The Battle of American BBQ Styles

The Battle of American BBQ Styles – Summer is rapidly approaching, and everyone is getting ready to show off their barbeque skills. All across America, from national barbeque competitions and festivals to the local neighborhood backyard bashes the one question remains – which of the four traditional BBQ styles do you use? American BBQ is a serious matter, so let the battles begin!

Memphis Style

When you’re in Tennessee, you’re not just in the heart of America, you’re in God’s country and it’s all about the ribs! Pork ribs are the crowned jewel of the south and they are smoked slower than you can empty a jar of molasses on a hot July afternoon. Memphis Style BBQ can come two ways: dry rubs or wet sauces. Traditional dry rub BBQ combines all the sweetest flavors of brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sea salt and rosemary. Traditional wet sauces have more of a savory and tangy palette with ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Both pack a punch in flavor for a finger-licking good time and are pulled to perfection for that melt-in-your-mouth sensation. 

Texas Style

There’s good reason why they always say, “everything’s bigger in Texas”. With a state spanning over 200,000 miles, barbequing ain’t just a type of food; ya’ll, it’s a religion. Naturally with a state being so vast, different variations of BBQ style develop but it all comes down to brisket -the foundation of all Texas barbeque. Known for its smokey flavors of oak, mesquite, hickory, and pecan, Texas brisket usually ends up looking like a giant lump of coal if you cook it right but once the crisp cavity is cut open, the meat is so tender, so juicy, so delectable, sure ‘nuff you’ll be fixin’ for a second plate before you know it. 

Kansas City

When it comes to Kansas City BBQ, it comes down to two words: burnt ends. Whether you’re grilling up some beef, pork, or poultry, burnt ends are the hallmark of a good Kansas City style BBQ. It’s all about encompassing the fatty flavorful pieces of thickly cut meat and burnt to perfection for that unmistakable trademark taste. The meat is then traditionally poured into rich Kansas City style baked beans and cooked again until the texture is so soft, and all the flavors blend together. A taste explosion in every bite for sure, however, no meal is complete without Kansas City BBQ sauce. A traditional ketchup-base with sticky finger molasses, the secret to this sauce is the brown sugar and a lot of it! There is no such thing as too sweet when it comes to Kansas City. 

The Carolinas 

Known as one of America’s oldest methods of cooking meat, The Carolinas have mastered the art of barbequing. Pitmasters over the years have perfected this style of barbeque with pork and focus primarily on the stomach, neck, and shoulders of the hog. Treating each section with tenderness and care softening up the firm portions and keeping a close eye on the delicate ones cautious not to char the flavor off. On top of having arguably the original form of barbeque style, The Carolinas are best known for the Carolina Gold Sauce. Unlike most traditional barbeque sauces having a ketchup-base, Carolina Gold has a mustard-base giving it that tangy, zesty flavor brought over by early German settlers. Sometimes referred to as “Mop Sauce”, that is exactly how you enhance the flavors of the meat; by mopping it on while the meat cooks and then again when it’s ready to eat.

Although the debate remains which American BBQ Style is the best, the original, or the go-to for summertime cookouts, there is one thing every grilling master can agree on and that’s all these styles not only can be achieved with The Beefer, but can be perfected with The Beefer. 

By Sarah Bonacci

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