Our own Starr Teel was interviewed for Mountain Xpress in their article on the changing face of NC BBQ. Did you know that we are one of only about 30 authentic wood-fired pits in the state of NC? True! Read the full article here.
Here’s an excerpt from Jonathon Ammons’ article:
Starr Teel — a graduate of France’s Le Cordon Bleu and owner of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, a hidden gem in Flat Rock, N.C. — has been smoking in his custom pit for over seven years.
“We’re a throwback,” says the energetic, passionate Teel. “When I started all this, I’d had a history with baking and wood-fired ovens and building them commercially, including the original oven at the Flat Rock Village Bakery. And I’ve always felt like that craft piece lent something to it, and made it special in a way that these mechanical add-wood smokers can’t quite accomplish.”
Teel’s labor of love lends a rich, smoky, tender flavor to his pulled pork, chicken, brisket and ribs. “Wood is a 24-hour-a-day event.” he says. “Once I start the fire, I burn it around the clock up until right before we close at Christmas. It’s a seven-day-a-week event. Once my pit reaches optimal temperatures, right around that 200 degree mark, I maintain it by adding the right amounts of wood throughout the day; then, overnight, I don’t have to chase my heat. You don’t want to chase that heat up or down. It’s hard to get a consistent product if you don’t have a nice, constant burn in there.”
A typical day in the pits, says Teel, starts “as early as 6 in the morning. You come in, you check to see how things are, and the meat starts coming off around 7:30 or 8 o’clock. Your brisket will go for another couple of hours, then you start pulling out the pork butts, your ribs, your chicken goes on… and you’re doing that throughout the day. Then at the end of the day, with everything out, you’re still feeding the fire until things go back in at 7:30 or 8 o’clock in the evening, and they go on overnight. The last wood I usually put on is around 9 o’clock at night, and to be perfectly honest, that’s why nobody does it.”
“Even some of the great, classic barbecue places that you presume are operating traditional pits,” he continues, “are not doing it anymore.”