CUT. CHOP. COOK.
Real pit BBQ.
Pitmaster Rodney Scott barbecued his first pig on his own when he was 11 years old. His whole hog BBQ is now legendary and fans make the pilgrimage from miles around to come to his place in Hemingway, SC.
One of Rodney's biggest fans is chef Sean Brock, "Hands down, my most favorite place to eat in the entire world and obviously the South. This shit will blow your mind. Oh my God! It’s food that makes you say that. I can’t believe how wonderful this is. I’m so jealous of what he does. He is a force to be reckoned with."
By Pitmaster Rodney Scott
I love watching somebody taste the BBQ for the first time. It's so amazing to know that you have touched somebody’s heart through their stomach. To see them come back a second time is a relief, and when you see them that third and forth time, you’re like, 'Wow! I got them! This person loves what I do.'
I love to see people happy and to see them enjoy something to eat as much as I do. It’s unexplainable, there are no words for it.
The Process | The Wood
First of all, you've definitely got to have a chainsaw, along with your old truck, or however you carry old wood around, and you've got to find the right tree. The right tree is an oak, hickory, or pecan tree. We cut it up, just small enough to fit in our burn barrel. We then load it on the truck and haul it in.
The Fire & Embers
We get the fire started in the burn barrel [an old drum with criss-crossed old truck axels to hold the wood] and let it burn down to the embers. You scoop up the embers that have fallen to the bottom, take them inside, and put them under the ham and shoulders of the pig. You have to catch these embers while they're really hot, because if you let them sit too long they'll cool off and they won’t do you any good. You've got to catch them as soon as they drop down, they’ll be hot and still red. That's our main heat source. We don't use anything else, which means you can't turn it down or turn it up. You just have to keep a close eye on things.
My dad told me that every 15 minutes or so you want to add your heat and at the same time you've got to make sure you’ve got enough wood burning to create your heat. If you are by yourself, it becomes a back and forth thing. You put wood in the barrel for a few minutes, then you take the embers out and spread them under the hog for a few minutes. It's a lot of walking and lifting. And a lot of cussing!
We can do as many as 16 hogs at once.
We start at 4pm in the afternoon and we flip them over at 4am, which is the 12-hour mark.
Seasoning & Sauce
We do our seasoning after the hog has been roasted, while it’s belly-up. After we flip the hog over, we add our dry seasoning to it, and then we put our sauce on. We then let it sit until we cook the skin on the bottom. The crispy skin is a big hit around here. We crunch down on it.
Sauce is very regional. A lot folks in upstate [South Carolina] will have a mustard-based sauce. Upstate is a couple of hours from here. Hemingway is located in the Pee Dee region, which is known for its pepper vinegar-based sauce.
FAVORITE PART OF THE PIG
My favorite part is right under the ribs. It is the most tender part of the pig and the meat is fine, stringy, and moist. It’s just perfect.
What to Drink with BBQ
A lot of folks say cold beer goes with the spice of the barbecue, but chef Lee Anne Wong turned me onto apple juice. It amazed me.
Here in the south, I always drink a Red Rock soda. It might be a soda you've never heard of, it’s made by Pepsi and made with strawberry. Another good option is a Tahitian Treat, which is a fruit punch soda.
Scott's Bar-B-Que is recommended by FED Pros
- Chef Sean Brock of Husk, McCrady's, and Minero
- Chef Robert Carter of Carter's Kitchen
- Pitmaster Jimmy Hagood of BlackJack Barbecue
- Cookbook authors Matt & Ted Lee
2734 Hemingway Highway, Hemingway, SC 29554
T: 843.558.0134 | thescottsbbq.com
Wed: 9:30am - 6pm
Thu: 9:30am - 8:30pm
Fri 9:30am - 8:30pm
Sat: 9:30am - 8pm
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