Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review: NY Butcher Shop, Charlotte, NC

Name: New York Butcher Shoppe
Location: Charlotte, NC
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 7pm; Sunday, Noon - 7pm

I was talking to a judge at a BBQ competition and found out about a butcher shop in Charlotte. I had also heard about tri-tip, This is a standard BBQ meat in California and I had never tried it. I have search around the Charlotte area for it but could never find it. I emailed the butcher shop and found out they carried tri-tip and during the summer they would fire up a Big Green Egg to cook samples of that and other BBQ meats for customers. I had to go.

I decided I would get a tri-tip and a pork butt to see how this shop stacked up. I had visions of a huge walk-in fridge in the back that had meat hanging from hooks (cool) and a counter man with a white blood stained apron (not cool). I looked them up online and it looked like a neighborhood deli. I was still hoping for the walk-in fridge with the meat hanging.

My family came with me and we pulled up to a nice shopping center with a few nice shops around the butcher shop. We entered and were greeted with a prompt and friendly hello. The shop was clean, the people behind the counter had no blood stains on their aprons and they were very friendly. They let us look around for a bit, finished helping a customer and then asked if they could help us.

We talked for a bit about the different meat they carried. Much of it is vacuumed packed and shipped in as larger cuts and they cut it down. Due to federal regulations they can't have the whole animals hanging in the freezer to cut the meat off of. Which is sad but they do get larger cuts in and break them down.

They do have box specials where you can get a bunch of meat for a great price. I almost went with one of those but none had tri-tip and was looking forward to trying that cut.
Pork butt.
We settled on a Boston butt (they sell them boneless) and a Tri-tip. Both cuts of meat had good color and they vacuum seal them at the store after they are broken down. The butt had great marbling in the money muscle (the money muscle is like the fillet of pork butt) and nice marbling throughout the meat. The tri-tip looked to be a nice cut of beef with good marbling also. I decided to smoke both pieces of meat.
The money muscle. 
Pork butt ready to be rubbed.
Tri-tip ready to be rubbed.
I prepared the butt, as I usually do, the night before; honey mustard slather and rub. The tri-tip I rubbed about 4 hours before I was ready to put it on the cooker.

I heated the smoker up to 250° and put the butt on. The butt takes about 8 hours where the tri-tip only takes about 2. Being I had never done a tri-tip I read up on cooking it. They can be either grilled or smoked. I went with the smoke method.
Pork butt ready to go on the cooker.
I rubbed the tri-tip about 4 hours before I was ready to put it on and returned it to the fridge. About an hour before cook time I pulled it out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature. When I put it on the grill I put it on fat cap up (the fat cap is a layer of fat on top of the meat.
Fat cap on the tri-tip.
I like to cook it with the cap up as it helps to keep in moisture and as it renders it drips down I to the meat creating a basting action.
The meat cooking. 
After the tri-tip had cooked for an hour I flipped it over to help the bark on the nonfat side form. All the sites I researched on recommended cooking the tri-tip to 135°. After an hour and a half of cooking I started to check the temperature every 30 minutes. I didn't want to overcook the meat. The tri-tip had cooked for two and a half hours and reached 138° so I took it off and foiled it. I put it along with the pork butt into a cooler to keep it warm until time to serve.
Tri-tip ready to be carved.
Tri-tip carved and ready to serve. 
Both the butt and the tri-tip came out awesome. The pork butt was one of the best one I have cooked. The meat was tender, moist and very tasty.

I do recommend the New York Butcher Shoppe. The staff is helpful,friendly and fun. They know their meat and make great recommendations for what to cook and how to cook it. The quality of the meat is good and the service great. On the Gibbs' Ribs* scale I give them a full rack of ribs. I look forward to going back and trying some other cuts they have.

*When I do reviews, books or otherwise, I rate the items with ribs (they are my favorite BBQ dish). A full rack is great and a single rib is poor. I will tend to stick to a full rack, half rack or one rib.

New York Butcher Shop on Urbanspoon


  1. Great post. Tri-tip gets dry very easy. Many people out here in California cook tri-tip over an open face grill and often over cook it. So when you cut into that dry meat, the muscle fibers break and "feather". Deciding to smoke it was a good call. I usually do mine similar, with indirect heat over a drip pan with apple or citrus juice and beer in the drip pan. Can't wait to try tri-tip in my new smoker.

  2. I was worried about getting shoe leather. It came out great with the thinner parts being just medium well and the rest medium rare.

  3. I finally got to use my new smoker on a couple-a-butts. I decided to try this paint and mop recipe. It took me out of the normal citrus baste and sweet sauces my family usually likes me to use.

    I also learned something. I have been pretty much a stickler to cooking pork to 160 degrees. Which is fine but it’s so true how much more tender the pork is when you bring the inside of the pork around 190. Due to time, I only got these butts to about 180 and this was THE most tender pork butt I ever pulled.

    The bark was really good. When you use the mustard/honey paint you get a nice mild tang without the taste of mustard. Also, the bark had a nice bite (no pun intended) It had a good chew without being chewy.

    The mop sauce and meat marbling kept the meat moist throughout the cooking process. So I would re-emphasize to get a good cut of meat first and it makes the mop sauces job much easier. I decided to eat this pork but as pulled pork sandwiches but I didn’t add any additional sauce or slaw. I wanted to really taste the flavor of this recipe and the pork for what it was.

    The only change I made to the mop was that I used beer instead of water. Why? No reason. I just like beer more than water.

    The flavors here really stand alone and are enjoyable without any additions. There are no overly sweet or pithy flavors that tend to coat your mouth, like it does when you use those sweet barbecue sauces. It is a really clean flavor that still makes you want to go back for more. I ate 3 sandwiches! And snacked on some of the remaining meat.

    I used a simple Charbroil brand off-set smoker. My fuel was a mix of Kingsford Hickory charcoal and Royal Oak brand lump charcoal. These you can buy at your local big box store. Because I did two big butts and had some weird weather to deal with, it took me about eleven hours. But it truly is worth the wait and effort.

    This is a great opportunity to enjoy pork without overpowering the flavor of the meat.

  4. Glad you enjoyed the mop and mustard "paint." I used hard cider in my most recent mop. it was a nice change added a little hint of apple to the bark.

  5. Thanks for the tip about this place! I'll have to make time to check it out.

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