Tasty Tuesday - Checkered Pig in Martinsville

Award-winning BBQ paying it forward to communities in need

ROANOKE, Va. – Whether it's Texas, Memphis or North Carolina, BBQ just knows how to hit the spot. And with race week coming up in Martinsville, Checkered Pig is the place to be for that pre-race fix. 

Owner, Tommy Houston, has been doing BBQ for nearly four decades. That was after he cooked for a group of fellow firefighters. The BBQ bug hit him, with Checkered Pig now being open for more than twenty years. Their Danville location has been open for eight years. 

Houston tells 10 News that the one thing that makes their BBQ different is that they cook hams, rather than butts or shoulders. 

"There's a small amount of fat, but 90% of it is lean meat."

After sitting in the smoker for hours, they pull the ham out, shed it of its skin and hand pick out the fat. 

Houston explains, "Nobody wants to eat a big glob of fat when they're eating BBQ, so we just pull it off."

It's then chopped up really nice and decorated with their signature sauce. Their sauce is proof of the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again."

After multiple failed attempts years ago, the sauce is now a hit with all who are fortunate enough to press it up against their taste buds. 

You could even say that Checkered Pig is famous, after multiple appearances on the Food Network. 

Now, Houston and his crew are dedicated to helping others after natural disasters. He's part of a national group called, Operation BBQ Relief.

Houston's first deployment was to West Virginia, following the floods in 2016. After Dorian, however, the group reached a huge milestone.

"With that deployment there, we surpassed the three millionth meal."

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