Ed Mitchell’s name has come to be synonymous with Eastern North Carolina wood-smoked whole-hog barbecue. From Wilson, North Carolina, he grew up smoking hogs and has tried to continue that tradition, using old techniques and traditionally farm-raised pigs. 

But almost since the start, Ed Mitchell’s barbeque journey has not been a straight line—business relationships, racism, and smoke have all shaped his rollercoaster ride.

Reporter Wilson Sayre is our guide in looking at those twists and turns.

Ryan Mitchell and Ed Mitchell. Photo courtesy of Ryan Mitchell.

We thank Danyell Irby for editing, and Blue Dot Sessions for music used in this episode.

Additional Resources
Redesigning the Pig, Gourmet, July 2005, by John T. Edge
SFA oral history with Ed Mitchell
Read more about North Carolina barbecue in Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, by John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed