BBQ Styles – It’s All About the Sauce
From Texas to North Carolina, Barbecue Sauces Are as Diverse as America
While meat cuts and cooking methods do much to define the American pastime of barbecue, it’s really the sauce that speaks. From Kansas City to Memphis, Texas and the Carolinas, barbecue fanatics swear by their sauces and maintain total allegiance to their chosen recipes.
The practice of barbecuing meat evolved from indigenous people living in Florida and the Caribbean around the time of the Spanish colonization. It was this practice of slow cooking meat in combination with sauces comprised of citrus juice and hot peppers that came to be known as the barbecue that we know and enjoy today.
No matter what flavor you savor, we must pay homage to the regional favorites across the U.S., for there is no other country in the world that is quite as well known for the slow cooked, smoky goodness of good barbecue. Here are some of our favorite sauces found nationwide, and what makes each so amazing when used in combination with our favorite proteins:
North Carolina Vinegar Sauce
Spicy and acidic flavors having their African roots were readily adopted in the Carolinas. This flavor profile was considered the predecessor to modern barbecue sauces; it is comprised of vinegar, water, and a host of flavor-packed sauces that range from mild to insanely spicy. The acidic vinegar compounds break down tough tendons and tissues in the meat, giving it a tender and juicy texture that falls apart when cooked.
South Carolina Mustard Sauce
Of course South Carolina has to do it a bit differently! Thanks to people of German descent who emigrated with mustard in tow, this spicy yellow goodness is mixed with vinegar and spices to lovingly dress any cut of pork and chicken you can find. If taste and tang are what you crave, South Carolina is the place to go for barbecue.
Texas Style Mop Sauce
Texas beefy barbecue does it big, and they do it well. “Mop” sauce is appropriately named because meat is regularly basted with sauce while cooking, and it is often times applied with a mop. The resulting thin glaze adds flavor and attracts a smoky goodness from the fire that infuses the meat with unmistakable barbecue flavor. Mop sauces may include vinegar, beef stock, Worcestershire, and basic spices like salt, pepper, and garlic.
Kansas City Sauce
Thick, sweet and tangy sauce dominates this entire region of the central United States. Ketchup and molasses give it its sweet heaviness while other additives like liquid smoke and chipotle give it a smoky consistency. Cookie may add extra brown sugar, soy sauce, and other flavor combinations to give it a different timbre, but the end result is always sticky sweetness that coats your protein and gives it unmistakable barbecue flavor
Memphis Style BBQ Sauce
World renowned for hosting the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest every May, Memphis / Nashville style BBQ sauce is known for being a sweet and tangy, yet thinner variety sauce. Memphis-style barbecue is known for pork ribs, slow cooked in a pit. Memphis style ribs are prepared to be “dry” or “wet”. Memphis ‘wet’ sauce typically uses
tomatoes, vinegar, and a wide variety of spices.
Alabama White Sauce
Although not considered “traditional” in look or flavor, Alabama White Sauce has a loyal following to those lucky enough to have tasted it. Best when used with white meats like pork, chicken, and turkey, it’s mayonnaise-based, vinegary goodness will dress up your meat and leave you licking your lips and your fingertips while asking for more.
Stubby’s–A Class Of Their Own
At Stubby’s, we pay homage to those barbecue pioneers who have gone before us, blending the best influences of Tennessee, Texas, and Arkansas to form a unique, hickory-smoked blend that begs to be experienced. Flavor and aroma profiles unique to Stubby’s BBQ sauce make it one of the premier barbecue sauces on the market today. We love our barbecue as much as you do! You can even buy it online!
Hats off to you, marvelous meat masters…thanks for your wonderful inspiration, your kicking BBQ recipes, and your passion for the craft. No matter what flavor your savor, there’s no denying that barbecue is a proud American tradition!