41 + (-14)  = 0.55

*Chykie “Me Likey Outside” Brown, Emanuel “Slow” Cook, Ray “Next Time I’ll Murder a Hog” Lewis, and Dennis “Wood-Fired” Pitta
@ Deion “Mesquite” Branch, Sergio “Mr. Outside” Brown, Jerod “In Northern Alabama They Use” Mayo, and Danny “Hickory” Woodhead


The San Francisco 49ers (2.65) will prevail over the Baltimore Ravens (2.54) by a field goal.  (Bonus fact: San Francisco’s Mayor will bet two pounds steamed crab legs on the game against the Mayor of Baltimore’s six crab cakes bet.  Each Mayor will secretely wish his team was playing that Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, or any team from Texas so they could win some barbecue.)

Happy BBQ Jew Year 2012

Happy New Year readers.  I hope the year ahead is full of promises fulfilled and absent any regrets.  That said, I do have one regret already this year: I didn’t spend the first day of 2012 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Why? In a word, barbecue.  In two words, free barbecue.

According to an article in the Fayetteville Observer, 3,000 to 4,000 people were expected to attend a “traditional and free Southern New Year’s Day meal of black-eyed peas, collard greens, barbecue and local politics at the Crown Expo Center on East Mountain Drive on Sunday.”  The local tradition dates to the early 1970s and is still going strong four decades later.  Sounds to me like a tradition other cities in NC need to copy…