4 Most Popular Regional Styles Of BBQ

Summer is here and this season is synonymous with barbecue. Though barbecues did not originate in the United States, it has become an American tradition that every family engages in during those warm lazy summer days. In the southern parts of the country, barbecues are not only a past time but a southern food sub-culture that has evolved into a variety of regional styles. In the South, barbecue competitions are serious business that promotes regional pride.

In the United States, there are four distinct barbecue styles which all developed from the southern regions of the country. Pork is the most common meat utilized and is characteristic of the two oldest barbecue styles, Memphis and Carolinas. The two newer barbecue styles, Texas and Kansas City use both beef and pork. Here are some characteristics that distinguish these four barbecue styles:
Memphis-style – Memphis-style is one of the oldest styles of barbecue that developed in the state of Tennessee. Memphis-style barbecue has gained popularity due to The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest held annually in May.
Similar to the other barbecue styles, the main type of meat used is pork and the typical cuts are the ribs and shoulders. This type of barbecue is slow-cooked in a barbecue pit and could either be a “dry” or “wet” rub. “Dry” ribs are rubbed with a combination of salt and other dry spices and are generally eaten without sauce. On the other hand, a sauce is brushed before, during and after cooking to make the “wet” ribs style.
Carolinas – Carolinas-style barbecue is pork that has either been pulled, shredded, chopped and sliced. The meat is typically rubbed with a dry spice mixture and then coated with a spicy vinegar liquid during the smoking process.
There are two types Carolina-style barbecues. The first is the Eastern North Carolina barbecue that uses the entire hog and all parts of the pig are chopped and sliced. The sauce used is thin which typically consists of vinegar and cayenne pepper. The second style is the Western. In the western-style, only the pork shoulder is used with a vinegar-based sauce with the addition of tomatoes.
Kansas City – Kansas City style barbecue uses a variety of different meats but what differentiates it from other barbecues is its sauce. The meat is only smoked with a dry rub but the sauce is served table-side. The sauce is characterized by a combination of sweet and spicy and its consistency is quite thick.
Texas – Texas-style barbecue uses both pork and beef. The first style is the barbacoa which is influenced by neighboring Mexico. This style involves cooking the entire head of the cow. The south Texas cowboy style involves the application of the meat directly onto mesquite wood chips and typically uses beef, goat and mutton.
This post was contributed by ezCater.com. Find and order Louisville catering or choose from thousands of other caterers nationwide on ezCater.com.