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Picnic BBQ -- Durham, NC -- Graphic Warning About Ethically Killing Pigs

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  • scottranda
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 1619
    • Charlotte, NC

    Picnic BBQ -- Durham, NC -- Graphic Warning About Ethically Killing Pigs

    I had quite the BBQ weekend! My brother-in-law is getting married in September and we had a BBQ cookout/shower for him and his bride-to-be. They chose Picnic in Durham, NC so I was excited to try it, yet skeptical because most BBQ catering isn't that good.

    I was pleasantly surprised. Wyatt was the owner and was working the event at my in-laws. I got to talk to him for quite a while! He specializes in whole hog BBQ (it's the only thing he does). He raises the pigs at a farm 8 minutes from his restaurant. We talked about the benefits of raising the pigs naturally, and not the Smithfield approach of getting those pigs fat and processed as soon as possible. Most of the Smithfield pigs never see dirt. He said the meat, on the cellular level, is different. The fat is much more intra-muscular, and tastes way better. Of course, I was eating his whole hog BBQ, and it was mighty tasty.

    I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the BBQ itself, but it looked like pulled pork. He didn't have the hog at the event. He just pulls it himself and puts it in serving trays before he comes to the event. He said you'd be amazed at the people who would never pull the meat themselves from the the hog and eat it, but if he pulls it for them and puts it on a silver platter, the same people love his BBQ.

    I did snap a picture of his BBQ sauce. That's his face drawn on the bottle. Pretty cool!

    His cooker? BQ Grills located in Elm City, NC. (It looks like their webpage is under construction).


    I was talking to him with my wife and 2 other girls nearby. I just had to ask the question, "So, when was this hog killed?" The girls were immediately off-put, but it was a test because it was the precursor to my next way more graphic question. Two of the girls (including my wife) walked away immediately, one stayed. He told me Monday, or as late as Wednesday (that day was Saturday).

    My next question was, "So, how do you ethically kill and process a hog?" That made the last girl squeamish, and she walked away immediately. Sorry! Wyatt said he appreciated the question, and he wants people to ask, and to know. He said they process his pigs at night. Most are processed during the day, and it's quite chaotic for the pigs. His pigs are relaxed and going for a car ride to some place. Once they get there, they still don't know because all the other pigs are sleeping. They bring the pig into a room where it's finally "accomplished".

    He said it was a "double tap to the head and heart". The mechanism is a 8 to 10 inch steel bolt that is attached to an air pressurized machine. Then, you stick that bolt to the pig's head (in between the eyes) and fire. (Think of a staple gun where you have to apply pressure to release the staples into the object for it to work). It delivers an extremely fast bolt to the brain (then retracts immediately) which then sends an electrical signal to the heart immediately (through the central nervous system). That kills the pig instantly and ethically.

    The cost? $30. They perform the maneuver and gut the pig, and give it back.

    It was extremely informative, and really appreciated the time he took to talk with me. If you're ever in the Durham area, check his place out!
    Attached Files
  • David Parrish
    Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
    • May 2014
    • 5040
    • Charlotte, NC
      • Slow 'N Sear Kamado (SnSK)
      • Lots of grills that work with Slow 'N Sear
      • LOTS of digital thermometers (my fav)
      • LOTS of accessories
      • Favorite Beer - Fat Tire
      • Favorite Bourbon - Woodford Reserve
      • Favorite White Wine - Cakebread Chardonnay
      • Favorite Red Wine - Yes, Please
      • President/Owner - SnS Grills

    Very interesting! When I was in high school I did a two week tour of the Ag facilities at Auburn University (where I later went to college). They took us to a slaughterhouse and used the same process.

    They also took us into an auditorium with a cow in the middle of it. The cow had a big black plug on its side. They took the plug out and you could see straight into the Cow's stomach (ok one of them). We had to reach in and grab some of the grass in there then look at it under a microscope. Not really relevant here, but it was fun!

    What did you think of the sauce? How is it as far as spicy, sweet, and vinegary?


  • scottranda
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 1619
    • Charlotte, NC

    ABCBBQ Dave The sauce was good. It was more Eastern (vinegar) than Western. I prefer the ketchup-based more, but it was still pretty good. It was not sweet, and more tangy. The consistency was more vinegar, and not gloppy like a ketchup-based at all.


    • HawkerXP
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 4695
      • Northern Virginia
      • 3 Weber kettles, and a PBC
        Dot w two probes
        Slo n Sear
        Cold beer

      Thanks for sharing.


      • smokinsteve
        Charter Member
        • Nov 2014
        • 316

        Well now, that was interesting!


        • mattyb05
          Former Member
          • Apr 2017
          • 91
          • Philadelphia, PA

          Just have to comment on his cooker since mine was built at the same place. Good guys at BQ Grills and yes the site is under construction. I go to the site often to look at vertical smokers. Damn MCS!!


          • lonnie mac
            Club Member
            • Jul 2016
            • 1302
            • Bacliff, TX
            • Motovlogging for the freedom of old Hippies...


              Home of Brutus Ten!



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            Want to know what this device looks like just watch a few scene's of "No Country for Old Men" on the ole youtube. Fascinating.


            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              I've been meaning to watch that movie for ages. Thanks for the reminder!

            • lonnie mac
              lonnie mac commented
              Editing a comment
              Ha! I still have chills about that thing!
          • kmhfive
            Club Member
            • Mar 2017
            • 3003
            • Northern Illinois
            • Weber Kettle -- 22.5" (In-Service Date June 2015)
              Slow-n-Sear/Drip-n-Griddle/Grill Grates (In-Service Date March 2016)
              Pit Boss 820 (Retired)
              GMG Jim Bowie WiFi (In-Service Date April 2017)
              Maverick ET-733

            Thanks for posting. Reminds me of when I was a kid and my Granddad would butcher 2 hogs each year at the first frost! Glad you had a good time!


            • FireMan
              Charter Member
              • Jul 2015
              • 7166
              • Bottom of Winnebago

              Well there little fella ya really know how to spin a tale. Start by talkin about a wedding party/cook out, then throw in a progressive twist of squeamish girls. Then ya talk about killin a hog. Top it off with big pictures of BBQ sauce & you got what one might think is a mighty fine bedtime story.
              "Lookie her son, isn't that a great label on that jar, ya getting a little sleepy there?" Sleep tight!


              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                spoken like an expert, FireMan!



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