SOURCE: Southern Living Magazine
Up next on deck for my “Gods of Whole Hog” series is Samuel Jones of the Skylight Inn. Now heirs to any throne usually get the short end of the stick public court of opinions. When Michel Roux Jr of Le Gavroche, one of London’s most expensive restaurants, took over from his father, the Michelin Guide unceremoniously demoted them from 3 to 2 stars. Bit harsh considering that many consider Michel’s talents to exceed his father. The fact that this family has been doing whole hog BBQ for over 180 years, you’d think there would be some type of empire going on. Some generic sauce being sold at whole foods. “Skylight Inns” that bake their pigs in an oven popping up all over the country. Hell a stock listing perhaps. But it’s not. The Skylight Inn to this day is still a dive located in the middle of nowhere. It is still to this day where the faithful go to pray. Their butcher block an altar, and like the Eucharist, you get bread and flesh. So I’m assuming he’s not in it for the money.
Style – Classic North Carolina cooking here – burn wood down to coals and shovel around the pig. Around and not under. No thrills, no frills. Jones is also adamant that it needs to be hog cooked with wood embers and it needs to be in an open pit. So all of us with our shiny fancy doors on our trailers, we ain’t pit cooking.
Fuel – All oak here. No wood blends. If they cooked with any other wood, we might need to place those trees on the endangered species list.
Sauce – Jones says you can keep your secret sauce and it’s pretty likely he’ll just give his to you if you ask nicely. A beer would help too. But it’s simply cider vinegar, salt, black and red peppers and a dash of Texas Pete hot sauce. Don’t try to give him any of yours though, he has unkind words for that glob that people drown their hog in.