Local Outsider: Wes Blankenship Visits Georgia Barbecue Standout Iron Pig BBQ

by Evan Reier

If you don’t have a meal in front of you or didn’t just finish one, you may want to come back to this. If you don’t, the visit to Iron Pig BBQ from Outsider’s Wes Blankenship may drive you insane.

The Iron Pig, located in Jefferson, Georgia, serves up some of the finest southern barbecue you’ll find in the Peach State.We’re salivating already. However, Wes’ video is what’s really driving us crazy.

As most good BBQ establishments are, the setup for the Iron Pig is fairly simple. But complexity isn’t important here. The key thing is the smoke.

“While only using hickory wood to smoke our meats,” the restaurant’s Facebook page reads. “The IPB grill is never unmanned & runs continuously 24 hrs a day from the beginning to the end of its work week. All of our sides as well as our desserts are handmade- made fresh daily.”

Wes Blankenship opens with a bit of context. As one might guess, Iron Pig BBQ isn’t run by an opportunistic out-of-towner. No, the man behind the smoker is Hunter Garner, who wrestled for Jefferson High School and won four state championships in his day.

Now, Garner hasn’t traveled far, taking the reins at “IPB” and making mouth-watering barbecue while doing so. Also running the spot with Hunter is his wife, Farrah. And, as Wes points out, much of the staff are kids who currently attend the school.

One of the shining moments of the video is when Hailey, a student and employee, is asked by Wes Blankenship what she’s learned after getting hired just weeks prior.

“I’ve learned that this is where good barbecue is made,” Hailey said.

That’s all you need to know.

Wes Blankenship Talks With Iron Pig About the Process

Making “good barbecue” may be simple, but that doesn’t mean it is an easy task. Iron Pig keeps it fundamental with a basic salt and pepper seasoning, but as employee Colton points out in the video, timing is crucial.

“It takes a lot of patience,” Colton said. “Sometimes, it takes a lot of sauce. Really, it just takes a lot of pride in your work.”

Colton may have just summed up southeastern barbecue in those first 12 words. But it’s the passion behind the cooking that truly creates a meal that tastes above and beyond its competition.

After getting a recommendation from a young local, Wes Blankenship sat down with the classic Iron Pig meal. Brisket sandwich, baked beans, coleslaw and some chips. Check the video for the high-definition close-up.

But Wes rounds up the value of a place like Iron Pig BBQ in the video, and how it goes beyond just the food itself.

“The work hard here at the Iron Pig,” Wes Blankenship says. “They wake up before the crack of dawn to chop their own wood and leave it to a bunch of dragons to know their way around the fire. I absolutely love the Iron Pig, a great story, a great team and I think you’d like it too.”

Outsider.com