Slideshow: Big Apple Barbecue Eve: What Happens the Night Before?

Smokers come out
Smokers come out
Many smokers at the block party look like professional pieces of cooking equipment. Others, like this one, are more akin to badass steampunk machines.
Rodney Scott's smokers
Rodney Scott's smokers
This was Rodney Scott's first year at the block party, where he smoked 24 whole hogs. Each of these smokers is like a magical pig sarcophagus: raw, whole meat goes in and immaculate barbecue comes out. The tall chimneys in the back are actually homemade barrel furnaces, which Rodney used to make his own charcoal.
Whole hog
Whole hog
Speaking of pig, here's one now.
Rodney Scott and Ed
Rodney Scott and Ed
Rodney and Ed chat face to face. The last time Rodney talked to us, it was by phone, and he was also clearing out a fallen tree from a neighbor's driveway so he could harvest it for smoking.
"Thermometer"
"We get touchy feely with keeping temperature," Rodney says. He puts his hand to the smoker: "this is my thermometer."
Got wood?
Got wood?
Bean caravan
Bean caravan
A self-driving pallet of beans, large enough for three people to hang out on. You can call that a lot of beans.
Martin's Bar-B-Que
Martin's Bar-B-Que
A member of the Martins crew to Ed, as they talked about barbecue joints extending themselves beyond the cuts they excel at: "We won't be doing chicken fingers and all that shit—we'll be doing barbecue."
Martin's Bar-B-Que
Martin's Bar-B-Que
...he says while blithely holding a shovelful of smoldering coals.
Big Bob Gibson's
Big Bob Gibson's
...and then a thick coating of a spice rub.
Hi, pork!
Hi, pork!
Ed and Chris Lilly
Ed and Chris Lilly
Pit master Chris Lilly, talking about prep for the day ahead. In the back: an enormous rotary smoker completely full of pork.
Ed and Mike Mills
Ed and Mike Mills
Ed shares a few last words with 17th Street Barbecue pit master Mike Mills before letting him go off to smoke hundreds of ribs.