Pro Tips from our Pit Master

Puckett's- Food- BBQ Platter-6

As you may have heard, we’ve developed quite the reputation for BBQ around these parts. The Puckett’s praises have been sung from the local, regional, national, and international rooftops (so to speak!), and we fancy ourselves somewhat of experts on the preppin’, smokin’, and servin’ of delicious ‘cue.

We had an opportunity to showcase some of our original pit master Andy Marshall’s secrets in a recent BBQ articleand we didn’t think there could be a better time to share them with you all than the week of Father’s Day! (P.S. – If you’re planning to grill this weekend, don’t miss our Puckett’s spices, sauces, marinades and rubs sale! Get 2 for $6, now through July 4, in stores or online.)

Here’s what Andy had to say:

The Wood: “In Leiper’s Fork, TN, no one at the time was preparing their barbecue “Memphis Style,” which is where I grew up. I began to perfect an 18-hour ‘low n’ slow’ smoking process for pork butts over cherry wood; reminiscent of the barbecue I grew up eating. As they say, the rest is history!”

Pork BBQ Sandwich-2

The Veggie: (This tip is from Claire!) “My personal favorite is smoked corn. That is something I would suggest smoking, but it’s also great grilled because that brings out its sweet flavors. Whether you smoke or grill the corn, I suggest doing so with the husk. Tomatoes are also great smoked or grilled. In the summer we will sometimes smoke tomatoes and mix them with okra for a smoky okra and tomato side dish. Very southern!”

The Rub: “We use the dry bbq rub to season our pulled pork before it’s smoked, which contains savory flavors with blends of spices and salts that — when the meat is cooked at a low, slow temperature — penetrate into a butt or shoulder to tenderize the meat. The ingredients in our dry bbq rub include salt, spices, garlic & onion, and sugar.”

Puckett's- Food- BBQ-horizontal (1)

The Advice: “To achieve the level of smoke and tenderness of the meat, low and slow is best. For me, optimal temperature for butts and shoulders are 225 degrees. For ribs, 225-250 degrees, for chicken 275 degrees. Also, understanding the difference between hardwoods and softwoods is important for temperatures and flavor. Hardwoods (mesquite and hickory woods) will cook hotter and peak your temperatures, and the softwoods (apple, cherry, peach, pecan woods) won’t cook quite as hot and give you a more consistent, milder flavor. Don’t be afraid to use charcoal and wood mix for a nice, even temperature. If you use lighter fluid, be sure you give it long enough time to burn off so it doesn’t tank the flavor of your meats.”

Read the full article by Michael Shannon O’Keefe at