Smokey Mountain Barbecue's owner Bryon Jordan has earned a place on the NC Barbecue Association's Wall of Fame for his excellent barbecue sauce.“I am tremendously honored they would even consider us,” said Jordan.“To be included on the Wall of Fame, the inductee must have made major contributions of time/talents and services that promoted North Carolina barbecue and contributed to our rich barbecue heritage,” read the N.C. Barbecue Society’s website.Jim Early, the founder of the N.C. Barbecue Society, recommended Jordan to join the Wall of Fame after reviewing Smokey Mountain Barbecue in his book titled “The Best Tar Heel Barbecue: Manteo to Murphy.” The book included reviews of 240 barbecue restaurants in North Carolina.
“Barbecue is a noun. It’s not just about how you cook the meat,” said Jordan, “there is also a cultural component that goes in to what people call barbecue.”Jordan explained how his barbecue sauce relates to other sauces used in North Carolina. Jordan said there is a noticeable difference between the barbecue found in eastern North Carolina and the barbecue found in the western part of the state. The biggest difference, said Jordan, is the sauce. Eastern style barbecue sauce is more vinegar-based, while western style barbecue sauce is tomato-based. Lexington-style sauce, which is a mixture of both eastern and western styles, is the closest match to the sauce used by Jordan.“When people come in and ask about what style of sauce we use, I tell them it’s our own,” said Jordan. He cited this uniqueness as a reason for his sauce’s success.
Bryon grew up in Lexington, NC and after marrying his wife Nancy they began visiting Ashe County and liked the area so much they eventually decided to move here. “We were trying to look at what we can do to add to the community,” said Jordan. The couple eventually realized there were no barbecue restaurants in the area, which they found surprising. After a while of deliberation, the couple opened Smokey Mountain BBQ in a small cabin between Jefferson and West Jefferson, before upgrading to their current building located at 1008 South Jefferson Avenue, West Jefferson NC. “We really have been blessed and fortunate,” said Jordan.
Bryon also operates AB Vannoy Ham Company.
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Information gathered from an article published in the Jefferson Post written by James Howell.