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Aug 19, 2013 10:55 PM

NC-style chopped whole hog barbecue - where to find in Outer Banks?

Hey, I'm going to the Outer Banks for the first time and I'm looking for NC-style whole hog barbecue. I found the following barbecue joints so far:

High Cotton (looks like the best option)
Corolla VIllage Bar-B-Que
Currituck BBQ Company
BJ's Carolina Café

Please let me know which place does NC-style whole hog barbecue the best (if at all) and/or if somewhere's noteworthy for any other smoked meat? Smoked tuna at Pigman's sounds worth a try. Feel free to suggest somewhere not on the list or on the way into town (from New Jersey). I am a barbecue freak, I'll go out of my way for the real deal. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Come down 95 and hit Blackbeard's in Conetoe,NC on your way in. Search on here for reviews and directions. Make sure it's open on the day you're driving.

    1. You aren't going to find somewhere that cooks with wood on the Outer Banks.

      I'll second the suggestion of Blackbeard's, although if you're coming from New Jersey, I suspect you'll be headed in via Norfolk and 158 rather than 95/64.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Naco

        Indeed, this is not on my way in and a 2 hour drive from the Outer Banks.

        This news on fake barbecue in the Outer Banks is disappointing, so much so I may make this trip in the fall instead when I can avoid the final rush of tourists so as not to be frustrated on all fronts.

        Thank you all for the information.

        Additionally, I found this link on real barbecue in NC and it seems legit. Can you confirm?

        1. re: chowhounder411

          I suggested Blackbeard's because you said "I'll go out of my way for the real deal." It IS the real deal.

          The BBQ Society list is an excellent resource. Every place on there is at least very good, most are great. All cook with wood, but not all use whole hog. Lexington or western style, in contrast to eastern style, uses just the shoulders and adds a small amount of ketchup to the sauce.

          1. re: carolinadawg

            Good stuff, thank you. Maybe I'll spend a day on a short tour of my own

          2. re: chowhounder411

            It's a two-hour drive, but if you made it part of your drive down, I doubt it would add more than 60-90 minutes to the drive.

            1. re: Naco

              Seems to be closed on Wednesdays, day I'm coming. I'll figure this out.

              It does serve Eastern style whole hog though, right?

              1. re: chowhounder411

                Yeah, although as you note, it's closed on Wednesday. They're open Thu-Sat and for lunch on Sunday.

          3. re: Naco

            I'm 80% sure that Darrell's in Manteo cooks with wood. Not ON the Outer Banks, but close enough.

          4. Of those that you've listed I've only eaten and Pigman's and it wasn't very good and I really wouldn't consider it representative of NC-style.

            1. High Cotton is the most authentic you'll find here. NC vinegar based sauce, not that sticky sweet stuff! Whole hog smoked over hickory coals. One of the owners cooked his first whole hog when he was only 13! Has been doing it for many years. Corolla Village Barbecue is good too, but may be a drive depending on where you're actually staying here. I know nothing about Currituck BBQ Co or BJ's. Know where they are, just haven't eaten there. However... stay away from the others. All awful, and not authentic!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Phoebe

                High Cotton was featured in Shelton's "Holy Smoke" from a few years back. As I recall, they use one of those electric smokers that lets you stick a piece of wood or some wood pellets or something in there. I've eaten at a few places that claimed to use those, and typically I can't really tell a difference between barbecue cooked on those and something that was done on a regular gas cooker.

                1. re: carolinadawg

                  I went north to Maine instead, I didn't want to deal with the last burst of summertime beachgoers in Outer Banks plus no coastal barbecue according to you fellow hounds - I shall go another time and tour barbecue only. I will report.

                  1. re: chowhounder411

                    Just a recommendation for your future trip. You can take a day in barbecue country, spend a night, eat great, take out enough barbecue to feed a small army at the beach for very little money and have great barbecue on the OBX. I would stay a night in Wilson (SoCo can accomodate a room and great dinner) or Tarboro (Main Street Inn), and do a barbecue tour of any or all about to be mentioned. B's in greenville, Skylight in Ayden, Blackbeard's in Conetoe, Wilbur's in Goldsboro, Grady's in Dudley. Fun and inexpensive one night stop on the way to our great beaches. Tarboro would be more convenient to Nag's Head and close locales. Wilson would be more convenient for the Crystal Coast and Wilmington area.