Brunswick Stew

| February 10, 2014 | 100 Comments

Brunswick Stew Recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern.
Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to make our delicious, and hearty, Brunswick Stew. We’re combining Chicken, Pork BBQ, and some of our favorite vegetables, to make this stew from scratch.  Brunswick Stew is a traditional side dish served in barbecue restaurants throughout the South, but it’s great as a main course of its very own.  Just add saltine crackers or bread.  Printable recipe included.


Brunswick Stew, slider.
Brunswick Stew Recipe:

Let me just start out by saying this recipe is MY version of Brunswick Stew.  You’ll literally find hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to prepare Brunswick Stew, if you start searching for a recipe.  It seems there is pretty much no right or wrong way to make it.  It just depends on who you ask.

Let me also say that both Brunswick, Georgia -and- Brunswick, Virginia, lay claim to being the home of Brunswick Stew.  Well, we also have a Brunswick, North Carolina, but they haven’t gotten into the foray just yet.  So, I’ll not try to convince you that this is a North Carolina original, other than the fact that I was born and raised here in North Carolina.

The only thing that is really consistent about good Brunswick Stew, is that it’s tomato based and THICK.  It’s different from vegetable soup in that it contains meat, and it’s always made thicker than soup.  Quite often, it’s made from leftovers, which is probably why there isn’t any one recipe that is considered to be the original, or authentic.

Brunswick Stew is often served as a side dish at many of the barbecue restaurants throughout the South.  The recipe probably varies at each and everyone of them, but as mentioned, it’s always thick and hearty.  You can even order it by itself if that’s your preference.  Served with Hushpuppies, Saltine Crackers, or just plain Sunbeam Bread, it will warm you up real good on a cold winter day.

Back in our own restaurant days, we would save leftover vegetables at the end of the day and freeze them.  As long as they hadn’t been over cooked by then, they would be stored in a large container as a base for making soup or stew later.  Leftover fried chicken, could be picked off the bones and frozen as well.  And of course, pork barbecue often ended up being saved for including in the recipe.

Because of what you had on hand, on the day you decided to make Brunswick Stew, the ingredient list was often different from one batch to the next.  But, you knew what went in “your” Brunswick Stew, so you tried to make it the same.

My cousin Curtis, cooks up a great big pot of Brunswick Stew at his home once or twice a year.  It’s his own special recipe, (which he has YET to share with me) and invites family and friends over for an evening of food and fellowship, usually outdoors around a big fire.  He has a long wooden paddle that he stirs that great big pot with, and lets “his” Stew cook for hours, until it’s just right.

So, I’m going to share with you the way that I like to make it here at home.  Most of the time I’m using frozen vegetables, and I pretty much always make it the same.  I like it with beans, corn, and potatoes, along with chicken and pork barbecue.  It freezes well, so I make up a big pot, enjoy some for supper, then freeze the rest for later.  I do hope you’ll like it.

I highly suggest you just take our basic recipe, and make it your own, by adding the vegetables you have and like.  Just remember, it’s got to be tomato based, and it HAS to be thick, not like soup. Ready to give it a try?  Alright then, Let’s Get Cooking!


Brunswick Stew, ingredients you'll need.
Brunswick Stew:  You’ll need these ingredients.

I know it looks like a lot of stuff, but you’ll only need a small part of the vegetables shown.  Save the rest for later.


Brunswick Stew, remove the giblet pieces.
Most packaged whole chickens, come with a packet of “giblets” packed inside the bird.  This includes various parts like the heart, liver, gizzard, and neck.  Don’t throw them away.  They make great “Giblet Gravy,” or can be used when making chicken stock.  If you don’t intend to use them right away, label and freeze them for later.  Either way, just make sure you remove them from the chicken.


Brunswick Stew, rinse under cold running water.
Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water.  Be sure to look the chicken over good for any pin feathers that might not have been removed when the bird was processed.  They usually pull out pretty easily.  Be sure to check the neck cavity and rinse that out.


Brunswick Stew, cover with water.
You could cut up the chicken at this point if desired.  I just pulled out the enameled canning pot and placed the whole chicken inside.  Any large pot will work.  Cover the bird with water and place it on the stove.

I start out on High heat and let the water come up to a rolling boil.  Then, I reduce the heat down to Medium and let the bird cook at a low boil for about one hour, or until it’s done, checking it about every 15 minutes or so.  You want to make sure you have enough water in the pot to cover it and keep it submerged while it cooks.  You might also want to turn it after about 30 minutes.


Brunswick Stew, remove and drain.
Remove the chicken from the pot when its done, and place it in a colander to let it cool.  Once it cools enough to handle, we’ll pick the meat off the bones, but for now, lets get to work on the vegetables.


Brunswick Stew, place beans in colander.
Back in our restaurant days, we often used leftover vegetables to make the stew.  As long as they hadn’t been over cooked, they worked perfect for making Brunswick Stew.  Maybe you keep a bag in your freezer where you store leftovers.  It’s a great way to count those pennies and save on the grocery bill.

I’m just using some frozen Baby Lima Beans, since I don’t happen to have any leftovers.  Place them in a colander so you can rinse them.


Brunswick Stew, add the corn.
Add the corn.


