Barbecue Pilgrimage

Barbecue, it’s the center of a lot of arguments in this area, usually about what’s the best sauce. But I know a secret, if you’re talking about the sauce, it’s because the cue wasn’t cooked right. And most of it here isn’t. Barbecue is first and foremost about 2 flavors, meat and smoke. Sauce is secondary. Now don’t get me wrong, the right sauce can elevate already good barbecue to the next level, but if step 1 wasn’t done right, then what’s the point? This is where Scott’s Barbecue excels. Whole hog barbecue over hickory coals. That might be one of the most beautiful sentences in the english language. Okay, so maybe I’m going a bit overboard, but really, there isn’t much better than really good barbecue.

I’m lucky to have a good friend like Hunter, who suggested that we utilize one of our recent Fridays off to make a pilgrimage, to what I would argue is the best barbecue joints in South Carolina. Perhaps farther than that, but I still have a lot of barbecue to try. That place is Scott’s Barbecue in Hemingway, SC. If you doubt me (or just want to know more about Scott’s) then check out this article from the NYT. There isn’t much I can say about it that isn’t already said in this article, and they had the pleasure of speaking with the pitmaster, Rodney Scott, who is also featured in an article in Saveur.

It’s a 4-5 hour trip to get there and back. Hemingway isn’t exactly a convenient place to get to, luckily we have some gorgeous state highways to make the trip more enjoyable. A cup of coffee and some LCD Soundsystem didn’t hurt either though. Scott’s doesn’t really cater to the dine in crowd, in fact there is only one table inside, but we weren’t there for a fine dining experience, we were there for barbecue! Hunter and I posted up on the trunk of his car with a loaf of Sunbeam White Bread and our cartons hickory smoked, vinegary, peppery, porky goodness. I would have driven 8 hours for this. Pork, smoke, heat, and just a bit of tanginess. This is good barbecue. Thank goodness Hunter had the foresight to grab a bag of chicharrones with his order so we could snack on those all the way home instead of finishing off one or two of the boxes of cue in the back seat.  It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’ve still got a pound left in the freezer,  butif it weren’t for Thanksgiving, I doubt it would make it through the week. I’m ready to go back!

All the essentials for a perfect meal.

Yeah, that’s a total of 8 lbs on the trunk, but there was more already stashed in the car.

And that’s how you know it was worth it.

Enjoy! ~F

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