Brendan Woody, the pit master at Fat Pete’s Barbecue, is very thorough at his job — much to his fiancee’s dismay. “Even when I shower, she says I still smell like smoke,” Woody says. At the new BBQ joint in Cleveland Park (3407 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-362-7777, fatpetesbbq.com), the Baltimore native helms the Texas-style smoker, which can hold up to 1,000 pounds of meat and is so large, crews had to remove the restaurant’s front window to get it inside. The wood-burning monster cooks at a low-and-slow 250 degrees, resulting in tender, juicy cuts. Some take longer than others to prepare, and they’re all worth every second.
In the time it takes Woody to smoke this Texas-style delicacy, you could make 1,080 servings of Minute Rice. “Think about how dense a cow is,” he says. “Cooking it for this long breaks down the tissue and makes it moist.” It’s rubbed with black pepper and available sliced or chopped with a smoky BBQ sauce.
Pork: 16 hours
Pork shoulders are coated with yellow mustard and a secret spice blend. (“I’m from Baltimore, so that should give you a hint,” Woody says.) It’s available pulled or North Carolina-style: chopped with vinegar sauce and coleslaw.
Don’t overlook this oft-neglected meat. The organic and antibiotic-free chickens come from Pennsylvania’s Amish Country and are smoked until they’re plump with jus. Birds come whole or hand-pulled. (We prefer the former.)
Ribs: 3.5 hours
Pork ribs are rubbed with the same secret spices used on the pork and cooked for almost four hours. Get them dry-rubbed (straight off the smoker) or honey-glazed (finished on the grill and slathered with Fat Pete’s Memphis-Sweet sauce).
Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to savor Woody’s turkey, which is marinated in a specialty brine and coated with a mix of spices before it’s smoked for five hours. We like it best topped with Fat Pete’s house-made KC Style Spicy sauce.
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