Has anyone else here ever enjoyed Nelson's Chicken/Chops/Ribs besides me?
These folks from Wakarusa, IN, have been making the best (IMHO) pit barbecued chicken for over 30 years. They provide the pit barbecued pork chops for the Indiana State Fair as well. Individual pre-cooked and boxed chicken halves were once available at Sam's Club and may still be. Most of their efforts go into on-site cooking as fund-raising for various groups, most of which seem to be in northern Indiana and south-west Michigan (wonder why?).
Their Port-a-Pits are charcoal-fired and motorized. They seem to be fifteen feet long, give or take, and all stainless steel. Towed by a big pickup. They bring lots of coolers to the site to keep the meat warm. The selected meat travels on a conveyor belt through a marinade then over the fire and back again to the marinade...for a few hours. By the time the chicken halves are done almost all the fat has been cooked off, the skin is tender and succulent, and the meat is...I've run out of words.
I was HS Band Director at Bremen (IN) HS 30 years ago and we were one of the first groups to use Nelson's (then called Nelson's Golden-Glo) chicken as a fund-raiser. Incredibly successful. In a town of 3000 they would cook 1000 chicken halves. They're still at it. Gee, it must have something to do with the flavor of this regional northern Indiana phenomenon.
Try it as soon as you possibly can, and help a group in need while you're at it. http://nelsonsbbq.com/index.php