The Illustrated Guide to Playing With Your Meat

Smiling Pig

I know why you’re all here.  It’s not my wit and charm or my rapid-fire sense of humor.

No it’s not, stop lying to me.

You’re all a bunch of pigs and you read that title and your little pig brains went all “PORN!” and you clicked right on in here.  Pigs, all of you.  That’s exactly what this post is about . . . 


More specifically, pork, and how porking is done in the great State of North Carolina, because nobody porks like North Carolina.

Settle down.

It’s a recipe, ya’ll.

A recipe the way a man would write a recipe if men wrote recipes, but they don’t write recipes because we are men.  This is just what it would look like if we did.

Anybody that has been to North Carolina for any length of time has at some point or another, been invited to a good ole fashion North Carolina “Pig Pickin'”.  It is a many years old tradition of friends and family gathering together for an entire day (and often into the night) filled with food, beverages, “Bless your heart’s” and “over yonder’s”.  Your typical Pig Pickin’ menu is going to look something like this:

  • cole slaw
  • ‘tater salad
  • corn bread
  • Holy Mother of God Sweet Ice-T
  • multiple kegs of Budweiser
  • corn on the cob
  • collard greens
  • Brunswick stew
  • banana pudding
  • hush puppies

Clearly there is one item I’ve left off that list.  That’s because at a Pig Pickin’, that item is a given.  It’s understood.  Hell, it’s the name of the event.  The pig.  By pig, I mean one of a kind, only in North Carolina, pulled pork barbecue.  In the literal sense, because it is going to be pulled right off the pig.  The pig that is the centerpiece of the event.  A pig that was more than likely, alive and well 48 hours prior to the event.

The pig is showcased at the center of the event, on a portable grill.  Do not misunderstand what I mean by “portable”.  By “portable grill” I mean it needs to be towed in on a goddamn trailer on the back of a Ford F250 with a lift kit, a gun rack and a rebel flag waving from a 38 foot fiberglass pole.

This would be a good place to start

The entire pig is then placed on the grill to cook for many, many hours.  I don’t mean all the pieces of the pig.  I mean the WHOLE DAMN PIG.


To be very clear, that second picture isn’t entirely accurate, because at a real, traditional Pig Pickin’, no self-respectin’ Southern man is gonna cook that pig on a gas grill.  Hell no!  A real pig-cookin’ man is gonna set some shit on fire.  There’s gonna be real wood at the bottom of that grill.  None of that damn charcoal either.  Wood, chopped by the Southern Man himself and seasoned with Southern Man sweat and possibly blood if cousin Earl was a little drunk when he was usin’ the chainsaw.

It takes as long to get the fire settled and transformed into the perfect coals as it does to cook the pig.  Preparations for a true Pig Pickin’ will actually start 2 or even 3 days before the event.

It is very much worth the effort, because the end result is, in my opinion (and soon to be yours), the BEST pulled pork barbecue in all the world.

If Jesus himself were to resurrect yet again, He’s gonna do it at a North Carolina Pig Pickin’ and renounce that whole “Jews can’t eat pork” bullshit.

Four years ago, I moved away from North Carolina and I no longer had access to the Pork of the Gods.  This made me sad.  In North Carolina, there are whole restaurant chains dedicated to the Holy pig meat, numerous mom & pop joints that have mastered the craft and if you’re local, there is even a map published to help you find them.

Click the map if you wanna buy one.
Click the map if you wanna buy one.

Leaving North Carolina means you can’t have North Carolina Pork Barbecue anymore.  Between losing that and access to Country Ham, I was devastated.

. . . but I prevailed.  I searched and researched and tested and tried and experienced much disappointment, until the answer was finally found.  A recipe for North Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue that nearly cloned the barbecue that I used to get at one of the fine chain restaurants back home called Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue.  All I needed was a crock pot, a pork butt a few ingredients and some Southern food love.

I’m gonna share it with you.

You can thank me later.

I was also conversing with Denise via text while making this, so you already know this is going to go slightly (read:  horribly) awry.


I found this on, but I’m going to interpret this for you man-style.  You won’t be disappointed.


