Sam Jones

Owner/Pitmaster, Sam Jones BBQ
Author, Whole Hog BBQ

Sam Jones is the third generation to cook traditional whole hog barbecue at Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. Sam’s family opened Skylight Inn in 1947 with a very humble beginning. Since then, they have always stayed true to what has made them what they are—a standard bearer for wood-cooked...

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Sam Jones

Owner/Pitmaster, Sam Jones BBQ
Author, Whole Hog BBQ

Sam Jones is the third generation to cook traditional whole hog barbecue at Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. Sam’s family opened Skylight Inn in 1947 with a very humble beginning. Since then, they have always stayed true to what has made them what they are—a standard bearer for wood-cooked eastern NC style barbecue.

Skylight Inn, as well as Sam, have been mentioned among the greats when it comes to legendary barbecue joints and pitmasters in many publications and several TV shows. In 2012, Sam was named as one of the “Top Ten Pitmasters in South” by Southern Living. In 2003, Skylight Inn was honored with a James Beard award for “Americas Classics.” 

In the fall of 2015, Sam opened Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, NC—a new restaurant, but with all the indicators of traditional BBQ. With no freezers and a detached pit house turning out freshly smoked meats, the integrity of the eastern NC BBQ is surely safe here. 

Sam’s first cookbook, Whole Hog BBQ: The Gospel of Carolina Barbecue, was published on May 7, 2019 by Ten Speed Press. Now adding author to his titles, Sam is passionate about his craft and holds high standards for what traditional barbeque is. More importantly, Sam is known for being an honest, hard working guy who loves people, loves his hometown, and loves what he does.

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