Barbecue Sauce Recipes

"Barbecue is 99% perspiration and 1% sauce."Vince Staten

There are several regions which have evolved their own unique barbecue and sauce styles, often influenced by the available meats and their ethnic origins.They are not all sweet and red! Their flavors and history are fascinating. They are also the subject of much controversy and villification between regions, each claiming authenticity. Some break down regional styles into microcosms reminiscent of wine appellations, claiming "authenticity" in one state and fraud in another.

In his 1993 book "Why We Eat What We Eat: How Columbus Changed the Way the World EatsPlaceholder", Raymond Sokolov, has a superb essay on authenticity focused on regional styles. Some highlights: "Unfortunately authenticity is as slippery a notion as happiness... Texan chiliheads abhor beans; New Mexicans routinely put them in their version of chili. Similarly, each village along the French Mediterranean coast has its own 'authentic' mixture of fish for its own 'authentic' bouillabaisse. Aren't these really distinct regional variations, each authentic for its town or state? If so, to what size must we whittle down our definition of region...? There is, in fact, no limit to this. In my family people disagree about the authentic way to make dishes handed down from the same older relative." Then he nails it "Publication leads to codification... Cookbooks not only preserve, they overdefine and delimit cooking when they set forth a single version of a dish and, explicitly or implicitly, suggest that other versions are spurious."

Click here to read a summary of each of the different types of barbecue sauce, what makes them unique, and some of my favorite benchmark examples.

The articles below have more detail and recipes.

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The US has several distinct barbecue sauce styles from Kansas City to South Carolina, Eastern Carolinas, Western Carolinas, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Hawaii, Florida, Memphis and more. Here is a description of them, and links to buy them, and recipes. read more
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Say so long to bottled BBQ sauce and hello to amped up homemade Kansas City-style sauce with this step-by-step recipe. Thick and sweet, Kansas City barbecue sauce has been a crowd favorite since the introduction of KC Masterpiece in the 70s. Our delicious recipe features multiple layers of flavors, sweets, and heats. read more
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Tennessee whiskey is the key to this delicious BBQ sauce recipe, a perfect complement to countless BBQ and grilling main dishes. Aged corn whiskeys have a wonderful sweet vanilla flavor that truly shines in BBQ sauce and we keep the other ingredients to a minimum to showcase the complexity of flavor whiskey provides. read more
In Mid-South Carolina, from Columbia to Charleston on the coast, BBQ sauce is yellow. HereÍs a quick and easy recipe for classic South Carolina mustard sauce. For those who are only familiar with traditional red BBQ sauces, yellow mustard sauce can be jarring at first -- at least until that first flavorful bite. read more
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Create your own amazing East Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce and mop with this simple to follow recipe. Tangy and spicy, Low Country vinegar sauce is great for finishing fatty pork and does double duty as a baste (or mop) for adding layers of flavor to the meat as it cooks. Because it is so thin, it penetrates deep. read more
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In Lexington North Carolina the barbecue sauce recipe is mostly vinegar with just a touch of ketchup and hot pepper. Here's how to make an authentic NC Lexington Dip BBQ sauce and mop baste. Relying heavily on vinegar, apple juice, and red pepper flakes, this tangy sauce penetrates meat deeply to make it flavorful. read more
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In Texas the traditional barbecue sauce recipe is usually more like a tomato soup, thin and spicy, it penetrates the meat. read more
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New Orleans barbecue sauce is a rich, hot buttery sauce used on shrimp but it works beautifully on many other dishes. Technically, since there is no smoke in the recipe, so it really isn't barbecue, but there's no reason why you can't bask in its delicious mix of butter, garlic, Louisiana hot sauce, and more. read more
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This Louisiana BBQ sauce recipe is spicy and sweet with Chipotle Tabasco, roasted jalapenos, red peppers, and Steen's Cane Syrup. Referred to as Bayou Bite, this delicious sauce blends sweet and hot peppers for a mildly spicy finishing and dipping sauce for ribs, chicken, steaks, chops and so much more. read more
Packed full of flavor, this recipe for Alabama white BBQ sauce is the perfect addition to grilled and smoked chicken. Adapted from the original white BBQ sauce that was created by famed Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que in Decatur, Alabama, this isn't your ordinary sticky sweet BBQ sauce as it relies on mayonnaise and vinegar. read more
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In Western Kentucky the BBQ is mutton, and the sauce is vinegary, spiked with Worcestershire sauce. Here's a recipe for black BBQ sauce inspired by Moonlite Bar-B-Q Sauce & Dip. This thin tart sauce cuts the rich fat, making it perfect for use as a deeply penetrating baste as the meat cooks or as a finishing sauce. read more
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A sweet spicy glaze that will jazz up your barbecue similar to the style of sauce favored by competiton cooks across the nation. read more
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This sweet apricot glaze recipe is not only perfect for ham but is wonderful on many other pork cuts as well. Developed by one of the world's top pitmasters, Chris Lilly, this sauce is sure to be an instant hit with your family and guests. read more
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Take your smoked ribs over the top with this recipe for apple butter enhanced Kansas City-style BBQ sauce. This apple butter BBQ sauce would have Adam eating out of Eve's palm, and sucking on her sauce soaked fingers. Yes, it has lumps. Strain it if you must but it's best as is. read more

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Meathead Goldwyn

Meathead is the founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, and is also known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", a New York Times Best Seller and named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

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