What’s Pitmaster Rodney Scott’s Secret to a Great BBQ? “Have Fun With It.”

Last Updated on September 17, 2023

BB: How did you learn how to whole hog BBQ and when did you open your first restaurant?  

RS: I started cooking whole hogs with my dad at 11 years old. I remember coming back from school and going to the store with my mom to get anything we might have needed. Then helping my dad with the whole hog. It’s always come to me naturally, and since I started at such a young age, it’s now just second nature. BBQ is my life.

BB: What was your inspiration?

RS: My business partner Nick Pihakis was a huge inspiration. He always told me I should just go for it. I also wanted to see how far I could expand my career and passion. I wanted to see if I could be like big name restaurants. I’ve always been passionate about BBQ, and I wanted to spread my love & knowledge with the world.  

BB: What differentiates South Carolina BBQ vs. other parts

 of the country?  

RS: There are 3 different styles of sauce in South Carolina – Carolina is a vinegar-based BBQ sauce, then there’s a mustard based sauce typically used in the middle of the state, and a tomato sauce based mostly used in the northwestern part of the state.  

BB: What is your favorite BBQ dish to make?  

RS: Definitely whole hog. There is so much versatility with a whole hog. You can eat it with grits, in a sandwich, as a side for a big meal, loaded mac n cheese (which is a new dish at Rodney Scott’s BBQ). I also love making a whole hog for parties. There’s so much food for all my guests and everyone really loves it. 

BB: What is your favorite BBQ dish to eat? 

RS: My favorite dish to eat is ribs. Ribs are meaty, tasty, and like a whole hog – they are very versatile. They can be served in so many different ways, I can never get bored of them. 

BB: Top 3-5 tips for people looking to become BBQ masters at home?  

RS: #1 My most important tip is to source quality meat. The better the quality, the tastier it will turn out!  

#2 Be careful where you’re barbecuing! Don’t BBQ on a wood deck too close to the house. Always stay alert and don’t leave anything on the grill unattended. 

#3 Have fun with it! BBQ is supposed to be about relaxing and having a good time – so enjoy the process.  

BB: What are the must-have items you need for successfully barbecuing at home? 

RS: To successfully BBQ at home you need a pair of long tongs, a dependable grill (kettle grill), a meat thermometer to make sure the meat is cooked through thoroughly, and of course a Rodney Scott Cookbook for the best recipes. 

BB: What are the biggest BBQ mistakes you see people making at home? 

RS: One of the most common BBQ mistakes I see is people leaving their food unattended. This is an easy way to overcook your meat and is also a safety hazard. You should always stay near the grill and keep an eye on the meat. Also, it’s common that people try to prepare meat as soon as they take it out of the refrigerator. Proteins need to sit for a little while and get closer to room temperature. Lastly, don’t cook too fast! Slow cooking always comes out the best and it will ensure you don’t overcook or dry out the meat. 

BB: What would you tell people who are intimidated about barbecuing and grilling at home?  

RS: Have fun with it!!! BBQ is about having fun and relaxing. Serve it with plenty of confidence and a smile (“This is what I made! This is my dish!”). Don’t worry about other people opinions. There’s only one way to get better and that’s to practice. 

BB: What are your thoughts about the importance of gathering/sitting down for a meal with loved ones? 

RS: The best thing in the world is spending quality time with your family and friends over a delicious meal. You will have fun and memorable discussions. Food is a big part of that. If someone was telling a funny story as you’re eating ribs, next time you pick up a rib, you automatically feel good.  

BB: Do you think social media has had an influence on food culture/trends? Specifically in the BBQ space? 

RS: Absolutely!! Social media has completely changed how BBQ is approached and experienced. It makes the world feel a lot smaller. We now get to see how BBQ is done around the world. It creates different viewings of how different countries do BBQ and you can experiment with lots of different recipes and techniques.  

To learn more about Scott’s pitmaster journey, visit one of his five restaurant locations, or grab a copy of his cookbook, Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day is a Good Day.

Audrey is the PR Manager at ButcherBox.