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Brunswick Stew

Our Brunswick Stew is made with pork, chicken and a mixture of vegetables, seasonings and broth.  Brunswick Stew is made many ways in the south. Some versions will have okra, while others do not.  Some contain BBQ sauce and/or rice, while some don't. Each region of the south has its own variation.  This one is made with pork BBQ that has been smoked over hickory coals which gives it the smoky flavor we love!

This stew is a labor of love.  It is not something you can rush to make.  This is something you will want to start early and allow it to cook on low for several hours for the best flavor.  It is best to plan ahead before making this stew.  There are quite a few ingredients,but it is worth it!

This is as close to the Brunswick Stew I grew up eating as I have been able to get. This recipe makes a huge amount because when we make Brunswick Stew, we are usually feeding a crowd.  You will need a gigantic pot least 3-4 gallons in size. The more room you have, the better.


This is one of our favorite stews to make during the fall and winter months, especially when we are having a crowd.  It is perfect for bonfires or snow storms.  It is great at home, camping, evenings on the river or weekends at the beach during the cooler months.  Nothing says fall and winter quite like a smoky flavored Brunswick Stew. It is great to cook outside over an open fire or on a gas burner, but you may also cook inside on the stove, if this works best for you.


Brunswick Stew is often served as a side dish for many community BBQ events in this region.  Really awesome BBQ restaurants sell this by the gallon. Folks around here take their Brunswick Stew seriously and everyone has a favorite! 

I may not always have access to pit smoked BBQ, so when the local fire departments and churches host their annual BBQs, I usually purchase a few pounds in bulk to freeze for this purpose.

If you don't have access to pit smoked pork BBQ, you can use a Boston Butt or a pork roast that has been cooked and chopped.  It won't give you the same smoky flavor, but we have used these substitutes in a pinch and it still tastes great.  We serve this with cornbread or saltine crackers and plenty of hot sauce and/or jalapenos on the side.

Not having a big crowd?  No problem!  This stew freezes well inside gallon size bags.  Just cool completely and store inside ziplock freezer bags. This will last in the freezer for several months.  Just thaw and heat thoroughly.

Build a fire and invite your friends over for a great time this fall or winter and enjoy this delicious stew!


1 pound pork BBQ, cooked

1 whole chicken


2 tbls salt

1 tbls pepper

2.5 pounds potatoes

30 oz limas, drained (canned)

30 oz white corn, drained (canned)

20 oz frozen creamed corn

56 oz diced tomatoes

13 oz black eyed peas (drained)

1 cup hickory smoked BBQ sauce

1 cup vinegar based BBQ sauce

10 oz shredded carrots

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 onions, diced

2 cups ketchup

3 sticks butter

instant potatoes for thickening


  1. Place the chicken in the pot and cover completely with water.  Add salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook for one hour.  Remove chicken from the broth and allow to cool.

  2. The pot needs to have a minimum of 1 gallon of liquid before adding vegetables.  If there is not at least one gallon (4 quarts) of broth, add enough water to make up the difference. 

  3. Add diced potatoes, celery, onions, carrots and 1 stick of butter to the pot with the broth.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.

  4. Add the rest of the vegetables to the pot.  Bring back to a boil and turn to medium low heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Add the pork and chicken. Add the remainder of the butter that has been cut into small cubes. Simmer for 1 hour on low. Continue stirring throughout the cooking process.

  6. Add the instant potatoes a little at the time until it is the consistency you desire.

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