We’re pretty excited about this Q&A blog post with none-other than Jim Noble of Noble Smoke in Charlotte, NC. Noble Smoke proudly serves #CheshirePork and as their Head Pitmaster, Kelly O’Bryan, says in the video below, “Cheshire Pork is the Rolls Royce of pork.“ Check out the video our team captured of what distinguishes Noble Smoke from other barbecue restaurants in the South East and then read about Jim’s barbecue style and why he chooses Cheshire Pork in the Q&A below.
TELL US ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BBQ STYLE.
I am North Carolina born and raised, which means I grew up eating NC pork and my love for that has continued throughout my life. As a child, my dad would take me on work trips across the state, and he knew every nook and cranny and every great barbecue place, so I always knew one day I wanted to honor all those people and the tradition of barbecue in North Carolina. He preferred the style of Lexington Barbecue, which has a cleaner texture, and that's what I emulate. The Monk family at Lexington Barbecue was incredibly helpful when we were building Noble Smoke, and thanks to them I was even able to model my Lexington-style pits after theirs. Those allow me to provide the true NC barbecue flavor that I was looking for, and I am eternally grateful to them for helping me achieve that.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PARTICIPATING IN THE BBQ WORLD?
Seriously, for about 10 years. But like I said, it's always been a love and a passion of mine. I had my first smoker, Flossie, built in 2015. Even though we've been cooking with wood in wood-burning ovens in our restaurants since the 1980s, I had never worked with a steel smoker so that's what I used to really start working on the craft. Then with our second smoker, Beulah, we upped our game and began offering "Mobile Smoke" for catering and events. So barbecue has been a big part of what we do for the past decade, in preparation for what would one day become Noble Smoke.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GREAT PORK PRODUCT?
I am looking for the highest quality pork, and not a commodity pork. Plus, being in North Carolina I wanted to support a North Carolina purveyor.
WHY DO YOU CHOOSE CHESHIRE PORK?
Cheshire Pork has more body and a rich flavor to it. At Noble Smoke, we've started using the skin-on butts. The skin helps retain moisture and the size of them allows us to provide an even, smoky flavor.
GIVE US ONE SENTENCE ON WHY YOU LOVE TO BBQ?
It's a way of life. Growing up in North Carolina, and living here my entire life, barbecue is all I've ever known. We've had some incredible barbecue pioneers lead the way in our state, going back 100 years to Jess Swicegood and Sid Weaver in Lexington. At Noble Smoke we call them "Legends," and we're honoring them with the Legends Counter, which has more than 20 seats named for each person who paved the way for me to be able to do this and serve the food that I love every day.