There are many regional BBQ styles in the US, here's our primer on what those styles encompass, you are your own grill master, experiment and try them all!
Memphis-style barbecue is slow cooked in a pit and ribs can be prepared either "dry" or "wet". "Dry" ribs are covered with a dry rub consisting of salt and various spices before cooking and are normally eaten without sauce. "Wet" ribs are brushed with sauce before, during, and after cooking.
A Memphis joint’s defining flavor comes in large part from their spice rub, which starts with salt, black pepper, and brown sugar, and then adds other herbs and spices that denote a particular pitmaster’s house formula. From there, the meat is basted with barbecue sauce as it cooks.
Eastern-style barbecue is a whole-hog style of barbecue, often said to use "every part of the hog except the squeal". Eastern-style sauce is vinegar & pepper based, with no tomato whatsoever, and is mostly used as a marinade.
Lexington style barbecue uses a red sauce, or "dip", made from vinegar, tomatoes, and usually red pepper flakes, along with other spices that vary from recipe to recipe. This style uses only the pork shoulder section of the pig. As with other styles of barbecue, the recipes vary widely, and can include many different ingredients, and range from slightly sweet to hot and spicy. The sauce also serves as the seasoning base for "red slaw" (also called "barbecue slaw"), which is coleslaw made by using Lexington-style barbecue sauce in place of mayonnaise.
Pork ribs are a common alternative to the two most common types of North Carolina barbecue.
South Carolinians share the same traditions as their Northern counterparts with one exception — mustard sauce.
South Carolina is best known for the whole-hog barbecue with mustard sauce, but South Carolina has three other sauce traditions, each in a different part of the state: tomato, ketchup, and vinegar-pepper.
Kansas City barbecue is rubbed with spices, slow-smoked over a variety of woods and served with a thick tomato-based barbecue sauce, which is an integral part of KC-style barbecue. Most local restaurants and sauce companies offer several varieties with sweet, spicy and tangy flavor profiles, but the staple sauce tends to be both sweet (often from molasses) and spicy
At a typical Central Texas pit-style barbecue restaurant, customers take a cafeteria-style tray and are served by a butcher who carves the meat by weight. Barbecue meats are commonly sold by the pound. Next, side dishes and desserts including slices of white bread, crinkle-cut dill pickle chips, sliced onion, jalapeño, and corn bread are picked up along the line. This style of barbecue emphasizes the meat, so if sauce is available, it is usually considered a side to dip into.
Like Central Texas BBQ, East Texas BBQ involves slow smoking via indirect heat. However, East Texas BBQ is known for its "falling off the bone" quality, which means very long cooking times, almost always over hickory wood, which grows readily in the state. It tends to come marinated in a sweet tomato-based sauce. Beef and pork are equally popular in East Texas—including pulled pork, which is not a Texas original but has taken hold in the state. Both pulled pork and beef brisket are served on a bun with pickles and hot sauce.
A site by Niall Sheehan