North Carolina style Pulled Pork Barbecue

What you will need:

  • 5 quart crock pot
  • 2 Onions (quartered)
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika (“smoked” is important here)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 pork butt (4 – 6 pounds should do)
  • Unlimited access to “Freebird” (Play it LOUD)

[spotify id=”spotify:track:4e6kP7g8MUCqHcld1yeHYA” width=”250″ height=”100″ /]

Here’s a little help.

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Now let’s get started with the cookin’!!

First thing you wanna do is take them 2 big ole onions and quarter ’em.  That means four chunks of onion from each onion for a total of eight chunks.  Then put the pieces into the crock pot.


Looks like you got a little somethin’ in your eye there, Sparky.  Take a minute to get that out.  It’s probably just a little man-sweat or somethin’.  Happens to the best of us.

Now that you have the easy part out of the way, let’s get to rubbin’ your meat like a pro.


Mix together the brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  Mix it all up real good.


Now take that mixture and rub it all over your pork butt.  Rub it in real good.  Get it all up in there.  Rub it in to all the crevices.  Be a little bit rough with it.  If it doesn’t start turnin’ red, you ain’t doin’ it right.  Really get it in there.

When you have your meat thoroughly and completely rubbed, drop it in the crock pot with the onions.  Make sure your meat hits the bottom of the crock pot, so you’ll need to adjust the onions a bit to make it happen.  It’s very important that your meat hit bottom so it gets all the right juices.  While it’s cooking.

Now that your meat is all ready, it’s time to bring on the sauce.  Get a bowl and combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt and cayenne pepper and mix it all up real good.  This sauce is the key to your perfect North Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue and some of it will be kept to the side to pour on your finished barbecue as a condiment, so knowing that, I generally double the recipe for the sauce, and because I also like mine pretty spicy, I double the cayenne pepper and the crushed red pepper too.

One you have that mixture, you’re almost done.  Take about 1/3 of the mixture and pour it over your meat in the crock pot.  I felt it was important to emphasize your meat in the crock pot.  Any other interpretation of that sentence may prove painful and I am not responsible for your stupidity.  Save the remaining mixture and put it in the refrigerator.  You’ll need that tomorrow.

Your meat is now ready to cook.  Put the lid on the crock pot, turn it on Low and leave it alone for 10 to 12 hours.  (10 hours if your meat is on the smaller end of the scale, 12 hours on the bigger end)  As I discovered today, 14 hours if the power goes out for 2 hours during the night.

[This recipe also says that you can cook it for 4 hours on High, and it does work, but it just doesn’t come out the same.  I prefer the longer cook time to let the flavors cook through completely.]

Now, you’ve got 10 to 12 hours to kill, so whaddya do?


Clean the kitchen, you idiot!!  My God, it’s like you don’t even know me!!

Alright, so we’ll assume 12 hours has passed and it’s time to cross the finish line.  Carefully take your meat out of the crock pot and put it into a big bowl.  It will fall apart, that’s what it’s supposed to do.  Just the meat.  Throw away the onions.  Just put ’em in the trash, they have outlived their usefulness.

Now grab a couple of forks and shred the hell out of your meat.  While doing so, add some of the juice from the crock pot and a large portion of the leftover sauce that you put in the refrigerator.  Shred and shred.  Your completed and ready to eat creation should look like this:


How you eat it is entirely up to you.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll eat it just like this and likely right out of the bowl with your fingers like I did, sometimes dunking it into the extra spicy sauce that I have set off to the side.  One of the other most popular ways to eat it is on a hamburger bun with a slice of cheese and some cole slaw.  However you choose to eat it, it’s guaranteed to be the best pork you’ve ever had.  Barbecue.  Pork barbecue.

By the way, kids, if you are planning on making this recipe, send me pics and tell me how it went and how everybody liked it!!  Better yet, I want to hear about those of you who tried it that live in another country.  C’mon England, hook a brother up!!


The Tweet of the Day my friends, comes from Beth!  Remember her?  From the post?  About her vag? Well guess what she got in the mail yesterday?


Took me a minute to find, but if you look real close you can see that she got her flask. Cleavage, then just look up. You’ll find it.

51 thoughts on “The Illustrated Guide to Playing With Your Meat

  1. This looks amazing! And most definitely – Freebird is soooo in order for this recipe… Nice flask for Beth – you have me rolling with this one!