Brunswick Stew, rinse away any ice crystals.
Rinse them under cold running water to remove any ice crystals and to help thaw them out a bit.


Brunswick Stew, add to the pot.
Place the rinsed vegetables in a large stock pot.


Brunswick Stew, rinse the potatoes.
I like to rinse my potatoes before peeling and cutting them up.  I do this in the colander as well.


Brunswick Stew, peel and cube the potatoes.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces.  Toss them into the pot with the beans and corn.


Brunswick Stew, add water to cover.
Add enough water to the vegetables to cover them by about 2 inches.


Brunswick Stew, cook until tender.
Place the pot over Medium-High heat on your stove and let it come up to a low boil.  REDUCE the heat down to Medium, and let the vegetables cook until they are tender.  The potatoes will be done before the beans and corn, but that’s OK.  Just let them cook until the beans are almost done.


Brunswick Stew, remove the meat from the bones.
Once the chicken has cooled, carefully pick the meat off the bones.  This can be a bit tedious, but it’s well worth the extra effort to pick through it carefully and make sure you remove any skin pieces and bones.  You don’t want someone to bite into a bone while enjoying your Brunswick Stew.  Shred the chicken into small bite size pieces.


Brunswick Stew, prepare the bbq.
I’m using some frozen Pork Barbecue leftover from one of our family pig pickings.  Back in the restaurant days, we would also freeze many of the unsold cooked meats at the end of the day.  You couldn’t just throw it away, that was your profit.  Most of the time, it ended up re-purposed in another dish, like soups, stews or pot pies.

This barbecue is already seasoned and adds some great flavor to the stew.  If you buy yours, make sure you get a good quality with some chunks of meat in it.  It will add good texture to the stew as well.


Brunswick Stew, add tomato sauce.
When the vegetables are about done, remove any excess liquid that you might have.  You only want just enough liquid to cover the tops of the vegetables.  Don’t throw the liquid you remove away just yet though.  We might still need it.

Go ahead and add in the Tomato Sauce.


Brunswick Stew, add the vinegar.
Add the Vinegar.


Brunswick Stew, add the brown sugar.
Add the Brown Sugar.


Brunswick Stew, add black pepper.
Add the Black Pepper.


Brunswick Stew, add the salt.
Add the Salt.


Brunswick Stew, add butter.
Add the Butter.


Brunswick Stew, add the hot sauce.
Add the Hot Sauce.

If you’re thinking this is a lot of hot sauce and you might not like so much, feel free to cut back on it. I’m using Texas Pete® which is made here in North Carolina.  It’s not super hot so I can get away with adding a bit more.  Better to be safe, and start out with a little, if in doubt about what you might be using.  You can always add more as needed.  The sauce is added for flavor, not to make it hot to the taste.  Keep it kid friendly and you’ll be happy.  Actually, I ended up adding half a cup.  I don’t like spicy hot foods and this was still fine for my taste.


Brunswick Stew, add tomato paste.
Add the Tomato Paste.


Brunswick Stew, add worcestershire sauce
Add the Worcestershire Sauce.


Brunswick Stew, stir well.
Grab a big spoon and give it all a good stirring.


Brunswick Stew, add chicken and bbq.
Add the chicken and bbq.


Brunswick Stew, stir it again.
Stir it up again.


Brunswick Stew, add some catsup.
Finally, top it off with some Ketchup, then give it another stir.  Let the stew simmer over Medium heat, stirring often, until the chicken and barbecue meats are good and warm.  If its a bit dry looking, you can always add some of the cooking water that was removed earlier.  Or, you could add either more water, or maybe some chicken broth.

Brunswick Stew should be served thick, not watery like a vegetable soup.  We know the chicken and barbecue were already done when we added them to the pot, we just need to let it simmer until all the vegetables are good and tender.  Taste it to see if you think it needs anything else your family might enjoy.  That’s the thing with Brunswick Stew, you’re basically using leftovers, or what’s on hand, to make a hearty thick stew the family will enjoy.  Make it your own.


Brunswick Stew, freezes well.
Brunswick Stew freezes well.  Let it cool completely, then place it in freezer containers and stack it in the freezer.  I froze these five containers to enjoy on the cold days ahead, but it’s good any time of the year.


Brunswick Stew, enjoy.
Serve up a big bowl of Brunswick Stew with some saltine crackers, or a couple of slices of Sunbeam bread.



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Brunswick Stew Recipe, with printable recipe, as seen on Taste of

Brunswick Stew

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Servings 1x
  • Category: Soups, Stews
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to make our delicious, and hearty, Brunswick Stew. We’re combining Chicken, Pork BBQ, and some of our favorite vegetables, to make this stew from scratch. Brunswick Stew is a traditional side dish served in barbecue restaurants throughout the South, but it’s great as a main course of its very own. Just add saltine crackers or bread.



