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Regional Differences in American Barbecue: What's Your Favorite BBQ?

Updated on April 26, 2011

Just about everyone enjoys a good plate of BBQ. But just about everyone has their own idea what BBQ is. In the United States there is many "styles" to choose from that is unique to the region they live in. And although each region has sub-regions which varies with the taste and ingredients, we'll explore the 5 most common regions.

Memphis BBQ

Memphis BBQ usually consists of ribs or pulled pork. It can have a wet sauce or a dry rub. The sauce usually has a tomato and vinegar base which makes it sweet and tangy and uses a variety of spices. 

The dry rub usually contains garlic and onion with other spices and is used on ribs. The ribs can be eaten with a side of the tangy sauce

St. Louis BBQ

St. Louis BBQ is very similar to Memphis style BBQ. It is slightly tangier and thinner and also uses a tomato base with vinegar. The meat of choice is usually ribs.

Carolina BBQ

Carolina BBQ is usually served with pulled or shredded pork. The sauce is usually vinegar based but can have tomato, ketchup, and/or mustard and other spices in it. The sauce is generally very thin.

Kansas City BBQ

KC BBQ is probably the most common and well known. It is thick with a tomato base and sometimes has molasses which makes it sweeter than most sauces. It is used as a dipping sauce and served with dry rubbed ribs or a variety of other meats.

Texas BBQ

Texas BBQ is generally a beef barbecue that is smoked with wood, generally hickory or mesquite. The sauce is usually spicier and tomato based and can have a variety of spices and peppers. The meat is smoked until it falls off the bone and can be smothered with the sauce or the beef can be dipped.

BBQ Poll

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