By Lisa Collins-Haynes | Photos by Mark Gilvey
If you want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. That’s just what Ken Harris, owner of Lazy Pig BBQ, did. Originally from Little Rock, Ark., Harris and his wife relocated to Northern Virginia due to her service in the military. He craved the smoked taste of southern BBQ and tried many of the area restaurants, but had a hard time finding something similar to what he was used to.
Instead of wasting his money on food he didn’t like and wouldn’t eat, he decided to start smoking his own BBQ, so he’d know that it was prepared the way he enjoyed it. Soon afterwards he started sharing his BBQ with friends and members of his church. He began getting rave reviews and decided to go one step further and open a catering service, which he still operates in conjunction with the restaurant. Things went really well with that, and naturally Harris migrated into serving larger groups. Lazy Pig was born in Dumfries in 2011 and is now located at 18723 Fuller Heights Road in Triangle.
Harris’s love of making great BBQ started when he was a teenager. His uncles and aunts had businesses on the side, and he helped out and learned the secrets of the trade. One of those secrets is achieving the perfect pink smoke ring. This happens when the meat reaches the perfect temperature. “If you have smoked meats and don’t see a smoke ring, it may mean that they’re under- or overcooked,” said Harris. Starting at 7:00 a.m. Harris and his team get the smokers ready to ensure the smoke ring is always just right. Collectively, they sell about 150 pounds of brisket each day and around 30 racks of ribs. It takes Harris about six months to train his smoke masters, and there are currently two that work at Lazy Pig. If anyone wants to learn more about how they smoke the meats, Harris explains that they will give anyone a quick lesson
about how it’s done.
Each region specializes in its own type of BBQ. Some say it’s the perfectly cooked meat; others say it’s the sauce that makes BBQ the best. Harris has noticed that in Northern Virginia customers love a thousand sauces. His focus, however, is preparing a dry rub for his style of BBQ and seasoning the meats amply, so the sauce is a complement, not a necessity. Another practice that sets him apart is that he’s dedicated to only selling BBQ at Lazy Pig. People make suggestions about how he should branch out and sell other items on his menu, and his response is, “You don’t need a huge menu; you just need something good.” His commitment to only serving old-fashion BBQ, as he calls it, is proof of why Lazy Pig continues to be successful.
“We believe in taking care of our customers and serving a quality, freshly made product at a great price. We want everyone to walk away feeling like they’ve had a down-home taste,” explains Harris. For more information about Lazy Pig BBQ, visit
Lisa Collins-Haynes (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a wife, mother and international travel writer whose bags are always packed. Follow her on Instagram @living_a_charmed_life.