Barbecue is beautiful.
With the national barbecue trend reaching delicious heights, Instagram has become a worldwide gallery for succulent shots of smoked meats. There’s smoke rings on spare ribs, thick slices of brisket dripping with fat, chopped whole hog barbecue sandwiches.
An online survey from the site YorkTest scoured Instagram for the most tagged barbecue in America. Making that list is one of Raleigh’s most influential barbecue restaurants, The Pit Authentic Barbecue.
The Pit has 15,600 tags on Instagram, good enough for 19th on the YorkTest survey and the only North Carolina barbecue joint in the top 50.
The list itself is dominated by Texas barbecue, with the Austin giant Franklin in the top spot with 63,200 tags, nearly twice as much as the second place restaurant, Rippy’s in Nashville.
Beyond Franklin, 12 other Texas barbecue spots landed in the top 50, including Terry Black’s Barbecue.
The Pit’s barbecue medley
The Pit opened in 2008 as a different kind of Raleigh barbecue restaurant. Original owners Greg Hatem and pitmaster Ed Mitchell launched the Pit with a full bar and valet parking, giving North Carolina’s most famous food a downtown sheen. Eventually Mitchell would depart the restaurant to work on other projects over the years.
Today the Pit serves a medley of barbecue styles, from Eastern and Lexington North Carolina styles to beef brisket.
North Carolina is in the midst of a kind of barbecue renaissance, with numerous new restaurants opening up in the past couple of years and serving ambitious plates of smoked meat.
Many of the Instagrammed posts show off heaping plates of barbecue, while some seem to be digital proof of pilgrimages to famous pits and restaurants.
The Pit has been featured on countless TV shows and in national magazines and continues to be many diners’ first taste of North Carolina barbecue.