Real, wood-smoked barbecue requires serious quantity in order to make any sense. When prescribed cooking times range from several hours to overnight, you aren’t going to play
around with a few chops—no. The twelve or thirteen active hours required to tenderize a whole hog with hot smoke pay off with enough delicious pork to feed the parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and their friends, or a bunch of hungry tailgaters, with meat left over.
But what do you do with those leftovers? Of course, you can toss them in a little warm sauce and fork them up plain, or shovel them onto a bun. Or you can repurpose those chilly strands of smoked pork into something new, to appease a crowd that has already taken down a few plates of straight-up pig. Memphis-style barbecue spaghetti, a regional oddity from the same town that gave us barbecue pizza, is a good bet. A simmer in the thick barbecue sauce favored in those parts has the same effect on pork that’s a few days off the smoker as it does on fresh meat: the smoky barbecue melts into a rich, tomato-based gravy that sticks to noodles like macaroni and cheese to your ribs on a cold day.
Another great next-day use for pulled pork is a plate of hot, cheese-smothered nachos. Nuke the pork briefly to heat it through, then scatter it on top of a layer of thick corn tortilla chips on an over-proof platter and top with plenty of shredded cheddar and Monterey jack. Broil until the cheese is gooey. And if you’re willing to put a little work into your leftovers, chef Aaron Siegel of Home Team BBQ in our hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, tops barbecue nachos with a corn salsa that’s worth firing up the smoker a second time. To copy his nachos exactly, pair the salsa with heaps of pico de gallo, guacamole, and a simple relish composed of carrots and pickled jalapeños blended with pineapple juice.
Siegel serves this salsa with pulled-pork nachos and smoked chicken chili.