Drew Jackson is a writer about restaurants in The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. His coverage of the Triangle’s and North Carolina culinary scene is extensive.
A customer at Clyde Cooper’s in Raleigh learned this week that there’s no medium rare in barbecue.
“Yesterday, we had a customer come in and order takeout, a barbecue plate and a couple sides,” said Ashley Holt, whose mother Debbie Holt owns Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue in Raleigh and interacted with the customer. “She left and came back and said her barbecue was undercooked because it had a lot of pink in it. We explained that’s because it’s smoked. When pork is smoked, it turns pink.”
Holt said a few minutes later a Raleigh Police officer came to the restaurant, talked to the customer outside and then entered Clyde Cooper’s, asking about the pork.
“The cop looked so confused,”Holt. “He seemed baffled by someone calling the cops over this.”
The meat cookery that goes into barbecue flips the script on what we typically think of as doneness, going for tender texture and not temperature in determining when it’s time to eat. It’s low and slow, not seared and roasted.
It means that final temperatures for pork and beef often go above their upper limit. “well done,”You can finish north of 200 degrees.
However, smoking is a way to change the world.
The undercut pinkish ring is often found on a slab of ribs or brisket. It’s usually due to a chemical reaction. USDAThis is why pink is so common in fish, chicken, and smoked meats.
Clyde Cooper’s opened in 1938 and is one of North Carolina’s oldest barbecue restaurants. You can read the entire story at the restaurant. Its Facebook PageThere were more than 100 comments and shares.
The Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center confirmed that an officer was dispatched to the Clyde Cooper’s address at 327 S. Wilmington Street on Tuesday, but declined to comment on the nature of the call.
Holt said she explained the pork’s color was from the smoke. After speaking to Holt, she stated that an officer had returned from outside and spoken with her customer.
Tuesday night, Holt said she saw a new one star Google review for Clyde Cooper’s, complaining of undercooked pork and claiming to have called the police on the restaurant. The plate’s photo shows tan and pink chopped barbecue, mac & cheese, and sweet potatoes in a styrofoam package.
Holt said Clyde Cooper’s barbecue is typically cooked for 12 hours at 225 degrees or more, then reheated before serving.
“It can’t get much hotter,”Holt. “It’s done and cooked and then we take it and chop it, cool it and heat it again….Some people don’t want to listen to reason and don’t know the process that it takes to make smoked pork. We have to laugh and move on.”
This was the first time this story appeared in November 2, 2022, 12:53 PM