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BBQ Bologna Sandwiches Are A Southern Specialty Pitmaster Pat Martin Wants You To Try - Exclusive

Pat Martin headshot
Pat Martin headshot - World Red Eye

Pat Martin, owner of Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint and Hugh-Baby's, is probably best known for his authentic West Tennessee-style whole-hog barbecue. However, his restaurants also serve a unique type of smoked meat you might not have heard of before: barbecue bologna sandwiches. That might seem strange since bologna is often sold pre-smoked, but Martin's cooking process adds new layers of flavor and texture to the deli meat, transforming what is often seen as a dubious mystery sausage into something decadent and crave-able.

As he told Tasting Table in an exclusive interview, he didn't invent the barbecue bologna sandwich; they're popular all over the South. Still, creating a classic barbecue bologna sandwich is no easy feat, taking both craft and patience. Per Martin, the traditional way is to throw an entire 10-pound roll of bologna on the smoker. "I smoke mine for about eight hours," he revealed. After smoking, he cuts the bologna into slices and throws them in the fridge until they're fully chilled. Once cold, the sliced sausage is deep-fried to reheat, then dressed simply with mustard, pickles, and onions and tucked into a toasted bun.

Read more: Styles Of Regional BBQ In The US

Making Barbecue Bologna At Home

Martin's bologna sandwich
Martin's bologna sandwich - Martin' BBQ Joint/Facebook

Of course, the best way to experience barbecue bologna is to take a trip down South and buy a sandwich from an expert like Pat Martin, but if that's not an option, you can make it at home. A 10-pound log of bologna is more meat than many folks want to cook at one time; fortunately, you can easily smoke smaller sections of sausage to achieve similar results.

Martin doesn't add any extra seasonings when he smokes bologna, but if you want to play around with flavor profiles, you can add your favorite barbecue rub using mustard to adhere it to the deli meat. You don't need to smoke for a full eight hours, either — a couple of hours on a smoker will still impart plenty of flavor. If you don't feel like risking potential mistakes with a deep-fryer, you can simply turn up the temperature of your grill after slicing your bologna and crisp up the slices over the hot fire.

To taste Pat Martin's cooking, visit his restaurants Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint and Hugh-Baby's, which have locations across the South, primarily in and around Tennessee.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.