Rodney Scott: Raised in the cult of barbecue

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Rodney Scott was raised in South Carolina in the cult of barbecue. With his family philosophy of “if you’re big enough to work, you went to work,” Scott drove a tractor at six years old and cooked his first whole hog at 11. He worked as a pitmaster in his family’s business for over a quarter of a century before setting out on his own in Charleston. His cookbook, “Rodney Scott’s World of Barbecue,” includes how to build your own pit out of cinder blocks.

Pork Belly Succotash
My mother’s mother used to put up colorful jars of succotash during the summer when there were so many vegetables coming out of the garden that you couldn’t eat them all. Rodney, the finicky kid, didn’t eat many of them. Still this dish reminds me of her and the good times I had at her house watching TV and playing with my cousins.


  • 1 pound cooked pork belly meat and fat, preferably from a barbecued hog
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 4 ears corn, shucked, kernels shaved off the cob
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen baby lima beans
  • 2 cups meat or vegetable stock or water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Hog Seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium tomato, diced, or ½ cup halved grape tomatoes


-Chop the belly meat and fat.
-In a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the meat over medium-high heat to render most of the fat, 3 to 5 minutes.
-Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
-Add the corn and sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes.
-Add the lima beans and mix well.
-Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil.
-Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until slightly reduced, 10 to 15 minutes.
-Add the heavy cream, increase the heat to high, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
-Season with the salt and hog seasoning.
-Stir in the butter and once it’s melted, fold in the tomatoes.
-Serve warm or at room temperature.

Hog Seasoning


  • ½ cup table salt
  • ¹⁄₃ cup cayenne pepper
  • ¹⁄₃ cup MSG
  • ¹⁄₃ cup red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper


-Mix all of the ingredients and place them in an air-tight container.
-Cover and store in a cool dry place until ready to use.

Pitmaster Rodney Scott attests that whole hog barbecue takes so long that good friends and fellowship are the natural results. His new book is “Rodney Scott’s World of Barbecue.” Photo courtesy of Clarkson Potter.



Evan Kleiman