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Bucket-List Barbecue: 16 BBQ Joints You Must Visit before You Die

53710-OneTrueBBQ-Map-(1)_400“Though I was born and raised in the South,” writes Rien Fertel in The One True Barbecue, “I grew up entirely barbecueless.” That is because he had never experienced true barbecue—whole hog barbecue. Recounting his first experience with the real stuff at Siler’s Old Time BBQ in Tennessee, he writes:

“Using my hands, I started forking the meat into my mouth. Each bite seemed to reveal a different part of the pig. I could discern, with tongue and teeth, the textural differences between the soft, unctuous belly meat and the firm, almost jerky-dry shoulder. The slaw added softly alternating rushes of sweet and heat to each smoke-tinged taste. In Memphis I had eaten barbecue more times than I’d like to count, but this was the first time I truly tasted barbecue.”

Whole hog is the true barbecue legacy, which Fertel documents in The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog. And in honor of National Barbecue Day, we wanted you to experience those legendary barbecue joints for yourself. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Barbecue Country.

1. Scott’s-Parker’s Barbecue —Lexington, TN

2. Peg Leg Porker — Nashville, TN

3. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint — Nashville, TN

4. Buxton Hall — Ashville, TN

5. Skylight Inn — Ayden, NC

6. Bum’s Restaurant — Ayden, NC

7. Wilber’s Barbecue — Goldsboro, NC

8. Grady’s Barbecue — Dudley, NC

9. Sam Jones BBQ — Greenville, NC

10. Fuller’s Old Fashioned Bar-B-Q — Lumberton, NC

11. Sid’s Catering — Beulaville, NC

12. Jackie Hite’s Bar-B-Q — Batesburg-Leesville, SC

13. Sweatman’s Bar-B-Que — Holly Hill, SC

14. Scott’s Bar-B-Que — Hemingway, SC and Hell’s Half Acre, SC

15. Arrogant Swine — Bushwick, NY

16. Lamar Lounge — Oxford, MS

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