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New barbecue sheriff in town

There is a new option in the barbecue scene of Chilton County, and its name is Smoking Guns Bar-B-Que.

The barbecue joint owned by Tom and Donna Carter opened about four weeks ago, and joined the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 2 at 3988 7th St. N. in Clanton.

Tom Carter has always had a knack for cooking barbecue and looks to finally share that passion with the residents of Chilton County.

“I’ve been wanting to do it for 15 years,” Carter said. “Any time we go somewhere everybody wants me to bring my brisket and baked beans.”

The prides himself in fall-off-the-bone brisket and puts a pound to a pound and a half of meat in every pound and a half of baked beans, which creates quite the combination of both sweet and smoky flavors.

“It’s a meal by itself,” Carter said.

The menu is simple by design and Carter hopes to keep it that way.

“We don’t do hamburgers or French fries, just strictly barbecue pork, ribs, riblets and brisket,” Carter said. “I do one thing, and I try to do that one thing well.”

According to Carter, the signature item is the “Big gun” sandwich, which includes sausage as the base and piled with brisket and about a half pound of pork between the top and bottom of a bun. A reduced portion is also available, know as the “Small gun.”

Platters are another option besides sandwiches and include the choice of sides, such as baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw or potato chips.

The name “Smoking Guns” came from Carter’s history of competing in national shooting competitions for about nine years.

Some of his competition trophies are displayed and cannot help but catch the eye of customers as soon as they walk through the door.

Carter is originally from Vestavia, but moved to Chilton County in 1983 to become the police chief in Thorsby, a position he held for five years.

“The people of this county have really been good to us, and I’m trying to be good back by providing some great food,” Carter said.

Smoking Guns’ business hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.