  • 1 whole Chicken
  • 1 lb. Pork Barbecue, fully cooked.
  • 1 lb. Baby Lima Beans
  • 1 lb. Corn
  • 4 medium Potatoes, diced
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce – 8oz.
  • 2 cans Tomato Paste – 4oz
  • ½ stick Butter
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt


  1. Rinse the fryer under cold running water.
  2. Place fryer in large stock pot and cover with water about 6 inches over chicken.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let chicken cook for one hour.
  4. Remove cooked chicken from pot, set aside to cool.
  5. Place the frozen baby lima beans and frozen corn in a colander. Rinse well.
  6. Add the beans and corn to a large stock pot.
  7. Wash, peel and cut up the potatoes, add to the beans and corn.
  8. Add enough water to cover the vegetables by about 2 inches.
  9. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. About one hour.
  10. While the vegetables cook, pull the chicken meat from the bones. Discard bones and skin.
  11. Shred chicken into small pieces.
  12. When vegetables are done, remove any excess liquid, leaving just enough to reach top of vegetables.
  13. Add tomato sauce.
  14. Add apple cider vinegar
  15. Add brown sugar.
  16. Add black pepper
  17. Add salt.
  18. Add butter.
  19. Add Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
  20. Add tomato paste.
  21. Add Worcestershire Sauce.
  22. Stir well.
  23. Add chicken to the stew.
  24. Add pork barbecue to stew.
  25. Add Ketchup. Stir well.
  26. Return to stove top and simmer on medium, stirring often, until warm, prior to serving.
  27. Stock or liquid from vegetables may be added if needed to obtain desired consistency.
  28. Serve warm and Enjoy!


Brunswick Stew is always tomato based, and thick. Make it your own recipe by adding the vegetable ingredients you have on hand and like.

Keywords: Brunswick Stew, made from scratch, soup, leftovers, barbecue sides, southern recipes

Your Comments:  Have you ever made your own Brunswick Stew?  What ingredients do you like best in yours?  I’d love to hear your comments on our recipe in the Comment Section at the bottom of this page.  It will only take you a minute or two to share them with us, and if you try our recipe, your comments might encourage someone else to try it.  Just know, all Comments are moderated.  That means that I personally read each and every one of them before they are approved for posting on our family friendly home here on the Internet.  I appreciate you taking the time to share your results with us, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you.  Your comments do not appear immediately.  I’ll review them and post them just as soon as I can.  I also try to respond to as many comments as possible, so be sure to check back in a day or two for that.  Thank you in advance.

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Be Blessed!!!


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Category: Soups & Stews

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (100)

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  1. Lana Rodgers says:

    This Brunswick Stew was outstanding. Used all your ingredients except chicken and had chicken stock that needed to be used up. Also added some ham flavoring. Best I made so far. Thank you from sunny Fernandina Beach, FL.

  2. Sarah W says:

    I made this tonight. It is amazing. Husband was hesitant at first, and now cannot stop talking about how good it was. He said to make sure I save this recipe!!! I will be making more this weekend to take to my mom, as she is having a hip replacement on Monday. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipe!!!

  3. kerri says:

    I love Brunswick stew! This recipe was a huge hit at our house. The only thing I did was smoke all my meat myself at home. I plan on doing a BBQ when it warms up and will most definitely have this as a side.(cooking your way) Thank you for sharing

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kerri, Thank you for trying our Brunswick Stew recipe. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully warmer weather is right around the corner and you can enjoy that BBQ real soon. Thank you for your visit today. I appreciate it and hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Karen Williams says:

    Hi Steve, Checking in from Augusta,Ga! Happened up on your Brunswick Stew recipe this afternoon and will be making it for supper one night this week. My daughter’s stove has given up the ghost, so I am helping her out with supper as well. This will be the perfect meal for 6 people! Thanks for sharing. May the Lord’s blessings rest upon you and yours!

    • phil moss says:

      Not a member of this website, but I’m 60 years old, and learned from a wise old man how to make bruinswick stew.. Key: how to thicken it up? All you hear is dip out excess liquid. Bull! When the stew is a hour or so from being ready, throw in a head of finely chopped cabbage in the wash pot. Cut down for smaller portions

  5. Stancil says:

    I made this about a month ago and my family and I LOVED it! The only change that I made, was instead of using apple cider vinegar, I used some Eastern NC vinegar based bbq sauce, because I didn’t have any apple cider vinegar. My family is from that area, so it really brought me back. I am actually making it again today. This is my go to recipe for Brunswick Stew. Thank you so much!

  6. Kim Champagne says:

    Steve, this Brunswick stew was mighty tasty. I live in Maryland and don’t have access to fine Carolina BBQ. But I do have a friend from Raleigh who always brings me a bottle or two of Carolina Treat. A cup of that and the sauce had more of a tangy flavor that my family really liked. Thanks for such an awesome recipe.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kim, Thank you for trying our Brunswick Stew recipe. I’m happy to hear that you liked it. I’m sorry you can’t get our great BBQ up your way. Have you seen my recipe for Pulled Pork in the OvenIt’s one of my most popular recipes. You can make your own Eastern North Carolina Style of BBQ at home. Please take a look. Then again, maybe we could trade you some BBQ for a Maryland Lump Crab Cake. How would that be? I do appreciate your visit today and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Evangeline says:

    I made this Brunswick Stew tonight for our dinner and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for posting the recipe.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Evangeline, It’s my pleasure to share the recipe. I’m really glad you tried it and liked it. Thank you. I appreciate your visit today and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. BRB says:

