The Legacy of Danny “Boy”
A long time ago, a little boy in Camden County, North Carolina watched his daddy win a restaurant in a poker game. That little boy was Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque founder, Danny Hurdle. The Hurdle family transformed the eatery into Hurdle’s Restaurant, and spent their days eating, cooking, and serving barbeque to locals. Danny loved every minute so right then and there, he decided to devote his life to perfecting the craft.
If you’ve ever met Danny, you know that his passion for BBQ is no secret. He has spent decades nailing down a precise cooking process. Experience has produced three main smokin’ tips from Danny:
- The grill must be exactly 17 inches from the bottom of the cooker – one inch in either direction will change the cooking tremendously.
- The pig can’t weigh an ounce over 140 pounds, “Any bigger than that and he’s a hog, not a pig, and all you’re cooking is grease.”
- When you butterfly a pig, Danny insists on finishing cooking it back down, “It looks prettier on the belly, nice and brown, but the juices are lost into the fire.” He knows this method costs him a point or two on appearance in BBQ cook-offs, but maintains that the reward is moister meat and better picking. “True North Carolina barbequers,” Danny says, “finish the pig facing up.” True North Carolina barbecue lovers might have to drive up I-95 to Ashburn, VA to get that authentic Carolinian BBQ taste.
A Note About Homestyle Carolina Barbeque
Barbeque is a method of cooking that flavors meat by slow cooking over low heat. The American tradition is centuries old and is most well-known in the South, where each geographical area is known by its sauce and cooking variations. American barbeque has such deep roots in the United States, that it was a common practice among Native Americans before colonization, a means of survival during the Civil War, and now serves as a way to gather and celebrate the bond between man and nature.
Danny Hurdle took it upon himself to expand the North Carolinian traditional pork, beef, and chicken barbeque into a place unfamiliar with the food: the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area. Before Carolina Brothers, the mere idea of tender, hickory-smoked meat coated in a tantalizing, slightly-spicy sauce was unthinkable in northern Virginia. Thanks to Danny and his carefully crafted recipes, the smell of smoking meat in a traditional NC pit barbeque points to one place: Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque.