Skip to comments.A Guide to American Barbecue Sauce Styles
Posted on 06/24/2014 7:16:57 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
In the 19th century, the French declared the mother sauces. Bechamel, veloute, espagnole, tomate, and hollandaise all became the bases for other sauces in classical French cuisine. Barbecue sauce is sort of the same deal. Key ingredients such as vinegar, tomato and mustard have all come to define regional barbecue in the United States.
While sauce on its own is never enough to save bad barbecue, it can perfectly complement the flavors of good barbecue, giving it an identity and elevating it to greatness.
So, what are the "mother sauces" of barbecue?
(Excerpt) Read more at seriouseats.com ...
It ain't ketchup, that's for damn sure.
A tomato based BBQ sauce is just a method to cover up mistakes.
I do brisket with nothing more than a home made rub and 12-14 hours of mesquite and natural charcoal.
Low and slow.
Anyone that puts a tomato-based "sauce" on it after that will incur my ever-lasting contempt.
If you must, MUST put a sauce on it, at least use a vinegar-based, and damned little of it.
That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
Flame away, all you Kansas City BBQ wannabes!
Without going to the article, my experience is that in the South BBQ sauces tend to be mustard based, in the North they are more often tomato based and in the West/Southwest they are most often molasses based. All can be excellent.
Did someone say BBQ?
I like a dry rub of black pepper and paprika. The paprika is from peppers harvested from our garden.
Last year, I put up about a quart of ground paprika powder. I grind it with a small coffee grinder. It’s not as fine as grocery store product but has a pretty good “snap.”
But I'd eat a piece of pig coated in store-bought red sauce before I'd eat one soaked in that gawdawful N.C. vinegar.
btw--i agree with the comment about ketchup on a hotdog... i take mine with tangy mustard :)
hear, hear! i just do not get the vinegar style at all... last year we went to a bbq joint--my first one in NC... i was so excited because i love bbq pork... what a shocking disappointment! it was a sad day for me... :(
I agree, having lived in KC for several years. This is the Kansas City way, although I really enjoy hickory smoked brisket too. I’ve never sampled Memphis style BBQ. What’s the difference.
Well, that's a start.
Seriously, a good rub will draw moisture to the surface in order to make a "bark" and will also penetrate to tenderize.
I use paprika and black pepper and salt.
And a few other things...in classified quantities.
The exact nature of which, if disclosed, would result in my having to kill those to which it was disclosed.
Briskets are extremely touchy.
The majority of mine are simply thin-sliced and eaten on freshly baked sourdough bread.
The one's I screw up...become chopped BBQ for hamburger buns, which I immediately disavow any knowledge of.
Dry rub while cooking ... low and very slow. After that, put some of the drippings on the meat if you like. If you want BBQ sauce, head on over to Arby's
We 2nd that—dry, low and slow...
I would cut my throat before I'd allow anyone to soak a piece of my brisket in vinegar.
I make a sauce that uses a small amount of vinegar, but also has mustard and Jim Beam bourbon in it.
But I agree...that NC so-called BBQ is just a burnt piece of raccoon hide...or something.
You people are Philistines. Eastern NC BBQ is the best
Yeah...but some people are talking about ribs and chicken and brisket instead of barbecue.
Barbecue — slow-cooked whole pig, chopped or pulled, swabbed with with apple vinegar-based baste. Served with a vinegar/pepper sauce.
Invented by God.
Other grilled meats are excellent and even admired...but there is only one “barbecue,” and it originated in Eastern North Carolina.
I take a small can of tomato sauce and rinse the can out with apple cider vinegar and add course black pepper. if i want it sweet I put molasses in it if it needs to be hotter I add white pepper and red pepper. I cook it till it boils them cool and put into a squeeze bottle and put it on the table.
You must have gone to a yankee joint. Imagine my disappointment when I first ate “bbq” is Texas and they served beef!
Having successfully refused to eat Memphis style BBQ for most of my life, I can't tell you the difference, based upon my one-time sampling of it.
Which I was forced to do out of pure politeness.
I think, but cannot verify, that they use pig's feet and armadillo skins and disguise it with bottled smoke.
Texans don’t ‘baste’....we marinade!
Understood. But brisket isn’t barbecue. It’s grilled meat.
The original “mother sauce” was Elizabethan “catsup,” which was vinegar, herbs, spices and sometimes mushrooms. This came over to Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Relations with the natives were sometimes good, sometimes not, but the pit cooking method of the Powhatan and other tribes was introduced to the English there. The original vinegar, herb and spice “catsup” was introduced to season the meat. Pork was preferred there because pigs can forage for themselves in forested frontier and fend for themselves, a practical thing when your very survival on the verge of a howling wilderness was at question.
