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Barbecue Expert Daniel Vaughn’s Television Pilot Is All About Smoked Meats, Of Course

Smokelandia’s pilot episode, exploring barbecue in Texas, Connecticut, and North Carolina, will air on the Cooking Channel

The cracklin pork belly from Hoodoo Brown BBQ in Ridgefield, Connecticut
The cracklin pork belly from Hoodoo Brown BBQ in Ridgefield, Connecticut
Daniel Vaughn

Daniel Vaughn, the barbecue editor for Texas Monthly, filmed a television pilot about, well, barbecue, of course. Smokelandia’s initial episode will air on the Cooking Channel on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.

“It’s all about barbecue,” Vaughn told Eater. He wants to highlight barbecue places and traditions across the country, and “limit the time we spend emptying ramekins into bowls.” More specifically, he’s looking to cover the barbecue process, from the smoker to the wood.

“Maybe it’s a little hokey — it’s symbolic — we start in the pit room,” Vaughn said. The central room to any barbecue place is the first shot of the episode.

The pilot covers three barbecue places. First, it starts in Patillo’s Bar-B-Q in Beaumont, the oldest family-owned barbecue restaurant in Texas since 1912. He wanted to “highlight somewhere in Texas that has deep tradition that isn’t brisket,” so they covered Patillo’s beef links.

To show that “great barbecue can be found all over the country,” the next stop is Hoodoo Brown BBQ in Ridgefield, Connecticut, covering its “unique” cracklin’ skin-on pork belly.

The last stop is with North Carolina’s Sam Jones BBQ, because Vaughn wanted to “tell the stories of other barbecue traditions outside of Texas.” He added that “eastern North Carolina whole hog” is one of his favorites.

Left/Right Productions approached Vaughn editor about the potential television show, given his expertise. The Cooking Channel expressed interest in the potential series, and picked up the pilot. Depending on how the episode is received, the cable channel (which is owned by Discovery, Inc.) will order the rest of the season.

Update, July 26: Alas, the Cooking Channel opted to not pick up Smokelandia, according to Vaughn’s Twitter.

Patillo’s Bar-B-Q
Patillo’s Bar-B-Q
Daniel Vaughn

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