    What size pot do you use? Can this be made in a crock pot?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi BRB, I believe this was about an 8 quart stock pot, but any large pot will do. I’ve never made it in a crock pot, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The chicken and pork are already cooked before adding the vegetables, so that would help with the time. I’m not much into the crock pot thing, but as long as it’s not sticking to the bottom you should be okay. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you. Thank you for your visit today and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  9. Donna says:

    Native North Carolinian here who moved out of state last year for work & misses those familiar tastes of home! Your Brunswick Stew recipe is the perfect balm for my homesickness. I’m sitting here eating a bowl right now with some homemade yeast bread & it is the REAL DEAL!!! Being able to enjoy my favorite stew no matter where I am is a gift to this Southern girl. Bless you for sharing!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Donna, I’m happy to share the recipe, and really thankful that you tried it. Glad it turned out well for you and you are enjoying it. The homemade yeast bread sounds great too. I’m in the process of trying to get a starter going so I can make some sourdough bread here at home. Wish me luck. I do appreciate your visit and I hope you’ll try some of our other recipes. Be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Donna says:

        Thank you so much, Steve. I’ve been browsing your site this afternoon & absorbing all of the Southern home cooking love, because that’s what it is – pure LOVE, expressed through food made by loving hands. I’ve found several other recipes here I’m excited to try soon. (Chicken pastry surely cures all ills!) I’m wondering though, did your mom ever make creamed chipped beef? My mom, who passed back in 2001, used to make it for breakfast from time to time. She served it over white toast & I dearly loved it. I think I’d cry tears of joy to taste it again after all these years.

  10. Jim says:

    Just like Parker’s in Wilson. Well, actually better since it’s homemade. Good stuff! Good recipe. Make it, eat it, you will love it! From a guy in Florida who often travels to NJ. For some reason I can drive to NC in one day but it takes me 3 days to finally hit VA. Always a detour for good NC cookin’. BTW, your oven cooked BBQ recipe is the best too (aside from real home smoked).

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jim, Thank you for your very nice compliments regarding our Brunswick Stew Recipe and our Pulled Pork in the Oven Recipe. I greatly appreciate that and hopefully you will encourage someone else to try them. Thank you also for exploring some of the great food available here in my home state of North Carolina. I’ve been past Parker’s BBQ several times, but always at the wrong times, so I haven’t tried them but they have a great reputation for mighty good barbecue. Hopefully I’ll get to try it one day. I do appreciate your visit and I’m very thankful you found us. The door is always open for you, so please drop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  11. Pdub says:

    I made this recipe with a leftover slab of ribs & some chicken legs, canned Lima beans & corn, all of which I already had on hand. It was delicious, even better on the second night. Brunswick stew just like I remembered it. Thank you Steve for sharing this recipe…….

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Pdub, It’s my pleasure to share the recipes. I’m glad you tried the Brunswick Stew. I’m sure those ribs made it that much better. I do appreciate your visit and hope you’ll stop by often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  12. Dianne S. says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! I’ve got a HUGE pot going now! Actually my 2nd time making it. PERFECTION! Everyone who has eaten says it’s the best they’ve ever had, and many of them have had it from some well known N.C. BBQ joints.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Dianne, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it PERFECTION, but since you did, I’ll take it. Smile. I’m glad you tried the recipe and happy that it turned out well for you. I’m thankful you found us and appreciate your visits. Be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  13. Jere says:

    Southern heritage

  14. Bonnie says:

    Loved this recipe. We’re from GA, but now live out west. Sure do miss Brunswick stew — until NOW! We have looked for “the” recipe for years, but they weren’t what we were used to. We found this recipe with the pictures and felt good about trying this one. I read every comment before we tried it. Everybody had only good things to say. We’ll worth it! We were so pleased with the way this turned out. We stood over the pot just smelling it cook, saying “Oh yeah” and “this is it.” Thank you so very much.

    P.S. We didn’t use all the chicken (I got a big one) so with the leftover pulled chicken we made chicken salad by your recipe. Top notch stuff. Thanks again!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Bonnie, Thank you for you very nice comments and compliments on our Brunswick Stew recipe. I’m happy you found us and decided to give it a try. I’m truly glad that you enjoyed it. I’ve got some leftover chicken myself and will be making some chicken salad very soon. Thanks for the reminder. I do appreciate your visits, and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  15. Brenda Adams says:

    I am very glad to have come across your recipe. I just recently used one found in a church cookbook my mom had from Virginia. It is a bit different, but I think I will try your recipe. It seems that just about anything can be added to this stew to make it wonderful. I was born in Roanoke Rapids NC but have been living in western Wisconsin for around 45 years. My family used to go to a barbeque restaurant in Rocky Mount NC where I always ordered their Brunswick stew. That was when I was a kid and didn’t appreciate barbeque yet. At this point in my life I really am drawn to just about anything southern! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

    • Matt Korff says:

      Brenda, I am from Rocky Mount and still living here. This recipe sounds on point with Smithfield Chicken and BBQ stew. Similar to Gardner’s and Doug Sauls. I am adding a couple cans of green beans to mine as we speak. After veggies and potatoes simmer. Other than that, this recipe is authentic Eastern NC! My moms family is from the RR, and it will definitely compare to Ralph’s!

      • Deborah Taylor says:

        I happen to be from Nashville-Rocky Mount, NC area also! Making this as a guideline base recipe from now on. Thanks all!

