Friday, January 21, 2011
Fred won the Masterbuilt Barbecue Smoker back this fall in a drawing the Masterbuilt company sponsored on my Barbecue Master blog. Since Fred's from Canada but has family in Florida, we thought it would be fun for him to stop here in North Carolina barbecue country and pick up the smoker on the way down to visit his folks.
Well, today was the BIG DAY.
After a few months of being a boxed lamp table in my living room (so that I'd know for sure the smoker stayed in perfect condition), it was off to the Days Inn to personally present the really cool looking smoker with a window, light, and thermostat probe to Fred.
Fred picked some bad weather to drive from up North there, but things were clear tonight in Salisbury - just cold. Not as cold as he's used to though I'll bet.
First things first, the guys helped me unload the smoker, so now Fred has a brand new smoker which I'm sure he'll enjoy.
After dropping off the smoker, the crew went up the road to Wink's Barbecue. It is one of the few wood burning barbecue joints in the area. Most have had to switch over to gas or electric due to health codes and the labor involved in running a stick burning barbecue restaurant.
We all had chopped barbecue on buns which is the major style in this area of the country. The sauce was vinegar based with some red (any type of ketchup or tomato product with variations depending on the BBQ joint).
Wood burners vary night to night, since that kind of work is much more art than science. The barbecue was good tonight, but I've hit it on stronger nights. They sauced just a little heavy in the kitchen, but the que was still excellent.
We varied on our sides. They have quite a selection and all good. Fred tried out the fried okra. He'd never had okra before, and I think he liked it. He also had a chance to taste good hush puppies. He'd not been a fan before, we converted him.
As usual, the meal was big, so . . . no desserts. Jimmy did get a banana pudding to carry home though, so I guess he'll have that for a treat tomorrow.
Fred and I both picked up items (mostly barbecue related) to share across our borders. I got him a case of Cheerwine (a local soft drink) from the factory in Salisbury. It's kind of like a cherry Coke but not really. It's just different and a local favorite and served at most all barbecue restaurants around these parts.
I also picked up a range of barbecue sauces from around here and Frank Corriher country ham and Carolina Blonde beer. Oh yes, I also got Pig Pen's seasoning made also in Salisbury. So, Fred will have a taste of North Carolina to take back to Canada.
Fred brought me some fabulous looking barbecue sauces and a grilling book that made me drool just looking through quickly. Eli has already picked out this huge stacked burger that he wants me to make from the cookbook.
I also had to put on the super cute Canadian mittens Fred brought. They are from the Olympics and have the maple leaves on there. Just perfect for a cold January night in North Carolina.
I'll be back with more posts about all the "North of the Border" products Fred shared. I'm still backlogged with this sinus thing which has made it hard for me to taste things. Today was a better day, so maybe this crud is starting to back off.
Tomorrow more of the North Carolina BBQ folks are meeting at Lexington #1 to have another taste of barbecue with Fred.
Welcome to North Carolina Fred! Great to meet you. Enjoyed the heck out of the evening. Glad you won the smoker and that you're getting to check out our local barbecue world.