A Q+A With Meat Master Ed Mitchell

Don’t let Ed Mitchell’s down-home persona fool you. This guy is a pro — so much of one he has his own sauce line, has been featured in the book-turned-Netflix documentary, “Cooked” and the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival named its main event after him. 

We sat down with Ed to chat about everything from what we can expect at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival and his North Carolina roots to his overall collection and moonshine secrets. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Whose barbecue is better — yours or Pinehurst Brewing Company’s?

Oh, mine is better. But, Pinehurst does have some good barbecue.

Q: Alright, we have to know — how many pairs of overalls do you own? We noticed you rock the Liberty brand. Is that your favorite?

I own about 15 pairs. And yeah, I guess I do like Liberty. I’m thinking of designing my own line of bibs, though.

Q: Woah, woah, woah. Your own line? What features would your line of overalls include?

Definitely places to hold my tools. You know, I’d like some pockets for my heat-resistant gloves, and a few places to hang my tongs and my cleaver.

Q: We love to see it. Alright, you’re in the pit, smoking hogs — what are you listening to while you’re cooking?

Well, you know, I’m trying to keep up with the millennials. I’ve been listening to some upbeat rap. Maybe a little bit of R&B/

Q: Nice. Any particular artists? Lil Pump, perhaps?

Oh naw. I don’t have a favorite artist. It all sounds the same to me.

Q: We respect it. Okay, so what are you sipping on while you’re in the pit?

Hmmm … sometimes, SOMETIMES, I make a little concoction out of moonshine.

Q: Cheers to that. Okay, so do you have a favorite pig part you like to smoke?

I do like the whole hog. I like doing the whole hog, and the reason for that the whole hog has a different flavor profile. There’s nothing like taking that part from the midsection where the bacon is, and taking some of the shoulders where ham is and chopping it all up and mixing it together.

Q: We hear you have a line of sauces. Can you tell us about those?

I do. I’ve had a diabetic situation, so I wanted to come up with a barbecue sauce that was light on sugar for health reasons, but it had to taste good. So, we came up with the idea of using fruits and veggies instead. We use things like butternut squash and sweet potatoes so we can get a natural sweetness.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most about the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival?

It’ll be the first of this kind in introducing people to what we do as pitmasters in North Carolina. I’m looking forward to letting loose and bringing people some good old fashioned barbecue.

You can catch Ed and more of North Carolina’s finest pitmasters at the Ed Mitchell Pitmaster Invitational on Sept. 5. Get your tickets here.

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