By Pro Staff Nile
Smoke particles dance in the inbound breeze, layering the nostrils and tongue with a woody fragrance. Reminding the senses of visitors of moist chunks and tender strands from pit-roasted pork, BBQ chicken, ribs smothered in sweet barbecue sauce, and smoked ribeye steak.
Scott’s Bar-B-Que at 2734 Hemingway Hwy., located in Hemingway, South Carolina, may not seem like much with its rugged and its muddled lettered sign sitting on an old, repurposed gas station and country store at a crossroads in the hamlet of Hemingway, South Carolina. However, with over 30-years of tradition, this world-famous rustic BBQ joint tourist attraction is for anyone who is a part of a BBQ fan base.
Starting in 1972, the family-owned business turned family traditions into an award-winning BBQ business. Rodney Scott of Scott’s Bar-B-Que, has been cooking whole-hog barbecue, over wood coals burned down from hardwood, since he was in middle school. For the next 25 years, he worked with his family in their BBQ venue learning BBQ secrets that would become some of the best BBQ worldwide.
“I traveled hours off the beaten path to have a taste of Scott’s Bar-B-Que,” said Yelp reviewer Alanna B. “Once I saw them featured on Andrew Zimmern, I knew I needed to venture to Scott’s BBQ on my travels.”
Foodies may have noticed the BBQ joint’s white and aqua-trimmed, tin roof building, the smell of thick seductive smoke, and funky music pumping out the pit house, on various food media platforms. Rodney Scott has been seen on TVs Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, his mother Ella teaching Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods, and Cut/Chop/Cook.
Scott also had opportunities to travel around the world and cook alongside chefs and other pit-masters in New York City, Belize, Uruguay, France, and Australia.
BBQ isn’t easy work. It’s long, hot, sweaty work, and using wood makes it harder. But the outcome is far superior. Many BBQ restaurants don’t use wood. But at Scott’s, that’s what they are primarily known for.
There are large piles of wood and downed trees that will be cut to size and stacks of split logs organized by size and shape. Scott and the family crew harvest and chop all the wood they use from the local area. They also lend a helping hand to others looking to remove trees from properties. They take the chopped wood back to the pits and from forest-to-your-face, the best BBQ on the block is made for everyone.
Then the smell of hickory, hardwood, and coal, are placed in a barrel into extreme heat. Scott’s then does the old school move by moving the coals from the barrel to the pits by using a massive shovel from ten-plus feet of pipe and a shovel's blade. This is done because for one, the heat is strong enough to burn off forearm hair, or worse, and second, one end knocks the coals down to the bottom of the barrel and the other end scoops the coals, and then they are walked into the smoky pit house.
The pit-master scatters the coals under the hogs in one of the 20 pits. Customers have said every so often, you’ll hear a sizzle from the fat hitting the coals.
The hogs are hot and seasoned and ready to enjoy. Other menu items include the signature Pulled Pork sandwich, sweet potatoes, and they also have watermelons on the porch.
A five star Google Review by Jon Day said, “The whole hog barbecue plate is only $8.50 and comes with bread, baked beans, and slaw. They also sell beverages, and candy, and other odd ends.”
Due to COVID-19, Scott’s Bar-B-Que is only available for takeout for the time being. But that isn’t stopping people from still checking out one of South Carolina’s best.
Scott’s Bar-B-Que may seem like it’s an old shack from 100 plus years ago in the middle of nowhere with bumpy roads. However, with the aroma of meats, family atmosphere, and history, your taste buds will know it’s worth the detour.
Location: 2734 Hemingway Hwy #5420, Hemingway, SC 29554