I am a Pitmaster,Not a Chef!!!!!!
What Exactly is a Pitmaster
In the world of barbecue, there are many terms and words that get thrown around. None more than “Pitmaster”.
Now what exactly is a Pitmaster? If you look up the definition, there may be several. Some say it is someone who has their own barbecue pit (smoker), and they are very good with it. Some say a Pitmaster is someone who has mastered the art of creating great BBQ! What do I say? I say a true Pitmaster is someone who, not only has mastered their techniques to create great BBQ, but they are capable of using any pit, or grill to do so. Now, we all know of, or have a family member, whom we consider a Pitmaster. We all also know of someone who would consider themselves a master of the pit. In either case, the proof is in the pudding, as they say.
A true BBQ master takes every aspect of cooking and makes it seem effortless. From the pit, the wood, rub, temperature, prep techniques, and sauce, all come together to make great BBQ. Consistency is the key. If you aren’t consistent, you will never be a true Pitmaster!
When it comes to Southern barbecue, Pork is King. Since Queology literally means “knowledge of Barbecue,” a good place to start this blog is a brief primer on essential ‘Cue terminology. If etymology is the study of words, think of this as a crash course in eat-omolgy, because as much fun as it is to talk about the best barbecue in Charleston (or is it barbecue?*), it’s even more fun to eat the best barbecue in Charleston. (Heck, why be modest? It’s the best barbecue in South Carolina … perhaps beyond, and we have the record to prove it. We’ll periodically expand your vocabulary, but here are four essential terms related to barbecued pork (later on we’ll venture into other meats, but since Pork is King, we’d best start at the top). So, class, listen up!
*The barbecue/barbecue debate is hotly debated, but we follow the lead of our pit master, and spell it barbecue.
Bark Is outer handcrafted seasoning called RUB! BBQ Loversoften wantthat their meat be “mixed.” In other words, they want some of the moist meat from inside the center combined with the dark (also called Bark ), seasonedflavorfully porkfrom the outside of the butt. The bark naturally results from low and slow smoking!
Low ‘n Slow Temps 200 to 250 degrees .TraditionalSouthern barbecue, madein the traditionalmethod does not cut corners. (Old School) Oven-broiled meat “finished off” on a grill is not barbecue. Real South Carolina pit barbecue is cooked on a rack raised quite a distance above the coals (i.e., at low temperature) for the better part of a day (i.e., it’s cooked slowly—Queology cooks its pork butts for 16 hours over hickory wood burned down to hot coals)
Sauce The most intensely debated barbecue topic, typically along regional lines. Disagreement over sauce has spurred duels. The Deep South is divided into four broad regional sauce varieties (with many subcategories) determined by the base ingredient of each variety: peppery-vinegar (Eastern North Carolina), sweet-tomato (i.e., catsup) (Memphis and the Lower Middle South), vinegar-tomato (Western Carolinas), and mustard (Coastal South Carolina). Being a peaceable establishment, Queology serves their ‘cue undressed and offers a range of different styles for diners to dress the meat themselves (why can’t we all just get along?)—or they can just eat it “naked” (i.e., sans sauce) for pure smoky pork goodness.
Smoke Ring The bright pink, ¼-inch-thick ring that separates the bark from the moist, white inside meat. It naturally occurs from cooking low ‘n slow over smoke