Skip to comments.The Truth about BBQ Sauce
Posted on 03/02/2006 7:47:01 AM PST by stainlessbanner
Barbecue sauces have a uniquely Southern and Western U.S. history. Most experts agree that the practice of adding sauce and spices to meat and fish began early in our history, with Native Americans teaching the art to early European settlers. The natives probably developed the process as part of an attempt to keep meats and fish from spoiling quickly. Salt played a major role in those early barbecue sauces, and salt is a well-known preservative in the meat curing process.
Because the nations first European arrivals lived on the East Coast of America, that part of the country is credited with spawning the original barbecue sauce styles. First and foremost, there are the various Carolina barbecue sauces. The most widely known are East Carolina, Piedmont, and South Carolina varieties. East Carolina barbecue sauce consists of vinegar, salt, black pepper, and crushed or ground cayenne peppers. Its a very simple sauce that penetrates the meat nicely for a deep flavor. Piedmont barbecue sauce only varies from East Carolina in that it often includes molasses or Worcestershire sauce and thus clings to the meat more. South Carolina sauce is entirely different, using a mustard base instead, producing a much tangier and sharp flavor.
Then there is Memphis or Southern style barbecue sauce. This popular variety is typically more complicated (flavor-wise) and is built around mustard, tomato, and vinegar. Fans often point to the boldness of these flavor combinations as the hallmark of Memphis barbecue sauce. A saying often heard among hungry connoisseurs is no two bites alike.
Continuing our trek westward, we come to the acknowledged center of the barbecue universe Kansas City! Kansas City barbecue sauce is distinguished by its noticeably thicker consistency and emphasis on sweetness. Thats because this style of sauce is built upon thick tomato sauce, chunks of vegetables, and lots of sugar. Many popular commercial brands are based on this Kansas City recipe. Its most popular among amateur backyard grillers because of the availability in grocery stores (Kraft, Heinz, K.C.s Masterpiece, etc.). And also because the thick sauce can be applied only once and enough will remain in place to please the happy recipients of the grilled meat.
Finally, there are the Texas barbecue sauce styles. Now, Texas is one big state, and there are several regional varieties within it. The most common include thick and spicy sauces that are essentially spicier variations on the Kansas City sauces. These are found mostly in the north and east sections of the state (Dallas). In western Texas, thinner sauces that feature hot peppers can be found. These sauces are often added only at the very end of the barbecuing or grilling process. And then, in southern Texas, the barbecue sauce of choice features an emphasis on Mexican spices and, of course, jalapeno peppers! Make sure to have a cold beverage handy to put out the fire!
Owen Miller is the town expert on barbecuing and on barbecue sauces to make you drool. To get the information you need to be the top barbecue sauce guru in your town, check out Owen's bbq sauce resource center at http://www.bbqsaucezone.com.
Or spit your teeth out. We thought someone was playing a sick joke on us the first time we had BBQ after moving to NC. We can hardly wait to get to Lexington or points south for some real BBQ when we travel.
We like ours with tomato base although Maurice's is good too.
Why Ray? In 1985, Chef Larry, perfected the family recipe and entered his all-natural, sweet and tangy barbecue sauce into the countrys largest rib cookoff. He called it "Sweet Baby Rays," a name his brother, David, got shootin hoops on the west side of Chicago. The sauce is so fine, it beat nearly 700 entries. That was enough proof for the brothers. Larry, David and a high school friend, Mike OBrien, forged a company with a simple philosophy about barbecue. Make it great. So, the rest, as they say, is history. What Happened After winning second prize in the 1985 Mike Royko Riboff they thought, "why not sell this stuff." Sales came from word-of-mouth and cold calls. SBRs experienced steady growth through the years and 1994 took them to the moon. Well, not literally the moon, but all over the Midwest at least. During 1996 through 1999 they were the BBQ Gurus to the Taste of Chicago, (thats 4 million visitors and a ton of napkins). By 1999 sales totaled 500,000 cases. Stacked on top of each other, thats tall. Due to its superior taste, Sweet Baby Rays has become the fastest growing barbecue sauce in the United States. They are currently looking to expand to Atlanta, Arizona and Southern California. And maybe, someday the moon.
I use Sweet Baby Rays or Sticky Fingers.
BBQ sauce... If memory serves me correctly, that has mustard and red pepper in it.
would ya be wrapping them snickers and catsup thingys in tinfoil, there then would ye?
I guess I'm more a southern memphis kind of sauce leaner,, vinegar,mustard,catsup,soy,
Ever try the Rib Fest in Sparks? if ya haven't already, squeeze it in, more BBQ that ya can hope to try in one day, that's why its 5 days long now.. I think.
Yessir. I hear Sparks Rib Festival is the place to be for the BBQ out here. Saw a documentary on it a while back. Looks like a hoot.
I'm surprised it took that long before I got in trouble for that one.
You didn't get in trouble...I thought it was funny. I love witty humor...I just wasn't going to call attention to it.
Mesquite and I ain't a tellin' what goes in my BBQ sauce.
You got the hours thing right!
Mmmmmmmmmm... Snickers and Catsup wrapped in sea weed and served cold.
Truer words were never spoken.
Tiger Sauce is great stuff for a lot of uses, including mixing it with sour cream to make a chip dip. It's got a great combination of subtlety and power...
I'd rather smear my ribs with the stuff my cat pukes up. Probably give it a better flavor.
ping... thought you'd get a kick out of this
Well you're a yank at heart, you wouldn't know good BBQ sauce from cat puke anyway...if you're putting anything but Eastern NC sauce on your BBQ (which is pork only, a noun, and not a verb) you may as well take your ribs into the back yard and dip 'em in the mud. Would be about the same as non-vinegar sauce anyway.
We New Englanders don't need no BBQ sauce on our meatloaf, sir.
