Top BBQ Questions Answered by Pitmaster Shannon Snell

From The Smoker January 31, 2024
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From startin’ up your smoker to knowin’ which wood is best, there’s a lot to learn about the Art of BBQ. That’s where Sonny’s Pitmaster Shannon Snell steps in. We asked him some of your Top BBQ Questions, and he gave us some delicious answers. Let’s get cookin’.

What are the easiest meats to smoke?

“There are two answers here. Pork butts and chicken are the easiest meats to smoke. Chicken because it is the fastest, as it takes anywhere from 35 to 75 minutes to cook. With pork butts, technically you can overcook that, you want that bone to come out and be nice and tender. Even if you leave it on all day and you wrap it up, it’s going to get done.”

What flavors go well with pork?

“Sweet flavors go well with pork, like Sonny’s Sweet BBQ Sauce. It’s a pork sauce. If you’re not a fan of sweet, earthy flavors are great too, including herbs like cumin and oregano.”

What’s the best cut for Pulled Pork?

There are really only two cuts for pulled pork, and they come from the same area. We’re talking pork shoulder or the “Boston Butt” which is up near the shoulder as well.”

Why is it called a “Pork Butt”?

“In Boston in the 1800s, they used to store pork in these big iron-cast barrels they used to call buttis, which is a Greek name for a barrel. So pork stored in that barrel would be called pork butts.”

What wood do you use to smoke?

“Hickory wood is by far my favorite, but I also fell in love with Mesquite wood. Mesquite has a distinct taste and can be overpowering if you use a lot of it. If I had to pick one, though, I’d say Hickory because it’s prevalent in Florida and readily available. At Sonny’s, we smoke with Oak.”

You’ve got questions. Shannon has the answers.

Got More Top BBQ Questions?

Check out the video above for more tips and tricks, including what barbecue is Shannon’s favorite to cook. We also got plenty more smokin’ strategies in our Tales from the Pit. Still stumped? Send us a DM on social @sonnysbbq and we’ll be sure to make sure Shannon or one of our local Pitmasters gets you an answer. Happy barbecuin’.

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