Rodney Scott runs Scott’s Pit Cook Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina with his parents and a couple of family members. The town is a very small dot on the map, halfway between Wilmington and Charleston and not really on the way to anywhere. That’s why it was absolutely crucial that Scott made the long trip north this past weekend to the Big Apple BBQ in New York City’s Madison Square Park. With apologies to Ed Mitchell, Scott’s supremely smoky pulled pork was the best porcine product I tried — soaked with a vinegar sauce and lined with squares of crunchy pig skin for good measure. I caught up with him just before diving into the plate.
This is the first time you have served on your own in NYC. How did you prepare?
I had a lot of help from the Jim N Nicks crew. They helped me a lot along the way. But we have planned a long time in advance — getting our grills here, figuring out our wood sources. It’s been a little tough, but we made it happen.
How many hogs are you serving?
We are doing 24.
Damn! Is that going to be enough?
For New York, probably not. But we are going to do our best to give them what they want.
What have you been doing in NYC?
We got into town Thursday evening and went over to the John T. Edge book signing. We then went to dinner and started prepping for this event. Getting the eight grills set and making sure all the wood is in. Then we had dinner.
What did you have?
Crab cakes. No pork, no beef. You have to go all seafood.
It must be tough trying to replicate the barbecue you make down in South Carolina all the way up here in New York. What is the key?
We brought the love with us.
Do you see yourself expanding anytime soon?
We’re thinking about doing something in Charleston soon. It’s two hours south of Hemingway. We are at the drawing table now.
Describe your barbecue style.
South Carolina barbecue is usually defined by the sauce. Well, all barbecue regions are defined by the sauce. We have a vinegar and pepper base in our sauce. I’m in the lower eastern side of the state.
And it’s always pork?
We do some chicken and a little bit of turkey closer to Thanksgiving. We just added ribeyes on Saturdays. But it’s usually always pork.
How much are the ribeyes?
12 bucks. It’s a simple piece of meat bathed in our sauce, smoked over the grill.
Why should people travel to the middle of South Carolina to try your barbecue?
Because it’s made with love.