Douglas Oliver is the pitmaster of Sweatman’s BBQ in Holly Hills, South Carolina. He’s one of the more tragic unsung heros on our list. Sweatman’s, oddly enough is not listed in the South Carolina BBQ Society’s top 100 list which is just criminal. Sweatman’s was actually featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” and the president of the SCBBQA brought him there proclaiming it 100 mile BBQ. Oliver’s work on the pits is a common theme in the South Carolina countryside – Whole Hog BBQ is hard work, but it isn’t as hard as farming. They’re rather sit around and watch the pits than have to man the fields.
Style – Sweatman’s burns down wood to coals and cooks their hogs on open pits. Unlike many of their competitors, there are metal lids and cover the pits using a pulley system. The hogs are cooked overnight and are only served two days a week – Friday and Saturday. Now they say it takes them all week to prepare but to this day I can’t figure out what they’re prepping. They also have the distinction of separating the white and dark meats so that people can have their choice of what cut they want. Some people really like this, for a Eastern Carolina stylist like myself, it feels like it defeats the purpose of the whole hog – mixing the fatty dark with the lean white meats.
Fuel – Sweatman’s burns oak and hickory woods.
Sauce – You can have any sauce you want just so long as it’s mustard you’re looking for.