BBQ Connection LLC

Championship BBQ Catering at it's BEST!

Charlottesville, VA.

Only ChampionshipBBQ Catering Company!!!!!!
We are a Championship BBQ Catering Company (period!). BBQ Connection LLC  the BestChampionship onsite BBQ Catering Company in the area. Our Pit Master has spent the last 10 Ten years competing for throughout the country and perfecting his art.  The Pigs on the Run BBQCompetition team have won over a 100 top ten trophies in the country and recently finished in the Top 50 in the country in BBQ! We live and breathe BBQ!

Our pit masters do not just cook the area's best BBQ; they create a BBQ experience! From the smells in the air to the many trophies won.  The BBQ ConnectionCatering Company brings more to the table than just great food.  We cook fresh on site Traditional Barbecue, not that "stuff" that has been reheated or prepared off site days before your event.

Over 100 years of traditional artisan outdoor cooking, passed down from generation to generation in the backwoods of Va.

We also cater in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro VA. and all over the country! A travel fee will be assessed outside Charlottesville area.

 A proven winner: 4 x Grand Championships, 5 x state championships, Invited to the American Royal and the Jack Daniels twice. Over 100 top ten awards

We'll respond with a free, no-obligation job estimate and ideas that come from years (and thousands of miles) of experience!
 If you desire a truly memorable meal to which nothing else will compare, please give   Teresa call at 434 842 2000.

Charlotteville's BEST Championship BBQ!

A brief history of North Carolina pulled-pork barbecue.

  A brief history of North Carolina pulled-pork barbecue.





The United States Department of Agriculture says barbecue is any meat "cooked by the direct action of heat resulting from the burning of hardwood or the hot coals therefrom for a sufficient period to assume the usual characteristics" including the formation of a brown crust and a weight loss of at least thirty percent. Hmmm, that means Mother Nature made the first barbecue as the accidental by-product of some ancient forest fire. And, man has been eating the delicious stuff in one form or another to satisfy his carnivorous appetite ever since.
The Early Days

When the Spanish arrived in the Americas, they found the Taino Indians of the West Indies cooking meat and fish over a pit of coals on a framework of green wooden sticks. The Spanish spelling of the Indian name for that framework was "barbacoa". Both the name and method of cooking found their way to North America, where George Washington noted in his diary of 1769 that he "went up to Alexandria to a "barbicue."


Noah Webster's dictionary insists that the one and only correct spelling is barbecue. But, as another US president, Andrew Jackson, noted, "It's a damned poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word ." He would be mighty pleased to know that over the years folks have been enjoying barbicue, barbique, barbeque, Bar-B-Que, Bar-B-Cue, Bar-B-Q, BBQ, Cue, and just plain Q. (Doesn't it just make you wonder how Dan Quail would spell it?)

The Hogs

The Spanish explorer DeSoto introduced hogs to Florida and Alabama about 1540. The settlers at Jamestown brought swine with them in 1607 and soon thereafter Virginia enacted a law making it illegal to discharge a firearm at a barbecue! The creatures thrived in the wilds of the warm Southern woodlands where cattle perished. By the time of the War Between the States, hogs had been domesticated, and pork had become the principal meat of the South. Not surprisingly, pork has been synonymous with Southern barbecue ever since.
Barbecue

The dictionary will also tell you that the noun "barbecue" has at least four meanings:

a framework to hold meat over a fire for cooking

any meat broiled or roasted on such a framework

an entertainment, usually outdoor, at which such meat is prepared and eaten.

a restaurant that makes a specialty of such meat.



Indeed, barbecues have long been a popular social occasion in the South. But, done in the traditional way, the making of barbecue was hard work. A pit was dug in the ground the day before the gathering and filled with hardwood. The wood was burned down to coals before whole hogs, skewered on poles, were hung over the pit. The pitmasters sat up through the night, turning the hogs on their spits. The following afternoon when the guests arrived, the crisp skin - Mr. Brown - was removed and the cooked meat - the divine Miss White - was pulled in lumps from the carcass before being slathered with a favorite finishing sauce. That's why, to this very day, a social affair centered around pork barbecue is affectionately called a Pig Pickin.
The Joints

Some folks might consider barbecuing a whole hog to be a tad bit of overkill for a fellow with a sudden hankering for a sandwich. But, without benefit of electricity and refrigeration in bygone years, portioned cuts of fresh pork were nonexistent. A solution to this culinary dilemma was provided by a pair of entrepreneurs in Lexington, North Carolina when they hit upon the idea of barbecuing a couple of pigs over open pits in the town square on Saturdays and selling it. Tents soon popped up and the first commercial barbecue joint was born. The boys there in Lexington are still making some mighty fine barbecue in those barbecue joints. At last count, the city had one for every thousand citizens - men, women, and children included!


