Our Wood-Smoking Story
When my family and I first moved to North Carolina, we couldn’t help but miss a few things from back home in Alabama.
One was the hickory taste of wood-smoked BBQ. When we first arrived in North Carolina, the majority of the BBQ joints were cooking with gas grills.
We also missed the traditional dry rub that we had enjoyed from so many pitmasters deeper down South. That thick coating of spices that could caramelize the outside of a brisket or pork butt into a smoky bark.
So in 2008, when I was considering a new chapter for my career, I decided to bring my kind of BBQ to the Triangle. Armed with just a 40-ft trailer and drive to perfect my craft.
That’s how Big Al’s started. We started working weekend events and participating in competitions all around the South and East Coast like KCBS and the traveling Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival. We tweaked our recipes and methods until we started getting the feedback we were looking for.
And that’s when, in 2012, we knew it was time to open a permanent shop. And our community agreed! That year we won Grand Champion at the Cary BBQ Classic. Since then, our Ribs and BBQ have frequently made it on the Wake Forest Best of the Best list, we’ve been the featured BBQ vendor at the “Got to be NC Festival,” participated at the Wake Forest’s Meet in the Street festival, Raleigh’s Brewgaloo, and the NC State Fair.
These days, NC pitmasters are smokin’ up a much wider variety of BBQ than just Eastern or Western NC, but my love for traditional Alabama wood-smoked BBQ is what inspired me to start smoking.
Always wood (cherry wood or bust!), dry rubbed brisket and pork butt for that caramel bark, and always hand-pulled.
I hope you enjoy.