Chef Chris Scott's Carolina-style barbecue sample dish.

Carolina-Style Pork Barbecue

Chef Chris Scott shares his crowd-favorite First Friday recipe.

Chef Chris Scott's Carolina-style barbecue sample at the August First Friday.

Barbecue is a culture that goes deeper than what I’m able to do. I understand the theory and fundamentals, but what I get out of barbecue is from memory. I make what I like or remember from growing up in the South.

There’s a river in South Carolina called the Pee Dee River, and anything east of that is vinegar-based barbecue: cider, brown sugar, chili flakes, if you like it spicy; it’s very wet. It’s mopped on to the food and caramelized on the coals for that sticky, icky feel. Anything west of that is the mustard-based barbecue, which is what I remember the most and the one I like. In that area, no tomato product is added, that’s more of a Kansas City or Texas kind of thing. There are even mayonnaise-based styles.

Bread soaks up the fat oil drippings and sauce with barbecue, and when the sauce is too spicy, bread can be a coolant. My sauce was inspired by the slice of white bread that normally comes with this regional barbecue. For two years, I've been working on a bread course that isn't what the diner expects when it arrives. The bread could be served in the form of a liquid, gelee or foam, containing all the ingredients that we're familiar with when it comes to bread, including flour and yeast. This concept can even taste like bread but isn't the bread that we're all familiar with.

My liquid form is a sauce. The "bread" that came with this barbecue was garlic, lemongrass, hondashi, creme and very toasted sourdough. I cooked this all together for an hour or so, strained it and then thickened with a little bit of xantham. You have to know what you’re doing with xantham or it will be like glue. Home cooks can often use corn starch to thicken the sauce.

I served the bread sauce with wild rice and sizzling dry rice at August's First Friday, along with my take on Carolina-style pork barbecue, below.


Carolina-Style Pork Barbecue


  • 1 small pork butt
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup hot sauce


  1. Place all of this in a saucepot and cook over low heat for 2 hours.
  2. Separately, rub and smoke a small pork butt for at least 4 hours, or until able to pull apart and shred by hand.
  3. Stir the juices from the smoked pork into the barbecue sauce.
  4. Shred pork and put into a saucepot dry. Add barbecue sauce until it's very wet. Cook this over medium heat until hot.
  5. You can now serve the pork however you wish: on sandwiches, over rice or over bread.

Meet more chefs over demos and drinks at our next First Friday event.

Add new comment