A good barbecue joint has a modest dining hall. In addition to plain tables, disposable paper place mats, and chairs with wooden seats, it will likely also have a counter with stool seats that swivel. A portrait of an elderly founder on the wall somewhere near the entrance is always a good sign. So are pictures, statues, and other sundry likenesses of pigs. A parking lot packed with a mixture of Harleys, pickup trucks, and Eldoradoes is an even better sign. The pits themselves are generally housed out back in a separate building to avoid burning down the joint in the event of a flameup. The building will have a screen door with a spring on it that twangs when the door slams shut. The hardwood in the yard nearby will be of various ages. You may not see smoke coming from the pit chimneys except when the wood is being burned to coals. But, you should always be able to smell it! Should you find copper lines leading to the pits from a silver tank the size of a small elephant out where the woodyard ought to be, drive on. You ain't there yet! The founder's son has sold his soul to the Devil for the ease of that modern-day bane of barbecue, propane. Come back in a couple of years and you will find a brand new McDonalds there with a drive-up window right where the pits once stood. Good barbecue is a hard way to make a buck.
The Great Debate

There is no debate in North Carolina that barbecue should be pit-cooked and pork. There is, however, is great disagreement about which parts of the pigs should be barbecued and whether tomatoes should be any part of the finishing sauce. Down east, the whole hog, split down the middle, is barbecued . The finishing sauce is a sharp, tomato-free vinegar-and-pepper ketchup. West of U.S. Highway 1, only the shoulders are barbecued, and the milder finishing sauce contains a touch of tomato. Which is better? That most likely depends on which joint you happen to be in at the moment!

North Carolina Barbecue: a Primer


By Terry Mancour




Perhaps North Carolina's finest contribution to international cuisine, the peculiar institution known as Barbecue is one of those Tarheel hotspots that is often misunderstood by folks outside our borders.  Barbecue enjoys a long and distinguished history in North Carolina, and has come to be synonymous with political campaigns, church fund-raisers, and any celebration of merit.  It has been celebrated itself in song, story, poetry, literature and electronic media.  It enjoys as much a prominent place and regional distinctiveness as a 'state dish' as Steamed Crabs do in Maryland, Baked Beans do in Boston, and Salmon does in Seattle.  With the culinary contributions of several different cultures in its background, North Carolina Barbecue has become a subject that can cut across lines of race, class, and the generations.  WUNC, the Public Television station in Chapel Hill, even ran a multi-part television series about it, hosted by Bob Garner, author of an exhaustive book on the subject.  It is, as you will find, every North Carolinian's God-given right to be reckoned an authority on the subject of barbecue.


In an effort to clarify the subject, it is necessary to draw a distinction between the roast meat served in North Carolina and elsewhere.  They are two different animals.  Despite the use of the term in other parts of the country, in North Carolina the word 'barbecue' means roast pork, often the entire pig.  While in Kansas City, Texas, Louisiana, and other havens of the art the emphasis is usually on the sauce, in the Tarheel state the phenomena of barbecue revolves as much around the process of cooking the meat as it does the ingredients of the sauce – although considerable powder is burned, as we shall see, about just what constitutes authentic North Carolina barbecue sauce.


It is impossible to know just how far back the barbecue tradition goes – whether it can be traced to the feasting of animist African slaves, the traditional Scottish/Irish Boar Roast, Native American cooking techniques passed along to the first settlers (The earliest colonists in Jamestown and Tidewater Virginia, similar in geography and culture to Northeastern North Carolina, certainly used the technique, and Jamaican natives were observed using a similar technique as far back as 1661) , or to the pirates and sailors who frequented our shores (Interestingly enough, the term buccaneer, a 17th century adventurer or sea robber, comes from the technique, called "boucan" [meaning barbecue], of curing meat by smoking it slowly over a fire, its French practitioners being called "boucaniers."  It is not unlikely that the technique was transferred from the Caribbean to eastern North Carolina.) will never be known.  It is perhaps a combination of all of them, or a naturally occurring phenomenon, in consideration of the ease with which hogs have been raised in this state.  Today North Carolina produces the second highest number of hogs in the country, providing a wide selection of roasting carcasses.  What is certain is that the practice has almost always included a slow-roasting process, over a low fire of oak or hickory, which lasts most of the day.


The hog roast, or "pig pickin'", is perhaps the heart of North Carolina culinary culture.  The process begins in the wee hours of the morning, when one or two stalwart souls (usually men – for no particularly good reason pig roasting is an art dominated by men) dress the hog carcass and light the fires.  For the last hundred years pigs have been roasted over wood and charcoal fires, but for the last two decades more and more barbecuers have switched to cleaner burning propane flames, which some argue deprive the pork of its traditional smoky flavor.  For either method the roasting is almost always done in a "pig cooker", a fuel oil drum which has been sawed in half, welded to an axel and a trailer hitch, and otherwise altered for the purpose.  These cookers can get quite elaborate, and almost as much breath is wasted on the merits of particular designs as on the proper way to roast and season the hog.   The hog is laid upon the grill over the flame, doused with sauce, the lid is closed, and at that point invariably someone breaks out a bottle.


For the remainder of the day the roasting team stands around the big black steel tank and "watches the pig" – though little actual watching goes on.  Every hour on the hour the lid is raised and the carcass is again liberally doused with sauce, inspected for progress, and then closed up again.  The men spend the time between inspections chatting about the news of the day, the weather, sports, politics, and all other subjects that arise from the confluence of roast pork and hard liquor.


In a traditional pig pickin' the woman are far from idle while the men accomplish the arduous chore of watching the pig and drinking.  The side dishes at a pig pickin' are legendary.  It is an opportunity for everyone to pull out old favorite recipes, some handed down from grandmothers on deathbeds, to delight the palate and impress friends and neighbors.  Various salads, casseroles, pickles, preserves, and a whole host of desserts are prepared for the event.  Some items are mandatory.  Cole slaw, for instance, must be served, although the exact recipe varies from region to region and family to family. Boiled potatoes, with a cup full of barbecue sauce added to the water is also obligatory.  Of course the bread accompaniment is the ubiquitous hushpuppy, the fried cornmeal staple of Southern life since Colonial times.  And gallons and gallons of fresh brewed sweet iced tea, sometimes flavored with lemon, complement the usual celebratory beverages.


A word here about the sauce.  There are two different styles of North Carolina Barbecue, Eastern and Western.  In both cases the sauce is a vinegar-based concoction, heavily seasoned; the largest difference is that the Western, or Lexington style of barbecue adds a small amount of tomato-base to the sauce, and also roasts pork shoulders in preference to the whole hog.  That's it.  That's the difference.  Yet these tiny differences have caused near blood feuds between proponents of the two different styles.  In both cases the vinegar base is augmented by a variety of secret herbs and spices – some favorites are salt, pepper, red pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic, nutmeg, molasses, whiskey, and brown sugar.   The specific potion is often a closely held secret, or varies depending on the ingredients at hand, but the sauce is thin, unlike most commercial tomato-based barbecue sauces.  No roaster in their right mind would put that sweet, ketchupy stuff on a perfectly good pig.


The essence of the pig pickin' experience is the pure flavor of slow-roasted, well-seasoned pork.  Often chopped by hand into a fine pulp and seasoned to taste with more sauce, the resulting product is the source of rapturous delight for thousands every day.  The pig pickin' has been used by hundreds of churches as a fund-raising technique, and there was even a Barbecue Presbyterian Church in Harnett County, near Sanford, established in 1757.


While the home-grown pig pickin' has persisted as a venerable institution in North Carolina, the commercial potential of barbecue has been fully realized.  In small towns and big cities across the state there are hundreds of small barbecue establishments who serve either the chopped variety or "pulled" pork sandwiches – a technique by which the tender roasted pork is literally pulled off of the carcass.  Barbecue has become a good-sized business in North Carolina, and many of these establishments augment over-the-counter sales with impressive catering operations.


It has also become traditional for the barbecue catering industry get a huge financial boost every election year.  No one knows whom the first politician was to provide barbecue for supporters at political rallies, but for scores of years now virtually no candidate for office has been able to get away with a successful election without cooking at least one pig for the constituency.  The practice has become so prevalent that even politicians outside of the state will send to North Carolina for expert barbecuers to come and impress their own supporters with the perfectly roasted pink pork.


There are certain towns in North Carolina who have developed a reputation for having the best barbecue joints, making up for a lack of other major attractions.  Goldsboro, Kinston, and Wilson in the East, and Lexington, Greensboro, and a twenty five mile stretch of US 52 between Salisbury and Albemarle (dubbed the Barbecue Trail by barbecue authority Bob Garner in his definitive book) in the West. The establishments in these towns have become local tourist attractions, and those with the barbecue bug think nothing of driving an extra twenty-five miles out of their way to make a pilgrimage to them.


Barbecue is one of the few subjects that has always cut through the usual racial lines North Carolina has been afflicted with.  Even in the depths of the Jim Crow era and in the turbulent Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s barbecue joints were one of the few places where black folks and white folks rubbed elbows on a regular basis.  While black students staged sit-ins at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, a few miles away at Stamey's, one of the more famous shops in North Carolina, white folk and black folk sat at the same table, eating the same rich smoky pork sandwiches, with nary a fuss.  Black families and white families have always vied on an equal footing for the bragging rights that come from recipes and roasting techniques.  A roasted pig, it seems, is completely color-blind.


In deference to health concerns and religious customs it is standard for a dozen or so chickens to be roasted with the pig.  Sometimes a separate sauce is used, sometimes the same, but if you follow Mosaic law or fear for your life you will almost always find a pile of succulent barbecued chicken available at either a pig pickin' or barbecue joint.  Vegetarians still despair, though some of the more liberal-minded have tried using the same sauce that is used on pork on a large portabella mushroom.  Needless to say, this scandalizes the barbecue traditionalist.  While the tender fungus does nicely on the grill, it is not recommended that it be subjected to the same six-to-eight hour long roasting that a pig endures.  Put the 'shrooms on the grill about fifteen minutes before serving.


Barbecuing is so competitive in North Carolina that the state boasts no fewer than twenty five annual cook-offs.  Most of these are in the Eastern part of the state, and therefore the whole hog/vinegar sauce method is emphasized, including the North Carolina Championship Pork Cook-Off, sponsored by the North Carolina Pork Producers Association, the Newport Pig Cookin' Contest; adherents to the Western style gather yearly at the Lexington Barbecue Festival to celebrate the pork shoulder/tomato sauce style in Lexington, North Carolina – a town that boasts twenty barbecue restaurants to service 17,000 people (only Lexington, Tennessee, with ten restaurants for 6,000 people has more barbecue restaurants per capita).  The teams which compete at these events range from the weekend roaster to the stainless-steel equipped professional pig cooker.  At stake are cash prizes and bragging rights, and the competition is fierce.  Judges use a very wide variety of criteria to judge a pig, and ensure a lack of corruption by using blind taste tests in addition to on-site tasting inspections.  Barbecue is serious business in North Carolina.


Considerations of length and completeness prohibit a listing of the best places to get barbecue here.  The book North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time, by Bob Garner, is highly recommended for the barbecue novice.  Whether you are a passing traveler or a newcomer to the Tarheel State a trip to a barbecue joint (or, better yet, a church or school pig pickin') is suggested in order to complete the North Carolina culinary experience.  Advice on where to go is easy to come by – just ask any three strangers with North Carolina license plates, and you will have three suggestions – and more likely than not the place will be 'just down the road a'piece'.
The Early Days
When the Spanish arrived in the Americas, they found the Taino Indians of the West Indies cooking meat and fish over a pit of coals on a framework of green wooden sticks. The Spanish spelling of the Indian name for that framework was "barbacoa". Both the name and method of cooking found their way to North America, where George Washington noted in his diary of 1769 that he "went up to Alexandria to a "barbicue."
Noah Webster's dictionary insists that the one and only correct spelling is barbecue. But, as another US president, Andrew Jackson, noted, "It's a damned poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word ." He would be mighty pleased to know that over the years folks have been enjoying barbicue, barbique, barbeque, Bar-B-Que, Bar-B-Cue, Bar-B-Q, BBQ, Cue, and just plain Q. (Doesn't it just make you wonder how Dan Quail would spell it?)

The Hogs
The Spanish explorer DeSoto introduced hogs to Florida and Alabama about 1540. The settlers at Jamestown brought swine with them in 1607 and soon thereafter Virginia enacted a law making it illegal to discharge a firearm at a barbecue! The creatures thrived in the wilds of the warm Southern woodlands where cattle perished. By the time of the War Between the States, hogs had been domesticated, and pork had become the principal meat of the South. Not surprisingly, pork has been synonymous with Southern barbecue ever since.


Barbecue
The dictionary will also tell you that the noun "barbecue" has at least four meanings:

1. a framework to hold meat over a fire for cooking
2. any meat broiled or roasted on such a framework
3. an entertainment, usually outdoor, at which such meat is prepared and eaten.
4. a restaurant that makes a specialty of such meat.

Indeed, barbecues have long been a popular social occasion in the South. But, done in the traditional way, the making of barbecue was hard work. A pit was dug in the ground the day before the gathering and filled with hardwood. The wood was burned down to coals before whole hogs, skewered on poles, were hung over the pit. The pitmasters sat up through the night, turning the hogs on their spits. The following afternoon when the guests arrived, the crisp skin - Mr. Brown - was removed and the cooked meat - the divine Miss White - was pulled in lumps from the carcass before being slathered with a favorite finishing sauce. That's why, to this very day, a social affair centered around pork barbecue is affectionately called a Pig Pickin.


The Joints
Some folks might consider barbecuing a whole hog to be a tad bit of overkill for a fellow with a sudden hankering for a sandwich. But, without benefit of electricity and refrigeration in bygone years, portioned cuts of fresh pork were nonexistent. A solution to this culinary dilemma was provided by a pair of entrepreneurs in Lexington, North Carolina when they hit upon the idea of barbecuing a couple of pigs over open pits in the town square on Saturdays and selling it. Tents soon popped up and the first commercial barbecue joint was born. The boys there in Lexington are still making some mighty fine barbecue in those barbecue joints. At last count, the city had one for every thousand citizens - men, women, and children included!

A good barbecue joint has a modest dining hall. In addition to plain tables, disposable paper place mats, and chairs with wooden seats, it will likely also have a counter with stool seats that swivel. A portrait of an elderly founder on the wall somewhere near the entrance is always a good sign. So are pictures, statues, and other sundry likenesses of pigs. A parking lot packed with a mixture of Harleys, pickup trucks, and Eldoradoes is an even better sign. The pits themselves are generally housed out back in a separate building to avoid burning down the joint in the event of a flameup. The building will have a screen door with a spring on it that twangs when the door slams shut. The hardwood in the yard nearby will be of various ages. You may not see smoke coming from the pit chimneys except when the wood is being burned to coals. But, you should always be able to smell it! Should you find copper lines leading to the pits from a silver tank the size of a small elephant out where the woodyard ought to be, drive on. You ain't there yet! The founder's son has sold his soul to the Devil for the ease of that modern-day bane of barbecue, propane. Come back in a couple of years and you will find a brand new McDonalds there with a drive-up window right where the pits once stood. Good barbecue is a hard way to make a buck.


The Great Debate
There is no debate in North Carolina that barbecue should be pit-cooked and pork. There is, however, is great disagreement about which parts of the pigs should be barbecued and whether tomatoes should be any part of the finishing sauce. Down east, the whole hog, split down the middle, is barbecued . The finishing sauce is a sharp, tomato-free vinegar-and-pepper ketchup. West of U.S. Highway 1, only the shoulders are barbecued, and the milder finishing sauce contains a touch of tomato. Which is better? That most likely depends on which joint you happen to be in at the moment!
member since 2005

member since 2005