      • Mickey says:

        This is the review I was looking for! A recipe compatible with Brunswick Stew from Ralph’s Barbecue. Thanks!!

    • Gladys Edwards says:

      Brenda, I live about 30 miles from Rocky Mount, NC (Bethel, NC). Do you remember the name of the BBQ restaurant in Rocky Mount? We have quite a few good ones in Eastern NC. Some have been around a long time. My favorite is B’s BBQ in Greenville, NC. B’s and Skylight Inn (Pete Jones) in Ayden are always on any list of top BBQ restaurants in NC (sometimes in all of US)

  16. Motheroflittle says:

    Thanks for the Brunswick stew recipe Steve. Its really good. We are near Wilson NC. Have you ever been to Parker’s? My daughter like their stew best so I decided to make her a big batch at home. Your recipe is very close. We all enjoyed it with some corn sticks.

  17. David says:

    I cooked this stew for 18 people. I triple the recipe. I also smoked a 15 pound brisquet. All the stew was eaten and half the brisquet. My next cookout will just be Brunswick Stew it was by far the hit of the cookout. I did used smoked BBQ I had in frézer from previous cookout and it w was great in the stew.

  18. Stew Lover says:

    Lovely recipe. Looks amazing and I bet it tastes like heaven.

    A tip I found by accident. I needed to add some liquid to my stew, but didn’t want to add water. I hit myself in the forehead and used V-8 juice. It added a complex undertone that was missing. I recommend V-8 for every time you make this.

    • Margaret says:

      My mother always used V-8 juice as a base for brunswick stew. If you need to thicken the stew, add Quaker quick pearled barley. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  19. Johnny Murphy says:

    Been using your recipe for past two years. Love it! Made a big pot today although it’s July, had a craving just as good as Jan.

  20. toni says:

    does anyone know how long this would take in a slow cooker

    • Marci Wilson says:

      I’m trying this recipe in my slow cooker today. I halved the recipe and I’m using canned veggies instead of frozen. Also, I added 1 can of green beans. So far, I have 2 chicken breasts boiling, and have put 1 can each of limas, corn and green beans in slow cooker. I also have canned potatoes and I don’t want them to cook to a mush so I am going to add them later. My plan is to let first 3 veggies cook for 2 hours in high in slow cooker, then add everything else and let cook for another hour. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
      Thank you Steve so much for this recipe. I’ve been looking for a good one and this one sounds perfect!!! I hope I can do it justice with my modifications. I’m from Cove City, NC (between New Bern and Kinston) and have eaten Stew from all over eastern NC, but never made my own! Thanks again for sharing!

  21. Wanda Daniels says:

    Hi, I just tried your Brunswick Stew recipe and it turned out as if my dad had made it… I added garden peas, and snap beans and used all canned veggies… Thanks a bunch as I am in Georgia and Ive eaten at several places here but no ones Brunswick Stew is as good as home in North Carolina… yes Im from Princeton… so again I picked yours to try and make mine and everyone said you aced that meal… Me, well I was all smiles…wish I could send you a picture of my big pot of mmmmm good… Wanda

  22. Debra B. says:

    I am so glad I found your recipe after searching so many others. I love how you made the entire process so easy with wonderful pictures & simple directions. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try it.

  23. Hi Steve,

    Thanks so much for the great recipe! I live in southeastern Va. and the weather is still cold even though spring is on the way. I saw your recipe and decided to whip up a batch. It smells wonderful and I will confess that I sampled a small amount- taste tester- and it is wonderful! My wife and I will be enjoying it for dinner tonight along with hoe cake and a green salad!

    Thank you,

    William Moughon
    Mathews, Va.

  24. James says:


    I grew up in NC, in Hillsborough to be precise, and I have vigorously searched online for a good Brunswick Stew recipe and by golly this is nearly perfect. Thank you for your time in publishing this little piece of heaven for all of us! I am currently making a 12qt pot right now! I do add onions to mine and I let it simmer for about 14-16 hours on very low heat. Again, this is what I have been looking for in a Brunswick Stew recipe for over two years now! Thanks again!

  25. Phyllis G says:

    Hi Steve, this recipe sounds very close to my grandmothers although, she always added chicken gizzards and a little ground beef to hers. I can’t wait to try your recipe! I’m certainly going to check out your web site.


  26. Jeff Stanley says:

    Just a note, if you ever see Captain John Derst bread for sale, give it a try. It is the best loaf white bread I have ever eaten.

  27. Hal Ivey says:

    Great basic stew recipe Steve! Just finished looking through your site for the first time and I have to compliment your acumen in capturing the essence of good Southern cooking. Duke’s mayo forever!

    Now – Stew:
    -I’m a “kitchen sink” sort of stew guy and agree with your use of corn AND lima beans! I also use onions.
    -I also add (~1/2 cup would be right for your recipe) mustard (French’s!) to get a better tart “kick”.
    -My aunt “Bunch”, whom I crowned “God’s Own Stewmaker” always used chicken, pork, and leftover roast beef……I find this optional, but good.
    -When I want to tickle the palates of folks who know stew with a little mystery: I use maple syrup or sometimes honey in place of sugar.
    -This one will seem nuts, but if you want to deepen the flavors a bit…throw in a couple of anchovy filets. They fall apart and disappear and can make a real difference. I’ve never had anyone actually be able to detect a fishy flavor when I do this in various soup/stew/braise types of recipes….they just know something good is going on. Sort of like when people use a bit of Vietnamese Fish Sauce in an East Carolina BBQ sauce recipe (I’ll bet you’ve seen that done).

