Interview with Chef Ed Wilson of Wilson’s BBQ – Fairfield, CT

June 2008

Which woods do you use? “I like to use shagbark hickory for the bigger cuts of meat like brisket or pork shoulder. A lot of people use oak, but I feel it imparts too much of a smoky taste. For smaller cuts I like to use a milder fruit wood like apple. Seafood is so delicate that anything other than a mild wood would be overpowering.”

Philosophy on Rubs: “The central theme of a rub is equal parts sugar, salt and pepper – now, you can make right and left turns off of that.”

Philosophy on Sauces: “It’s gotta be fresh, fresh, fresh. We make our sauce from scratch on-site, which most people don’t do. It’s hard to do fresh, but to me it’s worth it.”

Preferred Fuel: “I strictly use hardwood lump charcoal.”

Ed’s Tips for Chefs Serving Barbecue: “A chef should get a smoker underneath their hood if they want to do real barbecue. In preparing for service, get it all done right before your service. There’s no deterioration of the product when you hold it for 3 hours.”