From the Oceans to the Rivers
“When we start hunting, it’s still warm enough to be T-shirt weather, and if we start before dawn and hunt through to the middle of the day, we can be up and fishing for brown trout in the cool water that afternoon.”
Even when his boys aren’t here, he says, “I hunt with a great bunch. Some of our friendships go back 20 years. We’re the sort of hunting club that attracts people that are interested in good fun and good hunting, people from all walks of life, people you enjoy spending time with whether you are out hunting or just sitting inside.”
Hunting and fishing are common threads that help keep the Wilson family a tight-knit group, and Bill Wilson is a classic example of someone who enjoys the outdoors whether he gets a trophy for the wall or not.
Just about every day – wherever you are – you will drive your rig close to destinations that are as American as apple pie and just as delicious.
Barbecue is Americana at its best. But there is not just one American barbecue; it varies from state to state and region to region, and therein lies the challenge. Understanding the differences between ‘cue in different parts of the country, and then finding a one-of-a-kind place that serves it just right, makes for some fun destination hunting.
Even if you aren’t in the South, you can find authentic barbecue almost anywhere in the country. You just have to know where to look and what to expect.
To make your off-duty day a finger-licking-good experience, use our barbecue guide to become a ‘cue connoisseur. We’ve given you some legendary places to start your journey of discovery, but there are a whole lot more hidden away waiting for you to find.
Barbecue has many meanings. It can mean the actual pit, smoker or grill, a social gathering, or grilling, a fast cooking process using direct heat. While the term may bring many things to mind, the most widely held definition of barbecue is that it is the product of cooking meat slowly with low, indirect heat from wood or wood coals, usually in a pit or a smoker.
The “low-n-slow” cooking technique developed for using cheap cuts of tough meat and cooking them until they are tender. The cuts typically used have a lot of fat and collagen, the material that holds the muscle together. The long, slow cooking transforms the collagen from a tough material to a gelatin that dissolves. This can take hours at a temperature of about 160 degrees, but the juicy results are worth the wait.
Barbecue, as Americans know it, started in the South. Prior to the Civil War, the pig became a staple food item because it was low maintenance, convenient and inexpensive. Pigs were released in the forest to root and caught whenever the food supply was low. Pig slaughtering and cooking became a time for celebration, leading to the tradition of neighborhood barbecues that are still a large part of Southern culture.
Barbecue eventually made its way north and west, which brought about the development of grilling and other flavors and techniques of barbecue. These differences vary by region and offer an off-duty trucker a different flavor almost anywhere in the country.
Sauces vary the most and are the most debated subject among barbecue aficionados. Most sauces contain molasses, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, black pepper, onion, celery, garlic, mustard, cayenne pepper, vegetable oil and salt. The variations begin with changes in the ratios of the typical ingredients, leading to thick, thin, spicy or sweet sauces. As you move east, the sauces typically get thinner. In some areas, the sauce is skipped altogether and replaced by a dry spice rub.