Barbecue Wars

Okay, so here’s the offer. What kind of meat, exactly what sauce, what approach to cooking, what sort of wood or heat, and ways in which is it served. A lot to consider. And one thing is designed for sure–we’re not talking a garden Weber grill here, folks. This is serious business, how about we get to it.

In the South, especially North Carolina, the most famous outdoor version may be the “pig pickin’.” Named as soon as the Cajun phrase cochon de lait, traditional Southern barbecue grew beyond these gatherings, which entailed a whole hog roasted all night, then letting guests pick their very own meat away from the finished product (hence the idea of “going whole hog”).

But every region have their own version, usually pork, as well as the sauce is the reason why the difference. In North Carolina, the 3 varieties of sauces include vinegar-based inside the east, tomato-vinegar, sometimes mustard, inside central state as well as a heavier tomato-based sauce in western NC. The city of Lexington, just northeast of Charlotte, proclaims itself for being the “Barbecue Capital of the World,” boasting one BBQ restaurant per 1000 people (focus on going whole hog). And through the entire South, the meat is a lot more likely to get served over a plate, coupled with hush puppies, coleslaw and baked beans, not inside a bun smothered with ketchup (every now and again considered a capital crime). When ordered, it’s simply called Q as well as the sides certainly are a given. (In Texas you may get a thick bit of toast, but that is another story.)

According to South Carolinians, only inside their state are you going to find all four “official” sauces: mustard-based, vinegar-based, light or heavy tomato based. To the west, Memphis barbecue favors tomato- and vinegar-based sauces, plus in some restaurants (or higher likely BBQ shacks) the meat is rubbed using a mixture of dry seasonings before smoking over wood. Don’t even think about charcoal briquettes, considered a misdemeanor at least.The dry rub ingredients undoubtedly are a closely guarded secret, setting them aside from the guy outside. There may not be a sauce basted in the meat, but served quietly.

Moving right along, in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee barbecue is often pork, basted which has a sweet red sauce. Some rebels even dare to employ a mayo-based sauce with vinegar, mostly on chicken (which is not really considered an authentic barbecue, anyway.) A popular item in North Carolina and Memphis would be the pulled pork sandwich served on the bun and sometimes topped with coleslaw. Pulled pork is prepared by shredding the pork after it has been barbecued, then piled high.

In the Midwest, we’re talking Kansas City-style, seen as using various kinds of meat, that will be pulled pork or ribs, smoked sausage, beef brisket or ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and infrequently fish. Whew. They don’t leave almost anything to chance, bear in mind, KC is really a major meat packing city, no vegetarians allowed. Hickory wood delivers the most effective flavor plus the sauce usually chosen is tomato-based, spicy or mild. No hush puppies–remember you’re from the Midwest. And in Chicago, if they’re not wolfing down Italian beef sandwiches, sausages or pizza, that they like to season the meat which has a dry rub, sear it over a hot grill, then cook it slowly inside a special oven. The meat, typically ribs, might be finished that has a sweet and tangy red sauce. Not to worry, they will not have you arrested when you order it with a bun (just no ketchup, understand?). Side dishes might be cooked greens, mac and cheese and sweet potatoes. Since many BBQ places are found on the South Side, sometimes they comprise the primary ticket item at soul food restaurants.

The state of Kentucky just has to become different, making mutton their meat associated with preference. In Maryland, beef could be the ticket and it’s really grilled over the high heat, served rare with horseradish. Hardly even qualifies as barbecue, exactly why are we spending at any time on this?

Don’t wreak havoc on Texas, specifically when it comes to BBQ. The bigger the better, as well as the Lone Star state takes no prisoners when you are looking for their version (there ain’t few other version, pardner.) This tradition runs deep, and king-sized barbecues, thanks in no small part on the number of famous politicians who’ve hosted them within the years, make an effort to diminish their Northern wannabes by claiming the top darn barbecue inside world. The emphasis is for the meat itself, not really a sauce. Usually “Texas-style” means “Central Texas-style” knowning that spells b-e-e-f. Brisket is cooked over indirect heat, low and slow. They favor mesquite wood or maybe a combo of hickory and oak, then served standing on plates with potato salad, beans, slaw along with a big ole slice of Texas toast. This is serious eatin’, y’all.

And that’s it. Exhausting, each one of these details and variations. Who’s hungry? What can you choose and where? So much barbecue, so little time.

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