Missed out on this one. Have been up in Oklahoma the past few days -- which, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, is a barbecue Sahara.
Cherokees are are BBQ clueless???
Have you been talking to my wife? Or is this a hint you would like to book a room?
venison mmmmmmmmmm, BBQ venison MMMMMMMMMMMMM, SMOKED BBQ'D VENISON IZ GRREAT!
Yeah, I have it bookmarked.
Now, Tork, I do recall the warning; because I did start on the dry rub, certainly off some sage advice from you and others on the threads. My own concoction, varying by what's on hand and what I think might taste good.
However, I will still have a bit of my very own Appalachian Ambrosia on the side for dipping when I want to.
Yes, it's tomato. I started out trying to duplicate Ridgewood's, but have evolved it away from the sweet side and more toward tangy - not peppery. A taste of vinegar helps. But, vinegar is for collards, mustard greens, etc. With cornbread; and anyone who puts sugar in cornbread needs professional help.
You've got that right. I go there every now and then to get my fix. Their smoked sausages are something to die for. I found out about Payne's 30 years ago. The quality hasn't changed. Who knew perfection could be so boring. I work in downtown Memphis and it's worth the trip for a great lunch. BTW, the matriarch of Payne's died a few months ago. She made it what it is today. Great work.
IMO, if the meat is prepared well enough it doesn't need any sauce.
Come to Memphis in May, my friend. Tom Lee Park on Riverside Drive is awash with the aromatic scents of bbq. The Memphis in May International Barbecue Contest will put your sense of smell into sensory overload. YUM, YUM!!!!!
And no doubt that too would give them a better flavor than smearing them with that Carolina abomination.
Ping for later. Sometimes I really hate Seattle.
I've mentioned him before :), along with a few others.
And this timely thread gives me occasion to mention another:
Farm Boy's in Chapin, SC. They are only open(for now) Thursday through Saturday(I think).
I absolutely must give this place props for the best mustard BBQ I have had in many years. The best, in fact, that I have ever gotten from a restaurant.
Pros: Mustard AND vinegar-pepper styles. They also have both creamy and pickle slaw(marinated, no mayo). Assorted BBQ-appropriate sides. Desserts. All you can eat for about $8, tea included.
Cons: the hush-puppies are weak. Also, I'm told that sometimes they get a little happy with the pepper in the vinegar-pepper stuff, though I'm focused on the mustard-based, which is definitely top shelf.
I'm not sure if the yankee waitress is a pro or a con. Inappropriate, but I like her(I know her from when she worked at Hardee's), and there's something positive about the cross-cultural thing going on there.
I haven't been on a Thursday, but I understand that Thursday is pork chop day,and that the chops are very good.
I saw, by the Chapin exit from I-26, that a sizeable commercial building under construction has a sign that says "Future home of Farm Boy's," and more power to them. I hope they expand their hours when they get out of the little hole-in-the-wall they're in now.
If you're in the area, try it. If not, it's worth the drive for a BBQ afficanado. Honestly, what I had was way better than even Mourice's. If they sold that stuff in the store, they'd make a mint, worldwide. "Highly recommeded!"
Lint tastes good with the right BBQ sauce..
LOL! I've tried about all of them, even grew up in the Western part of the state (tomato based). But I didn't realize what BBQ was until I moved to the Eastern side. Although I can eat the mustard based from SC if necessary.
Is that ol' boy in Columbia still open? Maurices I believe it was. That was some decent BBQ
Okay. Here's the only hot sauce I have cautioned people away from. Some sauces I recommend, some sauces I don't. This sauce I warn against much in the same way I warn against wrestling alligators. This sauce will not only make your meat sprout legs and run away, it will also dissolve your driveway, kill hundred year old oak trees, eat through the refrigerator door and kill all gnats within one square mile. It has the added danger of being spilled in the house. In such case it will create a China Syndrome. But nuclear waste is limeade next to this stuff. My wife didn't know what it was and dripped a normal amount in a bowl of brunswick stew. In the dead of night we had to take the stew two miles away and find a dumpster. Had we done it in the daytime the trail of dead insects would have given us away.:
Yes, he has liitle fast-food BBQ restaurants all over the place. But, his sauce is no longer sold in grocery stores.
Here you go:
Yes, I'm aroused too!
Alton Brown came on at 7PM with a rerun of his Trailer Trash home made cooker made from a couple of terra-cotta pots, a electric hot plate, a metal pan for wood chips and grate to set the meat on. He brined the Poke and then used a DRY RUB.
All I could do was smile...
I have to nominate my two favorite sauces for consideration. The first is Bone Suckin' Sauce (thick hot variety) from NC. It is a sweet, hot sauce that tastes so good, no actual meat is required. Just dip your finger in it and suck it off, lather, rinse, repeat.
Also offered for nomination is a local sauce, Hot Chix BBQ sauce from Ellijay, GA. It is a black tangy sauce that absolutely shines for redneck delicacies such as Chorniy Meatballs, you'll note the searing fumes as it reduces and the delightful, complex kick as it coats the lamest of meats in a breastplate of kick f'ing a.
Really it was a poke at our New England cuisine.
I like to smear boiled pork ribs with Subbs Moppin' Sauce then grill 'em over coals with mesquite wood added for smoking after which I smear KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce on. Ummm good!
The original on Inwood in Dallas is the best.
Angelo's here in Fort Worth is good, but not as good.
Got a pic of that? Sounds way way cool and I need a weekend project, being no racin'
These guys seemed to be putting the beers away.
Well, I live in east Tennessee, so the "Carolina" style BBQ sauce I tried here may have been weakend some--it had just enough vinegar to give it a likeable tang.
BBQ sauce cannot be too sweet, and the NC type definitely wasn't too sweet.