Thrillist: 33 Best BBQ Joints in America

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Most people associate whole hog cooking with the Carolinas, but a small pocket of Western Tennessee is also famed for the labor-intensive art of smoking 200 pound pigs. Over the last 20 years the traditions have largely died off, but not before pitmaster Pat Martin learned the trade from an old school master at the now shuttered Thomas & Webb Barbecue in Henderson, TN. Compared to Carolina standards the hogs are larger, the pork is pulled not chopped, and you won’t find any crunchy skin inside their sandwiches. And there’s nowhere outside of Martin’s you’ll find a Nashville taco: a hoe cake topped with slaw, pork, and a squeeze of vinegar sauce. Although they started small with a 1100 square foot restaurant and one employee, the operation has now expanded to seven locations across two states, but the must-visit is their downtown Nashville flagship, complete with a beer garden housing their four whole hog pits where backyard cooks can chew the fat with their professional pitmasters.