  28. D.Hubert says:

    I grew up with my father cooking pulled pork bbq and Brunswick stew on a regular, now that I’m grown living on my home I go online and research a lot of recipes. Well let me just say this recipe is the best. I can’t wait to share this stew with my family. I just made it today due to all the bad rain here in NC. I like mine with peanut butter and apple jelly or grilled cheese. I’m so excited to have found this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  29. Becca Mae says:

    What would you say this serving size is? How many people would it comfortably serve as a main course? I am cooking for a crowd of 25. I have made Brunswick Stew in the past, but not this particular recipe. I trust this recipe just by reading it, and in the faith that the author is a good Christian who knows how to serve a hungry group!

  30. Kim Dolezalek says:

    Hello Steve,
    So excited that I found your site today. When we were in Hilton Head, SC, we had something called Carolina Stew at a barbeque restaurant. It was very similar to Brunswick stew but had smoked beef brisket in it and also okra. I am guessing this is just another version of a restaurant throwing in what veggies they had on hand. Looking forward to trying this recipe.
    Thank you!

  31. Sandy says:

    No onions????

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sandy, I’m sure it would be alright, I just don’t use them in the stew. Thanks for asking. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • HDHill says:

        Hi Sandy & Steve

        I am of the school of ALWAYS use onions. I moved out West over 2 years ago and have had a crucial need for Brunswick Stew (I am from NE FL). I made this recipe, with onions. Also, made Limas from dried beans, and roasted pork ribs in the oven with big meaty ribs I had in the freezer ready to be used. This takes me back home like nothing else. I don’t think the onions make a difference honestly, but it’s habit. Thanks for the great recipe Steve, this is my go-to from now on!

  32. Jeremy says:

    Steve, I used this recipe a couple of weeks back and it turned out delicious. I upped the hotsauce quite a bit and it was more than capable of handling it. Best recipe I’ve used, and one I’m going to use as my go-to. This Boone NC native thanks you. Be Blessed yourself good sir! -J

  33. Steve B. says:

    I grew up in Richmond, VA and always loved Brunswick stew. Moved to Texas about 10 years ago and would always pack cans of Mrs. Fearnow’s back with me. About 2 years ago I moved to Singapore and lost my chances to enjoy this Southern favorite. So glad I came across your website! I was able to find everything here (BBQ’d my own pork shoulder) even shoepeg corn! Your recipe is excellent and tastes just like home. Thank you so much!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Steve, Greetings all the way to Singapore from North Carolina. I’m glad we could help bring back a little comfort food from home to your kitchen. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and tried our Brunswick Stew recipe. Happy to hear it turned out well for you.

      I sincerely appreciate your comments, and your visits. I do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  34. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the recipe. My friend made it for me the other day and it was delicious! One question: have you tried making it in the crock pot? If so, how long did you let it cook? I was thinking to make the chicken the day before, then throw everything in the crock pot the next day. Your thoughts?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jennifer, I do hope you’ll try the Brunswick Stew recipe. I’m not a big fan of crock pots, but that’s just me. You could certainly cook this in one, but I’m afraid I can’t give you an exact time on cooking since I haven’t done it. Perhaps one of our readers can help you. We’ll see. Thank you for the question, and for stopping by. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • alice says:

      @ Jennifer, me and you…are on the exact same page!I actually made this, on the stove top, but i know it can be done in the crock-pot. Sure the timing, temp control…would be like any other stew, or soup.This is a great recipe, my favorite actually.This is the stew i was raised up on eating, in eastern N.C.I do add okra to mine, be a sin not to!

  35. Cheryl Davis says:

    Steve, Most of the items on the ingredient list are fairly low fat, so I’ll be making a pot on Saturday. I do think I will leave out the butter and pork, using only chicken. Do you think it will make a significant difference in the taste?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Cheryl, I’m sure you’ll still enjoy the stew if you make it with just chicken. It will probably have a little different taste, but will still taste good. I do hope you’ll give it a try. Let me know what you think if you do. I appreciate the question, I’m also thankful that you’ve found Taste of Southern. Do stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  36. Amy Warner says:

    Hi Steve!
    This looks so good. I’m gonna try it. I’ve never heard of this stew except on your site. I’m a true Northerner, I guess. I’ve never bought BBQ Pork before. I’ll have to look for it at the stores.

  37. Gisele Schaeffer says:

    My husband and I are Carolinians transplant from Ohio. We like Brunswick stew a lot in our area of North Carolina they call it burned up stew. We will definitely try that recipe. Want to tell you that I made the cheese ball for Christmas. our family loved it. So many thanks for your great recipes

  38. Kathleen Mc says:

    Where’s the squirrel meat?
    I’ve actually got one in the freezer and have been waiting for the cold weather to return to make Brunswick stew. With just one little squirrel, I’ll have to fill it out with chicken.
    Your recipe looks great. I like BBQ as opposed to sausage added.

