Why am I so obsessed with wood? The barbecues I love—City Market in Luling, Texas; Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro, North Carolina; and George's Bar-B-Q in Owensboro, Kentucky, representing three distinct traditions—bombard their meat with thick wood smoke, running through hardwood by the cord (128 cubic feet) every day. Above these enterprises the pit master towers, a Christ-like figure who selflessly stays up all night cutting lumber, stoking the fire, constantly turning the meat, wiping soot from his brow, then collapsing in a heap after delivering a near-perfect product each morning. We had only one barbecue in New York with that dedication—Pearson's in Jackson Heights. Perhaps coincidentally, it closed the week Dinosaur... More >>>