LENOIR CITY (WATE) – Friday, May 1, marks the first day of National Barbeque Month. As you may already know, making real BBQ can take hours or even days if you smoke your own pork. However, there is a company making and packing pulled pork right here in our backyard and it’s being sold in nearly 20 states.
Family Brands International in Lenoir City is the home of Cades Cove BBQ. Each morning at Family Brands they open the doors to the aroma from thousands of pounds of fresh hickory-smoked Boston butts. The meat is put in the massive smokers the night before and cooked for 12 hours at 200 degrees.
Slideshow: Cades Cove BBQ
“We are making barbecue the traditional way,” explained president John Edd Wampler. “What better name would exemplify country and the early ways of doing things than the first place to be settled in the state of Tennessee?”
To stick with tradition, most of the process here is still done by hand. After the smoker, the meat comes to tables where employees remove the fat cap and bones. What’s left is sent, still smoking hot, to another station where the pork is hand selected, weighed and packaged.
Next up, the kettle cooked sauce is added, then the container moves down the line where it is sealed and packaged for sale in grocery stores. Wampler says even the biggest foodies are hooked once they try this.
“We get letters all the time,” he explained. “This letter was supposed to tell you off because there is no such thing as a good store bought barbecue.”
He went on to tell us how those customers are pleasantly surprised.
Cades Cove BBQ can also be found in restaurants. There is a chance you’ve had it and may not even known it. Wampler says several area places serve up their barbecue.
They produce four kinds of barbecue, including a relatively new one with Ole Smoky Moonshine.
More online: Family Brands International