What is real Carolina style whole pig BBQ?

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On a warm sunny Carolina Friday afternoon, I loaded up the SUV with gear, packed my freshly mixed pork rub with coffee pepper, picked up a friend, hooked up a large wood burning pig cooker and headed to the east side of Fayetteville to cook what I thought would be my native BBQ, eastern Carolina style BBQ, in a whole pig cook-off in Vander, NC.

My friend, John, and I set up our cooker between two veteran teams, Smoke’n Ribs BBQ Pit & Catering out of Castle Hayne, NC and Big Hawg out of Clinton, NC.

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Coffee Pepper

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In my never-ending pursuit for new BBQ ingredients, I may have stumbled onto a new weapon of flavor, Coffee Pepper. This ingredient blend, whole peppercorns coarsely ground together with Starbucks dark Italian roast coffee beans, is my new tool for building layers of flavor.

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Belgian White IPA Baby Back Ribs

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This Labor Day weekend my wife and I did not opt for traveling as we have most years. No last trip to the beach before summer ends, no trip to the mountains, no bed and breakfast nor an out of town BBQ event of interest. Instead, we had a luxurious weekend of late mornings with freshly pressed coffee, an evening walk in uptown Charlotte to hear some live music and shared a meal of fire roasted baby backs with longtime friends accompanied by a few interesting Belgian style ales and IPAs.

Saturday morning, after making a few stops and walking through the oversized refrigerated selection of meat in one of my favorite hunting grounds, The Chef Store, I picked up a pack of baby back ribs to roast for lunch with friends Sunday.

A few rib recipes [click to continue…]

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