BBQ Jew’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year/With the hickory coals smelling/And the pit masters telling you, “Barbecue’s near”/It’s the most wonderful time of the year/It’s the pork-porkiest season of all.”  Or at least it could be if you make sure your holiday shopping list includes some of these gifts:

  • Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. If you don’t own this book yet, shame on you. You’ll certainly learn more about barbecue reading this book than wasting your time on silly websites like  
  • Join “The Fun Tribe”.  For 35 tax-deductible dollars a year (less for students & seniors) you can give the gift of membership in the NC Barbecue Society–known to some as The Fun Tribe,  for reasons that remain a mystery to me despite being a dues-paying member.  NCBS promotes North Carolina’s barbecue culture, sends out a monthly newsletter and offers classes and other special events.  As their website says, “It is time we step up as a state and rightfully claim what many of us have known for a long time, that North Carolina originated barbecue (it’s a Noun), we produce the BEST and we are the Barbecue Capital of the World.”  Amen!
  • BBQ Jew Ornaments. Yes, the rumors are true: Hanukkah is over.  You may not have even known it was here. But rest assured that these BBQ Jew ornaments are for Christmas trees AND Hanukkah bushes. Phew.
  • Long distance pork. Do you know any down on their luck folks who, gasp, don’t live in North Carolina and therefore can’t find good barbecue?* If so, send a styrofoam cooler to their doorstep to say, “I care about your health and well-being enough to ship you frozen meat through the mail.”  I linked to the website of the NC Barbecue Company, a newcomer to the cutthroat (?) mail-order BBQ world (I’ll be sharing more about them on this site soon). You can also use King’s venerable Oink Express or call your favorite local joint to see if they ship–some do if you ask real nice.
  • Other BBQ Jew merch. T-shirts, onesies, fridge magnets? Yup, yup, and yup. The BBQ Jew Store has everything your heart desires and quite a few things it does not.
  • Local pork. Maybe your family and friends are lucky enough to live in North Carolina and smart enough to buy their own ‘cue. But don’t give them too much credit, you know them better than that.  Buy them some barbecue in case they don’t have the sense to do it themselves. Better yet, see if your local joint sells whole shoulders. Many joints sell shoulders around the holidays, and nothing says “happy holidays” like a big ol’ hunk of slow-cooked pork.
  • An education in swine. The NCBS offers barbecue judging and cooking classes, including weekend getaway “Boot Camps”. The Kansas City Barbecue Society offers classes too, including an upcoming judging class in Lexington, NC in February.
  • Sauce. Are the options above too expensive or complicated? Well, if you live in NC, just head down to your local grocery store and buy some North Carolina barbecue sauce. Of the brands that are fairly widely distributed, I highly recommend Scott’s, a classic Eastern-style sauce with serious hot pepper kick to it. (Scott’s is available online too.) And don’t forget a bottle of Texas Pete, the condiment that accompanies the sauce at most barbecue joints throughout the state.

*Texans and residents of Owensboro, Kansas City, Memphis and other such places need not be concerned. I know you good folks have palatable barbecue too, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and other such atrocities notwithstanding.


Porky’s Pulpit: Taking Social Netporking to the Next Level

Perhaps it was inevitable. I have resisted the Land of Twitter for years because it seems an inherently shallow and useless place. But then it hit me like 140 characters worth of bricks: shallow and useless are essential descriptors of  With my excuses torn to shreds, I’ve decided to dive headfirst into the Twitter pool dip my hooves into the Twitter hog waste lagoon.  Follow me @BBQJew and I’ll do the usual quid pro quo and follow you too.  Of course, I don’t yet know exactly what any of what I just said really means, but who cares, it’s just Twitter.