    God bless!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kathleen, Thankfully times haven’t gotten so rough that I’ve had to eat squirrel. (Smile) More power to you if you enjoy it. I’ll pass thank you.

      Older brother talks about going squirrel hunting when he was younger. Seems they ate it at home when I was just a baby, so maybe I’ve had it and don’t like it. Thank you for stopping by, I do hope you’ll try the Brunswick Stew recipe and that you like it. I hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • I have to agree with Kathleen growing up here in rural Alabama everybody I know that makes Brunswick stew adds plenty of squirrel meat it is an essential part of the stew I personally also add chopped tomatoes.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Joseph, You’ve made Kathleen happy, but I’ll still pass on the squirrel meat in my Brunswick Stew. Can we still be friends? (Smile) Thank you for sharing your comments, and I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  39. Paula S says:

    I made a Brunswick stew about a month ago for the first time. It wasn’t this recipe (and I didn’t follow that recipe entirely) but it was absolutely delicious. I used leftover chicken and pulled pork that was in the freezer. I also used shoe peg corn which I’ve never had before. It made a huge pot full which I took the opportunity to freeze. It did well in the freezer and my husband just finished up the last of it for lunch yesterday. I will definitely try it again!

    p.s. I awoke this morning with a sore throat…I had a flu shot this year so I hope it’s just going to be a cold. Glad to hear you’re on the mend!

  40. Audrey says:

    Oh my goodness this recipe looks like what I grew up with and it looks like it will be better than Smithfields stew! Steve, I grew up in Raleigh. I’m going through your recipes now! Thank you!!

  41. Christy Harrell says:

    I grew up on Georgia’s famous Fincher’s Brunswick stew. I don’t live in Ga anymore but this is the closet recipe I’ve found to what I grew up on. The only thing missing is stew tomatoes, which I’ll add. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

  42. Cindy says:

    We would like to make stew outside in an old black iron stew pot. My husband’s grandmother & I did it in years past. It holds 12 gallons. I don’t remember quantities we used. I noticed your recipe is by servings. How would we adjust accordingly?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Cindy, Making Brunswick Stew in an old cast iron pot sounds like fun… and a bit of work. But, you can do it.

      I would suggest that you double or triple the amounts in the printable recipe, and just start with that. It’s not going to fill your pot by any means, but it will make a lot of Brunswick Stew. You’ll need a big wooden paddle to stir it with and the more stew in the pot, the harder it will be to stir. The biggest thing to watch for will be keeping it stirred up from the bottom and to just about constantly stir it while it’s cooking. The stew can easily burn in the bottom of the pot, and once it’s scorched, the taste is ruined, and you’ll probably decide to toss it. That would be sad, but it happens.

      It’s great that you want to keep the old memories of cooking with your family members still going. I wish you great success, and hopefully you’ll come back and let us know how it turns out for you. It freezes well, so any leftovers can be placed in the freezer for later.

      Thank you for your question, and for your visit. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • alice says:

        Steve, thanks for this recipe, best one I have ever used! I love your site, it’s great…southern charm. You certainly have shared with us, some wonderful southern favorite food recipes, thanks. May God bless you..and keep you cooking!

  43. CheetahOBX says:

    As someone who cooks a variety of things….I find your recipe/instructions/pix…..the BEST ever!!! Way to go….I generally make home made soup similar to this….but have never made Brunswick Stew….and being/living in the heart of Brunswick Stew country……I’m headed to the store right now and try this!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  44. Mandy says:

    How would this turn out if you use the broth from your cooked chicken instead of plain water in step 8? Would it possibly be too greasy from skin-on cooking?
    Thank you for this site! I made your Salisbury Steak a few days ago- we LOVED it! I am getting stew meat this week to try your beef stew! Cannot wait!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mandy, That’s and excellent suggestion. You could probably skim off most of the “grease,” or fat, if you let the broth cool a bit if you’re concerned about having too much. You might even cook the chicken one day, refrigerate the broth overnight, remove the fat, then proceed with the recipe on the second day. I think I’ll try it myself next time. Thank You for the idea.

      I’m happy to hear that you’ve made the Salisbury Steak. It’s becoming one of the most popular recipes here on Taste of Southern. It makes my day to know so many folks are enjoying it.

      I appreciate your comments, and do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Mandy says:

        Hi Steve,
        I believe skimming the cooled broth would work! I will be giving this recipe a try very soon. Fall is here and soups are a family favorite in my home!
        Thank you for the great recipes!
        God bless you and yours,

  45. Jenn a says:

    I just wanted to say THANK-YOU for this and so many other recipes. My husband requested BBQ for his birthday dinner and after a lil bit of searching i just used all of your recipes. Tonight he’s being spoiled with this (brunswick stew), collards, coleslaw, shredded pork, hushpuppies, banana pudding and…. sweet tea of course! And goodness – it looks like we’ll be having leftovers for a year!!!

    Oh and even though i’m from PA – this stew reminds me of weekends at the hunting camp with my dad. Wonderful random food memory. Thanks <3

  46. Faye says:

    I made this for my daughter who had a baby last week. It was delicious. Just as good as Smithfield’s. You do a great job with this web site!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Faye, Thank You so much for your compliments on our site and on the Brunswick Stew recipe. CONGRATULATIONS on that new Grandbaby. Boy or Girl?

