Recipes: Legendary S.C. pitmaster Rodney Scott debuts ‘World of BBQ’ cookbook

James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott shares recipes such as one for Pork T-Bones in his new cookbook, "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day." Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter
James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott shares recipes such as one for Pork T-Bones in his new cookbook, "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day." Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

James Beard Award winner shares recipes ‘to make backyard barbecue spectacular’

James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott started cooking whole hogs over hardwood coals when he was still in middle school. And he continued to work at his family’s Hemingway, South Carolina, restaurant for some 25 years, before opening the first Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston in 2017.

His new cookbook, ”Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” (Clarkson Potter, $29.99), features many of Scott’s favorite recipes. And it includes instructions for building a movable cinder block pit and a burn barrel, along with Scott’s 12-hour method for cooking a hog.

But more than that, it tells Scott’s story, in all its smoke and glory, and struggle. Scott writes candidly about clashing with his father, who valued hard work above all, and came to resent his son’s growing fame.

Another big part of the story is Scott’s partnership with Nick Pihakis of Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q fame. The duo opened a second Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Birmingham, with a third set to open in Atlanta this summer, and more to come in Alabama.

“Nick has been more than a co-founder and a partner,” Scott said during a recent phone call. “He’s been a brother. He’s been an adviser. He cares about more than just the business relationship.”

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"Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day" by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie (Clarkson Potter, $29.99). Courtesy of Jerrelle Guy
"Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day" by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie (Clarkson Potter, $29.99). Courtesy of Jerrelle Guy

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Scott explained that when he started writing the book, he wanted all the recipes and stories to relate to his history and experiences.

“We basically told how I started and grew up, all the way to where we are now,” Scott said. “I didn’t think I’d ever be traveling the world. I always thought it was going to be one of those dreams.”

Something he never dreamed of was winning the 2018 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast.

“The James Beard Award was definitely the pinnacle,” he said. “It was a big boost. It was a humbling experience to the fact that if you continue to work hard, and stay focused, you can achieve anything that you want. Winning that Beard Award changed our lives completely.”

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For those who can’t imagine building a pit or cooking a hog, there are plenty of grilling recipes in the book, as well as dishes for the stove, and snacks, salads and vegetables.

“I’ve got a great restaurant family, and we always talk about completely satisfying our guests,” Scott said. “One of the things that we discussed was having more than just barbecue. We want to offer the person who’s working on their fitness program a salad. For the person who doesn’t choose to eat chicken or pork or beef, there’s catfish. So we’re giving some options.”

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Scott also shares some trade secrets in “World of BBQ,” including the recipes for his Rib Rub, and his signature South Carolina-style vinegar and pepper Rodney’s Sauce.

“We like to spread the love,” he said, “but we felt we were OK to just share a little bit of some of the things that you can do to make your backyard barbecue spectacular.”

RECIPES

These recipes from legendary pitmaster Rodney Scott’s new cookbook, “World of BBQ” (Clarkson Potter, $29.99), include Smoked Chicken, Pork T-Bones, and Pork and Grits — plus two of Scott’s pantry staples, Rodney’s Sauce and Rib Rub.

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Rodney Scott expects that once you try the recipe for Smoked Chicken in his "World of BBQ" cookbook, "you’ll have a hard time going back to your oven.” Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter
Rodney Scott expects that once you try the recipe for Smoked Chicken in his "World of BBQ" cookbook, "you’ll have a hard time going back to your oven.” Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Smoked Chicken

“My mother used to make what we called ‘barbecue chicken’ in the oven,” Rodney Scott recalls in his new “World of BBQ” cookbook. “It was basically baked chicken with commercial barbecue sauce. I don’t want to knock it. I enjoyed that baked chicken, but I wouldn’t call it barbecue. It wasn’t until later, when we added chicken to the menu at the family restaurant that I got into true smoked chicken. The oven and the pit are very different, obviously. When you taste this chicken, you’ll have a hard time going back to your oven.”

Note: Spatchcock chickens are often available at stores like Whole Foods, but many butchers will do it for you. And there are plenty of videos online, if you want to try your hand at removing the chickens’ backbones, so they lie flat on the grill, and cook more evenly.

Smoked Chicken
  • 2 whole chickens (3 to 4 pounds each), spatchcocked and halved through the breastplate (a total of 4 halves)
  • 3 tablespoons Rib Rub (see recipe)
  • 4 cups Rodney’s Sauce (see recipe)
  • Fire up your grill to between 225 and 250 degrees.
  • Sprinkle the chickens on all sides with the rib rub. Place the chicken onto the hot grill, bone-side down. Close and cook until the bone sides are nicely browned, about 1 hour and 30 minutes, being careful to maintain a steady grilling temperature between 225 and 250 degrees.
  • Mop the skin side with the sauce, then flip the chickens and mop the bone side with sauce as well. Close and cook until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees, about 1 hour.
  • Mop the chickens once more. Take them off the grill and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 464 calories (percent of calories from fat, 52), 25 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 28 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 81 milligrams cholesterol, 1,372 milligrams sodium.

