Sep 25, 2015 - Food and Drink

The best barbecue in Charlotte might just be sold by Boy Scouts

You won’t find the best barbecue in Charlotte in any restaurant. You’ll get it one weekend at a time out of a church parking lot, cooked up on a line of smokers by teenagers and their dads.

Boy Scout troops in Charlotte have embraced the ‘cue in a big way. They’ll cook up pulled pork by the ton, literally, every year. Knowing when and where is the hard part.

Plates will generally run from $9 to $11, and a pound of ‘cue to take home is about $10. They also often have Brunswick stew and homemade sauces for about $4. Pro-tip: Go ahead and get a plate to eat right away, and a pound to take home after with a bottle of sauce.

Plus, you can feel like you’re helping a worthy cause when you buy them. In many cases, the barbecue sales are the troop’s only fundraiser.

Getting some is tricky. These babies sell out fast, and if you walk up and try to buy some, the pork could all be spoken for. The best way to guarantee your plate is to know a Scout. Failing that, a number of these troops are doing online pre-orders weeks in advance.

If you don’t order ahead, be sure to go on the first day of the sale, and bring checks or cash. And ask to get on their email list so you’ll know when pre-orders start the next year.

Prime barbecue sale season starts in the next few weeks and lasts through the winter. Here are the Boy Scout barbecue sales I know of. Did I miss one? Let me know.

Troop 39


When: Oct. 2-3
Where: Matthews United Methodist Church
Details: Pre-order here, and you better hurry. Plates are $9 and get you barbecue, baked beans, coleslaw, bread and a drink. The troop grows their own peppers for their famous Scorpion hot sauce ($8).

Troop 133

When: October 9-10
Where: Sardis Presbyterian Church
Details: Pre-order by sending in a request to [email protected]. See the menu at the website below. The Brunswick stew is a secret family recipe. Free iced tea if you eat on site.

Troop 256

When: October 24
Where: Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church
Details: They’ve got a drive-up lane where you can get your ‘cue to go.


Troop 355


When: January
Where: Sharon United Methodist Church
Details: They call themselves “Best in the Galaxy,” and they have an argument. The troop cooks 12,000 pounds in a row of smokers over two days at the “Ski Slope Church.”

Troop 33


When: February 5, 2016
Where: Across the street from Sardis Presbyterian Church
Details: They’ve been in business for two decades and put a lot of good information on their website. The troop cooks 10,000 pounds at a time and was voted Creative Loafing’s best barbecue in 2014.


Troop 11


When: March 16-19, 2016
Where: Providence United Methodist Church
Details: They call their barbecue “Universally Renowned” and it sells out faster than any other barbecue sale I know of. Get on their email list by messaging [email protected]. Right now.

Troop 116


When: March
Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church
Details: Pre-orders go live online a few weeks in advance at the website below.

Troop 13

When: March
Where: University City United Methodist Church
Details: They have chicken as well, and combine their sale with a silent auction.

Troop 119

When: Late September
Where: South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church
Details: They bill their ‘cue as the “Best in Ballantyne.” They did 67 pounds just as a test run this year. Turkey options, too.

(Photo credits: All photos come from the Scout troop’s websites, Facebook pages, or the Facebook pages of the churches hosting them)


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more