      I do appreciate your comments and hope that you’ll get the opportunity to try some of our other recipes. Just because you have a Grandbaby doesn’t mean you can stop cooking. (Smile) Thank You for your visit, I hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Shaimayn says:


        I just made this recipe last night, and my husband and I agree that it was the best Brunswick Stew we’ve EVER had!!!!!!
        Thank you for an excellent recipe and easy to follow instructions. 🙂

      • Rebecca says:

        When researching a recipe I chose this one because it looked the most like Smithfields and we love it!

  47. Judy says:

    Hi Steve,

    I just started getting your news letters. My mom just recently passed away and this brings back lots of memories. Mom use to make something similar to your Brunswick Stew, except she called it, “chicken stew” and she would use chickens and vegetables that we grew on the farm.

    Also, I didn’t know there was still Sunbeam Bread around!!! I grew up in Northern California, mom would usually buy Wonder or Rainbow Bread. But when my brothers and I would visit our grandparents, they had Sunbeam Bread. I thought that was only available in the bay area. I remember asking my grandmother for peanut butter and jam sandwich on the toaster bread. I think I called it that because she had an old sunbeam toaster!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Judy, I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. I’m sure you miss her dearly and hope you have lots of great memories to keep her close in your heart. I’m glad we could bring back a few memories for you with our Brunswick Stew Recipe.

      Little Miss Sunbeam and her bread is still available in our area. I think it’s made just up the road from us around Greensboro, NC, among other places. Do you remember Merita Bread? It was another favorite growing up.

      I appreciate your comments and your visit. Hopefully you’ll give some of our recipes a try and let me know what you think about them. Maybe we can do one for Chicken Stew in the near future. Thanks again, and do stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Paula S says:

        Oh my goodness, there used to be a Merita Bread bakery in the town I grew up in (in Florida a long time ago). When they were baking the aroma would make everyone stop and breathe deeply! There is almost nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread.

  48. Tom Parrott says:

    Hi Steve, Great web site! Great recipes and excellent photos of the actual preparation and cooking the recipes. When I read your articles about Southern Food they bring back a lot good memories for me growing up in North Carolina. We are all looking forward to what you have for us next.



    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Tom, Thank you so much for the very nice compliments. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and that you enjoy the recipes. I’m glad we can bring back some good Carolina memories for you.

      Thank you for your comments and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  49. Al Sevcik says:

    My Brunswick stew turned out great! Excellent recipe. One thing, I believe the one-hour time for cooking the vegetables is much too long. For me, 20 minutes was plenty. I simplified the recipe a bit by using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Made a fine dinner, with lots of good leftovers to freeze for next time.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Al, I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and that you tried the Brunswick Stew recipe. As for the cooking time, whatever works best for you is certainly what you need to do. As I mentioned at the top of the recipe, Cousin Curtis cooks his for hours in a great big pot, which is pretty typical when making a big batch. I’m just happy you tried the recipe and that it turned out well for you. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  50. Tracy says:

    Love Brunswick stew and this sounds great. Thing is, I don’t care for Lima Beans… Do you recommend another bean/pea to substitute? Love your blog!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Tracy, I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and our recipe for Brunswick Stew. The great thing about this stew, is that you can add your favorite vegetables to it. Just go with whatever you like best. Green Beans would work well if you like those.

      I hope you’ll give the recipe a try, and come back and let me know how they turned out. I appreciate your visit and hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  51. Miz Karen says:

    I have only made Brunswick stew using the “canned” barbecue recipe since so many recipes I read seemed too complicated. I do like your recipe and plan on making it soon. Thanks for sharing

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Miz Karen, Thank You for your comments on our Brunswick Stew recipe. I’m glad that you like it and hope you’ll be trying it soon. Come back and let me know what you think… OK?

      I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  52. Sylvia says:

    Thanks. Love some Brunswick Stew. Stay warm.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sylvia, Just waiting for some more snow at the moment. Guess I need to pull another container of this Brunswick Stew out of the freezer, just in case.

      Thank You for your visit and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Mary C. says:

        I am so excited to find this recipe for Brunswick stew. I’m from Ohio and didn’t grow up eating this. However the first time I tried it I was a fan. Don’t think I’ve ever had a Brunswick stew that I didn’t like. The few people I knew that made it themselves made it seem so complicated. They talked about also cooking it outside in a big pot for hours. So I’m delighted to see that I can make my own. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with great pictures and detailed steps.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Mary C. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and the Brunswick Stew recipe. You can certainly add a lot more items than what I’ve included, but we try to give you the basic recipe so you can then make it your own.

          My brother and I visited a family up in Virginia just a few weeks back on a business trip for his company. They had seen this recipe but they cook their own and wanted me to try it out. We both enjoyed our visit and the mighty fine Stew they had prepared. This gentleman has a 50 GALLON cast iron pot that he cooks his in. It was humongous to say the least. They cook Brunswick Stew often for the family, fundraisers, and other events. It was really good though and I can understand why so many folks enjoy it. I’ll be like you and just stick with cooking it in smaller batches on my stove top.

          Thank you for sharing your comments. I do hope you’ll enjoy it and that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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