A brief overview of BBQ styles around the United States, because you really should know.
Just the thought of classic, all-American barbecue will get your taste buds stirring. Sweet, spicy or hickory sauces combined with meat slow-cooked to perfection that falls off of the bone; is there anything better? Today, you can find barbecue joints across the country, but there are so many different types of barbecue depending on what city or state you find yourself. In this list, we are digging into the most influential barbecue regions; each one with a unique take on their famous barbecue style.
If you are looking for high-quality meat with so much flavor that it can be served with a simple dry rub, Memphis is the place to go. Memphis barbecue is cooked at a low temperature for an extended period of time to pull out the best flavor of the meat and seasoning. The city’s famous dry rubs are made up of a salt and seasoning option on pork ribs instead of the “wet style” with sauce.
Barbecue in Alabama is generally a mixture of slow-cooked pork favorites from the surrounding areas. You'll experience a bit of Memphis and North Carolina-style BBQ in varied parts of this southern state. However, they have made their mark on the BBQ world with their famous Alabama White Sauce. This sauce is making its way all over the map, and it's a trend we love.
The “birthplace of American barbecue,” according to locals, where barbecue originated from Native American influence that has evolved with immigrants from around the world. South Carolina barbecue is all about nostalgic wood fire cooking and traditional mustard sauces.
Not to be confused with barbecue from its neighboring Carolina state, North Carolina is known for its vinegar sauce. The tangy sauce is usually mixed with a simple spice for an added kick, like cayenne pepper. Barbecue in North Carolina often uses dark meat from the pork shoulder.
Every barbecue lover knows where to go to find the best barbecue sauce in the country: Kansas City. The tomato and molasses-based sauce creates a thick consistency with a sweet taste. The savory sauce is generously layered on meat, usually pork, which is smoked on hickory or oak wood.
Since everything is bigger in Texas, even barbecue styles are divided into different regions within the state. South Texas barbecue was formed with its neighbors south of the border, which usually involves Mexican barbacoa. East Texas has a hickory flavor with Cajun and Creole influence, while West Texas keeps it Western with traditional open-fire cooking. Central Texas actually has a German influence. With so many options, you can always find a beef brisket sandwich - a barbecue staple no matter where you are in Texas.
📍2M Smokehouse BBQ (San Antonio)
📍Franklin BBQ (Austin)
📍Pecan Lodge (Dallas)
📍Pody's BBQ (Pecos)