  2. Okay, I like the recipe but could do without the pig pics, said the vegan. πŸ™‚ I do partake in meat dishes from time to time, though. You know, cuz I can’t seem to keep my hands of nice pieces of meat. he he he

    I LOVE MY FLASK SO HARD. Thanks for….so many things. I love making new blog buddies. πŸ™‚

    1. Well, I thought the pig pics were important being that I announced this as an “Illustrated Guide”, but my apologies for the offense. If it makes you feel any better, Denise could do without the pig pics too and I gave her no apology whatsoever.

      I LOVE YOUR PIC OF THE FLASK SO HARD! (Yes, that is in fact, a euphemism) What you got in your vag . . . flask?

      1. Oh no offense taken, for reals. Just kiddin’ around. I’m a tough vegan. πŸ™‚

        BTW, this is the most entertaining recipe I’ve ever read, and your kitchen is dizzyingly clean.

        1. Maybe I’ve found my niche market . . . Man Recipes! And thank you, I pride myself on my OCD kitchen tendencies. Liz had the week off and she did what she called a “deep clean” to the whole house, so I didn’t think it would be fair if I came in there and wrecked it with pork products.

  3. BBQ is serious business in NC, as well as the long running argument between which is better, eastern or western BBQ. It will be the reason for a NC civil war and you WILL be expected to pick a side. It’s such a serious topic, there have been 3 legislative bills dedicated to actually trying to make it law that western NC BBQ is the official BBQ of the state. Yes, NC legislators…have written law…about BBQ.

      1. Are you making fun of me? You wouldn’t be joking about BBQ if you still lived in NC. That shit won’t fly here.

  4. *dies laughing* I am still in AWE of your tags. And that you wrote an entire recipe post in double entendre. That is SO HOW A MAN SHOULD DO IT! (lookee there – I can do it too! (and there!))

    I am SO happy that you got Beth such an awesome flask to commemorate her post, and that you two are bloggy friends now.

    And just…*still laughing* This is awesome.

    1. Honestly, I was laughing when I made the tags, thinking somewhere along the line that Beth was gonna kill me. I mean, can you imagine somewhere down the line, one of her relatives or close family members decides to Google her, and when that auto-complete list pops up and “Beth Teliho’s Vagina” is actually there? Fuck it, let’s make it a hashtag make that shit TREND!!

  5. Oooh! I love pulled pork North Carolina style and am definitely gonna try this. Regarding the pork butt…that’s not something you find in the regular meat section, so I assume you ask the grocery store butcher. Or do you have to go to a real butcher? Are the onions just for propping up the meat so it doesn’t sit on the bottom of the crock pot, or is they necessary for the flavor as well? Around how many servings does this recipe make? Can you tell that I’m serious about trying this?!

    There’s country ham here in Kentucky, but I’ve been afraid to try it. It looks gross and is not even refrigerated. Do you really like it? Plus they get all excited about Ale 8, too, which tastes like extra sweet and slightly flat ginger ale, so who knows if you can trust the Kentucky palette. (Though I bet it would be OK mixed with some Maker’s Mark).

    Thanks for the manly meat recipe, and, as always, for the pictures.

    1. Nope, I find my butt right there in the meat section of the grocery store. Even got it at WinnDixie and I didn’t have to talk to anyone, which is the preferred method of doing pretty much everything. Didn’t have to buy it dinner and take it dancing or anything.

      As for the onions, yes, they are there for the flavor and if you read again carefully, I tell you to move the onions aside so that your meat rests on the bottom of the crock pot to insure proper juice infusion.

      If your country ham looks gross and does not require refrigeration then THAT IS EXACTLY IT and should be eaten with the same reverence with which you eat this pulled pork barbecue. NC Pork Barbecue, Country Ham and Bacon . . . is it any wonder that some religions worship the pig!!

    2. I forgot to answer your question about servings. The answer is subjective, as is “serving suggestions” found on the side of the Townhouse Cracker box, or any fucking box for that matter, because if you go by that I single-handedly eat for a family of 12.

      This particular butt weighed in at 5.7 lbs, so it was at the high end of the recipe. It would feed:

      a) A family of 6 for one meal with side dishes
      b) A family of 3 twice, with some leftover for a couple sandwiches
      c) An acceptable amount to take to a pot luck (yes, it is my go-to when I don’t have a lot of time and can’t make Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms)
      d) Me, for about one dinner and about a weeks worth of lunches, and it freezes well too.

