What is BBQ?
Well, let’s start with what it is not. BBQ is not the same thing as grilling. Grilling involves cooking over an open flame with direct heat. It’s a great way to cook steaks, burgers and hotdogs, and while we agree it’s delicious, it’s not BBQ. Real old school barbecue happens when you place a large cut of meat in a closed pit and let it cook indirectly (away from the fire) with the low heat and smoke of a charcoal and/or wood fire. Otherwise known as “Low and Slow”. The ideal temperature in one of these pits usually runs between 225-250º, and this very slow, magical process breaks down the connective tissues of the meat and turns tough cuts into the most delicious tender food on earth.
4 Types of BBQ
Kansas City Style BBQ:
This style utilizes all meat types: Chicken, Beef, Pork and is characterized by thick, tomato-based sauces that contain a high concentration of sugar, cooked over slow, low heat.It is the messiest of all the styles and probably the one most people are familiar with, because most of the BBQ Sauces you see on the shelf at the grocery store are Kansas City Style.
Memphis Style BBQ:
This style puts a heavy focus on pork, and while it is similar in style to Kansas City BBQ, Memphis style dials down the sugar and dials up the spice. It also isn’t cooked with sauce, instead favoring rubs during cooking but sauce is served with the meat, table side.
Texas Style BBQ:
While Memphis style focuses on pork, Texas style makes beef the main event. It’s typical to use a bold, dry rub and a thinner sauce for basting or mopping. You will often find pork ribs, sausage and even chicken on the menu, but these are secondary to beef, most notably beef brisket.
Carolina Style BBQ:
Carolina style shifts the focus back to pork, and this is where you might even see the option for a whole pig. This style also shifts the focus back to sauce, but these sauces offer more varieties, from Mustard Based to Vinegar based.