Other styles of pit cooked meat or barbecue arose as settlement pushed west due to availability and conditions. I’ve often thought beef became favored as settlers reached natural open grasslands favorable to cattle. Different seasonings and sauces were required for beef, vinegar doesn’t sit well with it in my opinion, whereas it does with pork which is itself sweet, providing a contrast.
Then came all the awesomeness of the various regional specializations that came from different settlers from different parts of Europe. Vinegar is English. Mustard is German, etc., it’s truly the American food. We should serve it at Thanksgiving.
Let the religious (and regional) wars begin.
LOL! You sound like me. I'll admit one of the best sauces I've had came from Georgia - thick and sweet with a hint of peaches. Been so long, though, I don't even remember the brand.
For heathens, the ignorant and hopelessly confused...behold true barbecue as artfully practiced by the master and Arch Angel Ed Mitchel.
Brisket is grilled meat? Huh?
I smoke mine either in an offset smoker with mesquite/oak for 16+ hours (dry rub over yellow mustard baste), or in an electric smoker with mesquite/pecan/hickory for 12-15 hours. No grill. It is tender melt in your mouth goodness. I also do Boston Butt (same rub) but hickory for pull-apart deliciousness. Add some Stubbs sauce to that and ya got something good. Sauce on brisket is sacrilege. Prefer both Texas and KC style here. But I also do like the Carolina and Memphis styles. It’s just different. No need to be nasty about it. BBQ = low and slow, and lots of smoky goodness. You can smoke most anything. Gonna try a turkey at Thanksgiving in the electric smoker. Sausage also good as is chicken and of course ribs. It’s an art-form and a rite of passage here in Texas to do your first successful brisket. I put mine up against any of the local restaurants. Takes patience, but it is so worth it!
I barbeque year around. That includes when it’s snowing.
I accept your contempt. What I choose to put on my sandwich is nobody's business. I doubt if your barbeque is so good that it would change my mind. If the meat is done right the smoke flavor is augmented by the sauce. If I can only taste sauce you screwed up.
BBQ = low and slow.
True enough. But BARBECUE is as I defined earlier.
But I know what you mean.
It is sometimes easier to use the term with the uneducated than to waste valuable cooking time attempting to explain the difference.
I am astounded at the number of people that think a Sloppy Joe is BBQ.
Yes, they exist.
I knew that was coming...
Pennsylvanians do love their processed foods. I was shocked to learn that an authentic Philly cheesteak was Steakum and Cheez Whiz.
“Eastern NC BBQ is the best”
I’m with you, Pappy!
Native son of Texas here, and enjoy our BBQ the best.
I lived in KC for a short while, and they have a fine product as well.
But that Carolina BBQ is a whole different thing, and it is some damn good eating. I truly wish there was some of it around San Antonio. They would gratefully get some of my BBQ dollars.
How dare you, sir!
People come from far and near to simply stand at the edge of my property for the chance to just sniff my efforts.
My BBQ is so good that I have insured the hands that prepare if for a large amount of money.
My BBQ is so good that it refuses to be placed on a paper plate, rather demanding the finest bone china.
My BBQ is so good...well, it's good.
Seriously, there is no accounting for poor taste in some people.
I have "Gates and Sons" BBQ sauce recipe. It's tangy and not too sweet, and you can make it as hot as you want.
I use it on pork and chicken.
Sauce? My BBQ is good enough without it.
That’s the ONE ingredient I add.
Everyone loves it.
I like everything from NC mustard/vinegar based sauces to molasses/tomato based BBQ sauces. I generally prefer sauces on the side and not on the meat but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
It all starts with meat cooked over a fire folks, let’s not get too wrapped up in differences when our similarities are so damned delicious on their own.
I like BBQ:
With vinegar sauces
with tomato based sauces
with mustard based sauces
without any sauce
Texas, NC, Kentucky, Memphis, Kansas City
You folks with single method preferences are missing out on the greatness of too many other styles of BBQ.
The real requirement, as noted several times on this thread, cook it low and slow.
“lets not get too wrapped up in differences”
The BBQ wars are as passionate as Protestants vs. Catholics, without the bloodshed.
Can’t do the tomato-based sauce (Lexington). It’s too much. I use Carolina Treet but only on Chicken
yeah, i would have been disappointed too... pork is my favorite meat...