Oh, and I should mention that I’ve yet to invite friends to follow me on Twitter so I have exactly zero followers as I write this post. I must say, it was a bit discouraging when I clicked on the Find People link on my Twitter profile and received this message: ” Sorry, we’ve temporarily run out of recommendations for you. We’re out there looking for more right now. Please check back soon!”  Run out of recommentations before making any at all? Jeez.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree the BBQ Jew Way

Need I remind you, my fellow BBQ Jews, that Christmas is just a few weeks away?  If you are like me (i.e., a Jew who married a wonderful Christian woman who feels the holidays are not complete without a sap-stained tree dropping needles on the floor) or even if you’re not, it’s time to buy your Christmas tree.  And you know what’s cool about Christmas trees?  Ornaments, that’s what.  But not just any ornaments. I can tell that you’re a pretty cool guy/gal because you are reading this blog.  Because of that, I know for a fact that only BBQ Jew ornaments will do your Christmas tree justice. 

As luck would have it, you can buy BBQ Jew ornaments here. So what are you waiting for?  Break into your piggy bank (no pun intended) and get your money ready to spend on ornaments at the  BBQ Jew Store .  All major credit cards are accepted and operators are standing by, but Hanukkah gelt is not accepted.

Run for Your Lives, The McRib is Back!

Breaking news from the Fast Food Nation: The McRib returned to McDonald’s locations nationwide yesterday.  (And just in time for the election: Republicans make big gains and the McRib is reinstated, not sure what to make of that connection.)  Sure, the McRib has it’s defenders, such as one James Pkafke, who writes, “The McRib is like some kind of delicious, mythical being, akin to pure joy captured and stuffed into bread and boneless pork.” But, frankly, whoever this Pkafke guy is (a mythical being, perhaps?), I am quite confident that he is an idiot.  After all, he can’t even correctly spell his own last name–Pkafke, really?  C’mon!  The world needs the return of the McRib like it needs the reemergence of polio.  In my professional opinion, I recommend you vaccinate yourself with a plate of real barbecue from your favorite local joint.

American Wasteland

Riddle me this, loyal readers: what do you call someone who splits his time between writing about eating barbecue and writing about not wasting food?  Confused? A hypocrite? Maybe even a hero? All three, perhaps, but I just call him The Rib Rabbi. 

My co-author The Rib Rabbi moonlights as the author of Wasted, blogging under what I can only assume is a pseudonym, “Jonathan Bloom.”  His first book, American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It), was released yesterday.  That means The Rib Rabbi, or at least his alter ego Jonathan, is now a published author.  Sure, it’s not as impressive as being a barbecue blogger, but it’s something.  

Since pays even its senior staff poorly, do The Rib Rabbi a favor and buy a copy of American Wasteland.  After all, he needs some pocket change to spend on barbecue.  Oh, and don’t worry, avoiding food waste and eating copious amounts of barbecue are completely compatible… right “Jonathan”?

BBQ on TV?

Dear Loyal Readers,

You recently enlightened me on the topic of BBQ in mall food courts and I once again need to drink from your well of wisdom.  When traveling in the Greenville area not too long ago I noticed a Skylight Inn ad on television.  As you’d expect, it was a pretty low budget ad, which featured the tagline: “It’s a barbecue fact, not fiction, wood cooked barbecue smokes the competition.”  Needless to say, there was nothing particularly exciting about the ad… except that I’d never seen a TV ad for a NC barbecue place before. 

I asked Samuel Jones of the Skylight Inn about the ad and he said they’d started running it relatively recently and that it was paying big dividends in drawing in more customers (I guess that is the point of ads, so I am not sure why this fact surprised me but it did).  Anyway, I’m curious whether other North Carolina BBQ joints have run TV spots. An exhaustive/exhausting three minute search of You Tube proved fruitless (porkless?), but I imagine some of the bigger joints must advertise on local stations.  Please englighten me.

Your’s in our shared quest to educate the world about every obscure detail of North Carolina barbecue culture,


Labor Day Weekend BBQ Jew Merch Sale

Good news, BBQ Jew fan(s).  You can order your favorite–or least favorite–BBQ Jew merchandise at rock bottom prices that are cheap enough make a dead man weep. Okay, not really sure what that means, but you can indeed get aprons at 60% off,  and t-shirts and mugs at 10% off

Visit the online store and enter LABORDAYSALE for the coupon code at checkout.