The Smokehouse – Hilton Head Island, SC

We’ve been fortunate to vacation quite often at Hilton Head Island, along with thousands of other Ohioans.  There’s certainly no shortage of great places to eat, especially those taking advantage of the fantastic seafood.  And even though we love all those places, we’ve come to make BBQ one of our vacation traditions.  The Smokehouse will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and we’re thrilled they’ve stood the test of time!

Located on Palmetto Bay Road, not far from Coligny, the newer freestanding location has ample room in the bar, dining area and outdoors.  You’ll feel right at home in the open wood-and-corrugated steel atmosphere.  After ordering a few drafts from their selection of local brews, we moved onto appetizers.  There’s a great selection of ribs, wings, sliders and a variety of other BBQ-inspired bar specialties.  I highly recommend the wings and the crunchy onion loaf!


While the menu boasts a variety of salads, sandwiches, seafood and grilled meats, there’s no reason you should skip their BBQ.  We ordered several samplers and were impressed with the pulled pork, brisket and ribs.  The smoked chicken was a little dry, but the flavor was spot-on.  All of the traditional sides were simple and perfectly-made.  Be sure to order the macaroni & cheese as well as at the collards!


A stop here is going to be your new family tradition for trips to the island.  Whether you dine-in or carry out bulk orders for beachside eating, you’ll be sure to have happy bellies from The Smokehouse!  Stop in for live music or check out their Sunday brunch.  You can learn more about this award-winning personal favorite at  Dig in!


Savory BBQ Rub

The secret’s out – I love to barbecue!!  Whether I’m cooking at home or eating out, I love wings, brisket, ribs and all manner of meats seasoned with dry rub.  There are tons of great varieties available in stores and online and I use lots of them. (people tend to give them to me as gifts – awesome, right?!)  I have a few favorites that I’ve talked about before, but I also like to make my own.  Try the all-purpose rub below for a perfect blend of sweet-savory-spicy.  There’s a depth of flavor with maybe a few surprises in the ingredients, but the overall flavor is reminiscent of really great BBQ potato chips.




  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

Instructions (not really necessary)

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Rub desired cut(s) of meat on all sides and allow to marinate for 30 minutes before grilling, smoking or baking.

It’s not complicated, but this recipe turns out some great BBQ.  The amount above is enough to cover a 5 lbs. brisket, but you can multiple the recipe for greater quantities of chicken, ribs, etc.  It’s also a great basic recipe that you can add or exchange ingredients to develop your own flavor profile.  Like it hot?  Use hot paprika and cayenne.  Like a little more savory?  Use rosemary or oregano.  Want some southwest flair?  Try adding chili powder and cumin.  Have fun with it and share any of your great ideas.  Mostly, just fire up the smoker and dig in!