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Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories

Jul 21, 2017

Chris McAfee (@TheSmokdHog) of The Smok'd Hog in San Diego




Ole Hickory Pits:

Weber Grills:

Del Mar BBQ Championship:

SD Reader article on The Smok'd Hog Pulled Pork sandwiches:

Good Eats San Diego article: The Smok'd Hog:

San Diego Culture article: The Smok'd Hog:

- Over The Line tournament website (65 years):

- OTL - Valley Farm Market champs article:

- OTL tourney - Valley Farm Market won in both Mens and Women’s

- OTL rules:

- OTL post with pictures:

- OTL team names (you've been warned):

- Derek is planning a VFM BBQ party for the OTL winning teams

- Shout out to Whitney, Savannah, and Kelsey on the VFM OTL Women's team!

- Derek's full extension grab photo from OTL:

- 50 Yr anniversary OTL youtube video:

- Smok’d Hog address: 3749 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

- Chris has always been in the food/service industry (since age 13)

- Brigantine website:

- Miguel's website:

- Chris' steps to The Smok'd Hog:

  1. Buy the pit, learn the pit
  2. Start catering
  3. Get business license
  4. Open up and start grinding

- In hospitality, you do all parts of the job - all aspects and you get used to the business

- Chris and his business partner (friend from school) started The Smok'd Hog

- Chris went wild with his credit cards to help pay for The Smok'd Hog thanks to his good line of credit

- 2.5 years since opening and The Smok'd Hog is almost paid off

- Chris works 2 jobs! Bartending at Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego and owning The Smok'd Hog

- Chris has worked at Hard Rock for 10 years and has worked downtown SD for 14 years

- Cali Comfort BBQ is about having hospitality "in your blood" - doing blood tests for applicants

- Hard Rock Hotel in SD:

- Chris says "Bartending is great to learn hospitality" and "Learning how to work with adversity"

- Gaslamp district has grown so much since Petco Park has been built

- Petco Park:

- Monkey Paw brewery:

- Chris had a business partner who had a bad drinking problem and it never got better so Chris took on The Smok'd Hog by himself

- Fun fact: Chris Loves reading

- Franklin book:

- Brining meat:

- Smok’d Hog menu - very diverse and well thought out, can satisfy any regional craving

- The Smok'd Hog Cuban sandwich is a traditional Florida sandwich served with mojo sauc and a garlic encrusted rub

- Pro Tip: "Don’t drink the water in Mexico"

- The Smok'd Hog specializes in various regional sandwiches 

- Chris highly recommends "White bbq sauce" good with chicken

- Smok'd Hog has two pulled pork sandwiches  - KC and Carolina

- Chris believes, "less is more" - focus on simplicity and quality ingredients

- Brody's Burgers - Bread and Cie:

- Try the Fried Chicken at Smok'd Hog

- The Smok'd Hog has St. Louis cut ribs - enjoy their on the weekend - from restaurant depot 

- Restaurant Depot:

- Smoking times are very difficult to nail down at large volumes

- The Smok’d Hog gets their bread from a Mexican bakery

- Chris goes to Restaurant Depot every day on his morning route 

- Dear, Restaurant Depot "Why don’t you care about your customers?"

- Pride weekend in SD is huge and The Smok'd Hog sold out of BBQ... “When you’re out you are out” - the true BBQ way

- The Hillcrest Business Association is great:

- Get in touch with The Smok’d Hog via IG and FB

- The Smok’d Hog menu gets updated frequently

- Taste The Smok'd Hog at the Del Mar BBQ State Championship

- Events are chaotic and business owners are all crazy in their own way

Get in Touch

Derek Marso -

Shawn Walchef -

Cory Wagner -

Valley Farm Market - -

Cali Comfort BBQ - - -

Behind The Smoke - -

Email -