For those newcomers to the world of barbecue, there are many different ways to barbecue depending on where you live. The type of meat, the type of sauce or rub and even the type of wood usewhen smoking the meat can affect the flavor of your barbecue.
North Carolina BBQ
This style of barbecue has a thin, vinegar based barbecue sauce. Pork is the preferred type of meat, with all parts of the pig utilized. Pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw is a favorite barbeque meal using the North Carolina style.
Memphis, Tennessee is home to the largest barbeque competition in the world and has over 100 barbeque restaurants. This city does love its barbeque. Pork is the preferred meat, with ribs being the most popular cut. However, there is much debate between using a dry rub or wet rub on the ribs. A dry rub is a dry spice mixture that is rubbed onto the ribs before it is cooked and smoked. Sauce may be served on the side. On the other hand, a wet rub involves barbecue sauce being slathered on during the cooking process. Additional sauce is added after cooking. This type of barbecue sauce is tangy and tomato based. The city of Memphis enjoys both styles of rub on their ribs.
Kansas City BBQ
If you head to the Midwest to Kansas City, pork and beef are the preferred types of meat. The specialty of Kansas City barbeque is what is commonly referred to as “burnt ends.” These are the ends of the slab of brisket that get charred and are very crunchy and loved by everyone. The barbeque sauce is made with a tomato base and usually contains molasses as the sugar component in the sauce. If you think about the commercially bottled barbecue sauces available in your local grocery store, it would resemble this Kansas City style of sauce.
If you head south of Kansas City to Texas, you will find a different style. Known for its cattle, Texas prefers using beef as the type of meat to barbeque, mostly beef brisket. Pork comes in second, with pork ribs and hot links (spicy flavored sausages made from pork). Barbecue is cooked without any sauce, using a dry spice rub. What makes Texas barbeque unique is the type of wood used when smoking the meat. Mesquite is the preferred wood, which adds a unique flavor to the barbeque.
Pick a style and see how you like the flavors of that type of barbeque. Then feel free to experiment and add your own little touches to make it your own. The most important thing is to simply enjoy and have fun with barbecuing.