  6. Well i must say when i read that title i was thinking big juicy lamb chop.
    And then you give me big juicy pork jum, with guidelines and all + just look at that clean kitchen wow’s.


    1. I had to head the clean kitchen thing off at the pass, because I KNEW there was a Sisterwife out there somewhere that was gonna ask me if I cleaned the kitchen. Thanks for comin’ by, Serins!!

      1. Well you are probably one of the tidy’est dudes i know…. πŸ™‚ And I like this blog. It is always good to have a little humor with your morning coffee. πŸ™‚

    2. Thank you for the detailed reply. I guess I was so distracted by the witty repartee with Denise, the clever double entedres (I’m with Lizzi–very impressed by how you managed to write a manly recipe and be extremely entertaining at the same time), and, of course, the vag flask and the lovely cleavage. Oh, so distracted that I missed the part about the butt needing to touch the heat to make the proper juices, that is. There’s a lot going on in this post. I’ll ask you later about how to serve the disgusting looking Country Ham.

  7. This post made me really hungry. But in Pennsylvania we call it a “Pig Roast”. Now I want to go to one and it’s all your fault. However, I will accept pork via mail. So… feel free to send it to me because I’m a starving college kid.

    1. I’ve never porked anyone via mail. Is it as satisfying? Does the mail get sticky, or dry up and get kinda crusty? Will people judge our age difference if we pork via the USPS?

  8. Lord, the tags on this post! And the title. And the fact that you just made a recipe sound like porn. I think you have a future. I know rednecks everywhere would appreciate this. I can say that ‘cuz I’m hitched to one. And thanks for the pic of Beth…damn that girl is hot!

  9. I must comment since I walked in on you, umm, playing with your meat. You neglected to mention what I said. I believe it was something like “OH MY GOD, that looks amazing. When do I get a taste?” Seriously everyone, I don’t like BBQ and this recipe is amazing. Enjoy.

    1. It really is awesome. I looked in the fridge tonight and half of it was gone already. I wondered where it went until The Girl came home from work talking about how good it was and now everybody at her job wants me to make more.

    1. That is so awesome!! Yeah, Lynard Skynard is how we roll in the Carolina’s. And 38 Special and Bad Company. Now, off to Pinterest I go to see what awesome thing you’ve done!

  10. That looked awesome. My brother’s brother-in-law does pig roasts and he has the damn trailer and grill that he assembled and welded himself out of pure manliness. I’m sure he’s not anything close to NC standards but he wins contests out in Chicagoland. I think he does a fantastic job, myself. This post made me so hungry I put on a pig mask and cooked myself and served myself and ate myself after kicking a turkey for not being a pig.

    1. Hey, if it’s self-welded and kinda lopsided near the end because that’s where he was the drunkest when he made it, it’ll score high on the redneck homemade scale and they’ll let him hang down south. Just don’t call a soda a “pop” and he probably won’t get shot. I say probably because not getting shot isn’t a guarantee at a good ole boy Pig Pickin’. Little known fact: The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms originally started as a theme party in Rocky Mount, North Carolina that got way outta hand.

      The state of hunger you describe is known as Man-Hangry.

  11. Fabulous. If I could cook worth a damn I’d give it a try. I spent seven years in NC before moving back to the Northland and the only thing I miss more than pulled pork is honest to God fried chicken (it sucks up here). Oh, and biscuits. Real, buttery, southern biscuits. Oh, and hush puppies…

    The only reason I don’t miss cheese straws is because I mail order them by the case. True story.

    1. The only positive side to moving away from all that NC delicious food is that it was all killing us slowly anyway. Except country ham. That’s actually served with a side of vasodialater.

  12. This sounds awesome. I may have my husband try and make this for me. Now if you’ll excuse me for just one minute:


    Ok I’m back. Your back and forth with Denise cracks me up. I do have one question: Can I use one of those crock pot bags to cook this? Turns out that everything I cook in my crock pot tastes like everything else I cook in that bitch unless I use a bag. Thoughts?

    1. Denise does keep things colorful, aside from the irony of cooking meat with a vegan. As for the crock pot bags, I’m not sure but if it helps lock in some flavor, you can’t go wrong. This is one of those recipes that gets better after it’s been in the refrigerator a couple days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *