Social Media

How To Smoke Eastern NC BBQ

How To Smoke Eastern NC BBQ

Smoking Eastern NC BBQ: A Delicious Tradition

Barbecue is a beloved tradition in Eastern North Carolina, and smoking it is an art form that has been perfected over generations. If you want to learn how to smoke Eastern NC BBQ, you’ve come to the right place. From selecting the right meat to mastering the smoking process, here’s everything you need to know to create mouthwatering Eastern NC BBQ.

Choose the Right Meat

When it comes to smoking Eastern NC BBQ, the type of meat you choose is crucial. The traditional choice for this style of barbecue is pork shoulder, also known as pork butt. This cut is well-marbled and contains enough fat to keep the meat moist during the long smoking process. For the most authentic flavor, look for a pork shoulder with the skin on.

Preparation and Seasoning

Before you start smoking the pork shoulder, it’s essential to prepare and season the meat properly. Many pitmasters in Eastern NC swear by a simple yet flavorful seasoning blend of salt, black pepper, and a hint of cayenne pepper. This allows the natural flavors of the pork to shine through while still providing a subtle kick of heat.

  • Start by rubbing the pork shoulder with a generous amount of the seasoning blend, making sure to coat the meat evenly.
  • Cover the seasoned pork shoulder and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours, or overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

The Smoking Process

Now comes the most critical part of smoking Eastern NC BBQ: the smoking process itself. Traditional Eastern NC BBQ is smoked low and slow over a wood-burning pit, typically using hickory or oak wood to impart a rich, smoky flavor to the meat.

  1. Prepare your smoker by bringing it to a steady temperature of around 225-250°F.
  2. Place the seasoned pork shoulder on the smoker rack, making sure to position it so that the skin side is facing up to allow the fat to baste the meat as it cooks.
  3. Close the smoker and let the pork shoulder smoke for several hours, maintaining a consistent temperature and adding more wood as needed to keep the smoke flowing.
  4. Check the internal temperature of the pork shoulder with a meat thermometer. The meat is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 195-205°F, and the outside is beautifully caramelized.

Rest and Serve

Once the pork shoulder has reached the perfect temperature and developed a beautiful bark on the outside, it’s time to remove it from the smoker and let it rest. Allow the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes before shredding it with two forks or chopping it into delectable pieces.

Eastern NC BBQ is traditionally served with a vinegar-based sauce that complements the smoky flavor of the meat. You can also serve it with classic sides like coleslaw, hushpuppies, and cornbread for a complete Eastern NC BBQ experience.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of smoking Eastern NC BBQ, you can carry on the time-honored tradition of this beloved regional cuisine. Gather your friends and family, fire up the smoker, and get ready to savor the mouthwatering flavors of authentic Eastern NC BBQ.

Share your tips and techniques for smoking authentic Eastern North Carolina BBQ in the Cooking Techniques forum and let’s discuss how to achieve that perfect smoky flavor and tender texture.
What type of wood is best for smoking Eastern NC BBQ?
The best type of wood for smoking Eastern NC BBQ is hickory. Hickory wood provides a strong, smoky flavor that complements the traditional vinegar-based Eastern NC BBQ sauce.
How long should I smoke the pork for Eastern NC BBQ?
For authentic Eastern NC BBQ, the pork should be smoked low and slow for about 12-14 hours. This slow smoking process allows the meat to become tender and absorb the smoky flavor.
What temperature should the smoker be set to for smoking Eastern NC BBQ?
The smoker should be set to a temperature of around 225-250°F for smoking Eastern NC BBQ. This low and consistent heat helps to slowly cook the pork and infuse it with the smoky flavor.
Should I use a dry rub or marinade for smoking Eastern NC BBQ?
For authentic Eastern NC BBQ, it is best to use a simple dry rub consisting of salt, pepper, and possibly a touch of paprika. The focus is on the flavor of the smoked meat and the vinegar-based sauce, so a minimal dry rub is preferred over a marinade.
How do I know when the pork for Eastern NC BBQ is done smoking?
You will know the pork is done smoking when it reaches an internal temperature of 195-205°F. Additionally, the meat should be tender and easily pull apart with a fork. This indicates that it has been properly smoked and is ready to be served.

Was this page helpful?