Barbecue According to Region

August 15, 2013

Founder and managing partner of Xebec Enterprises Inc., in Washington DC, Benjamin Dalley oversees the firm’s business implementation consulting and project management work for a wide range of commercial and residential real estate projects. In his spare time, Benjamin C. Dalley is a devotee of good barbecue. Though many people have a single style of cooking in mind when they think of barbecue, the ingredients, flavors, and methods of barbecuing vary significantly according to geographical region.

North Carolina-style pork barbecue, for instance, relies primarily on salt and vinegar for its flavor. Often, the whole pig is slow cooked over a coal fire for 12 hours to achieve optimal flavor and preserve the meat’s natural juices. South Carolina-style barbecue also primarily features pork, which is often flavored with spicy mustard and vinegar. Chefs prefer local woods such as hickory, pecan, and applewood for smoking the meat.

Kansas City-style barbecue traditionally calls for a wider range of meats, with recipes for chicken, pork, beef, and even lamb. Chefs use rubs that include salt, sugar, and paprika and sauces that are tomato based. In Memphis-style barbecue, chefs use rubs that are both spicy and sweet, and the meat is usually smoked using cherry and hickory wood.

In Texas, beef is the primary meat used for barbecue. In place of sauces, cooks generally use a dry rub that has a base of cayenne peppers, kosher salt, and black pepper. As with the barbecue of the Carolinas, Texas barbecue calls for slow cooking over low heat.

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