All recipes from “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day” by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie (Clarkson Potter, $29.99). Copyright © 2021 by Rodney Scott’s BBQ, LLC.

To make the Pork T-Bones from "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ," the pork T-bone steaks should first brine for 6 to 8 hours in the fridge in a mixture using kosher salt and Rodney's Rib Rub. Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter
To make the Pork T-Bones from "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ," the pork T-bone steaks should first brine for 6 to 8 hours in the fridge in a mixture using kosher salt and Rodney's Rib Rub. Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Pork T-Bones

“The bones divide these chops into two sections,” Rodney Scott notes. “The smaller, darker section is the tenderloin — the pork version of filet mignon. The larger, lighter, longer section is the loin. It has a little more chew and has a reputation of being a little dry. But after a few hours of dry brining in the refrigerator with rib rub and salt, this pork chop will be moist and well-seasoned all the way to the bone.”

Pork T-Bones
  • 1/4 cup Rib Rub (see recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 4 pork T-bone steaks (8 ounces each), 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup Rodney’s Sauce (see recipe)
  • Canola oil, for the grill
  • Combine the rib rub and salt and mix thoroughly. Season the T-bones all over with the rib rub mixture, place them in a large zip-top bag, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator to take off some of the chill before cooking, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Fire up your grill. Heat the grill to between 400 and 450 degrees.
  • Measure out 1/4 cup of the sauce and place in small bowl for mopping. Set the rest of the sauce aside for serving.
  • Use grilling tongs to lightly brush the grill grate with a canola oil-soaked cloth. Place the T-bones on the grill and lightly mop with the sauce in the bowl. Close the grill and cook until the meat begins to develop nice deep brown grill marks, about 8 minutes. Flip, mop again, close the grill, and cook until the second side also has deep brown grill marks, about another 8 minutes. Stand the T-bone up on the bone side and cook covered until it is also nicely browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove the pork steaks from the grill and set on a platter. Allow to rest in the remaining sauce for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 511 calories (percent of calories from fat, 53), 49 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 31 grams total fat (10 grams saturated), 134 milligrams cholesterol, 2,859 milligrams sodium.
Artisan stone-ground grits should be used when you're making the Pork and Grits recipe from "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ." Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter
Artisan stone-ground grits should be used when you're making the Pork and Grits recipe from "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ." Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Pork and Grits

“I use stone-ground grits, which taste great,” Rodney Scott explains. “They have a chewier texture and a richer flavor than commercial grits. Sometimes with the supermarket grits, you can’t really even taste that they are made from corn. You might mistake them for Cream of Wheat. You’d never make that mistake with artisan stone-ground grits. It tastes great for lunch, dinner, or any other time of the day.”

Pork and Grits
  • For the cheese grits:
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups stone-ground yellow grits (Anson Mills or Geechie Boy Mill)
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce
  • For serving:
  • 1 1/2 pounds chopped, pulled, or sliced barbecued pork
  • 1/2 cup Rodney’s Sauce (see recipe)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pork skins, crumbled
  • Make the cheese grits: In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, combine the milk and 4 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching. Slowly pour in the grits and stir with a whisk so they don’t clump together. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning, until the grits are fully cooked and tender, 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter and cheddar. Season the grits with the salt and hot sauce.
  • To serve: Spoon 1 cup of cheese grits into each bowl or plate. Top with 4 ounces of barbecued pork, a splash of Rodney’s sauce, and some crumbled pork skins. Serves 6.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 814 calories (percent of calories from fat, 43), 42 grams protein, 74 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 39 grams total fat (20 grams saturated), 134 milligrams cholesterol, 2,293 milligrams sodium.
Rodney's Sauce is legendary pitmaster Rodney Scott's signature South Carolina-style vinegar and pepper sauce. It's among the recipes in "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ." Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter
Rodney's Sauce is legendary pitmaster Rodney Scott's signature South Carolina-style vinegar and pepper sauce. It's among the recipes in "Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ." Jerrelle Guy/ Clarkson Potter

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Rodney’s Sauce
  • 1 gallon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • In a small stockpot, warm the vinegar over medium-high heat. After about 5 minutes, when the vinegar reaches 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, just before it starts to simmer, add the lemon slices and continue to cook until the lemon peels begin to soften and wilt, about 10 minutes more.
  • Whisk in the black pepper, cayenne, pepper flakes and sugar. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the sauce reaches 190 degrees, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to completely cool before using. Once the lemon is removed, the sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks. Makes 1 gallon.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per tablespoon: 10 calories (percent of calories from fat, 3), trace protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, trace sodium.

Rib Rub
  • 1/2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Jesus’s Tears (a nickname for MSG)
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Mix all of the ingredients and place them in an airtight container. Cover and store in a cool, dry place until ready to use. Makes 2 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per tablespoon: 15 calories (percent of calories from fat, 15), trace protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 1,711 milligrams sodium.

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