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 Eats“, 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In South Carolina BBQ sauces feature mustard. Here's a recipe that amps up the flavor with herbs. This sauce is fine for ribs but it is especially good on pulled pork, pork chops, baked potatoes, pretzels, hot dogs, and so much more. Make a batch and keep it on hand for whenever you need mustard including recipes.
This delicious sauce has the classic profile of any great BBQ sauce, sweet, tart, spicy, but with a wonderful twist: The taste of chocolate. While the chocolate BBQ sauce recipe might sound weird at first, you are sure to instantly fall in love with it the first time you try it on chicken, steak, and 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.
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.
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.
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.
With a combination of East-meets-West ingredients, this simple Asian BBQ sauce recipe brings the heat and the sweet to enhance the flavors of your favorite foods. It's especially good as a dipping sauce for fried appetizers like pulled pork egg rolls.
Here's the classic Korean sauce for grilled meats rolled up in lettuce leaves. This savory, slightly sweet and spicy ssam jang recipe includes doenjang (Korean miso), gochujang (Korean chile paste), green onions, garlic, and sesame oil. It's perfect for any grilled meat. Roll up and enjoy!
Danny Gaulden's recipe for a barbecue sauce glaze with brown sugar and mustard is simple and wonderful on barbecue or ham. While most sauces hides the meat and rub, this glaze really lets your rub shine through. It is great on ribs, and it is killer on smoked sausage and that Easter ham.
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.
Here is a recipe for a flavorful Caribbean style mojo sauce. Mojo sauce is extremely popular in Cuba and Puerto Rico where every mother has her own recipe, usually relying heavily on garlic, olive oil, citrus. Here Fieri has paired his mojo with pork ribs, but it is also wonderful on chicken, fish, and beef.
Tartar sauce is the popular condiment for grilled or smoked fish. While many store bought tartar sauces can be bland and boring, this home made version is sure to become your go-to side sauce for your favorite fish dishes.
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