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Grilling Pete Snyder On BBQ

Pete Snyder, the man vying for the second most powerful post in Richmond, Va., has a secret weapon: access to all the Memphis-style barbecue his custom smoker can belch out.

Too bad his better half, Burson Snyder, deputy chief of staff to Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has issued a strict NIMBY order about where the would-be lieutenant governor can park his wood-fired plaything.

Pete Snyder's Pig Rig
(Courtesy PetesPigRig)

Per Twitter, the smoke machine appears to be residing in a parking garage in Springfield, Va. (And is none too happy about its new accommodations.) Although he’s been an amateur barbecue enthusiast for years, Snyder told HOH that Pete’s Pig Rig officially debuted Dec. 2 during a campaign stop in Virginia Beach. “As an iron-clad conservative running for lieutenant governor, I needed an iron-clad vehicle,” he joked of the custom-designed trailer that’s been optimized to lovingly heat meats at a steady 140 degrees.

Snyder said he prefers to use hickory as a fuel source but is amenable to regional substitutes if absolutely necessary. He’s much more rigid about acceptable proteins.

“While we respect all other meats, we are a pork-specific operation,” he said, noting that he favors Smithfield hams or other Virginia-raised pig products. His specialties include whole shoulder (for pulling) and ribs, and he’s developed a signature dry rub harnessing the power of proven fire-starters cinnamon and chili powder.

While he is a certified barbecue judge (alumnus of the Memphis in May program) and appears to be intimately familiar with a number of formidable pits — he ticked off Pierce’s PITT Bar-B-Que in Williamsburg, Va., as well as Memphis, Tenn., standbys Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous, The Bar-B-Q-Shop and Central BBQ as personal favorites — Snyder has no illusions about his own grilling ability. “I like cooking for fun … but I’m a much better judge,” he shared.

Expert or not, the aspiring politician is savvy enough to know that having PPR at his disposal can only help him curry favor on Capitol Hill.

“I can’t imagine that the Pig Rig couldn’t hold a sampling at some time,” the wily candidate teased.

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