Regional variations of barbecue
Barbecuehas many regional variations, based on several factors:
*the type of
sauceor other flavoringadded to the meat
*when the flavoring is added during preparation
*the role that
smokeplays in preparation
*the equipment and
fuelused to cook the meat
timeis spent cooking the meatAt its most generic, any source of proteinmay be used, including beef, pork, lamb, poultry, fish, and seafood. The meat could be ground, as with hamburger, processed into sausageor kebabs, and/or accompanied by vegetablesand/or bread. Sometimes the cut of meat (e.g. brisketor ribs) matters; sometimes the cut is irrelevant. The meat may be marinated or rubbed with spices before cooking, basted with a sauce or oil before and/or during cooking, and/or flavored in numerous ways after being removed from the heat. Occasionally, vegetarian alternatives to meat, such as soyburgers and mushroomcaps, are prepared similarly.
Typically meat is covered with
barbecue sauce. Vinegar-base sauce is typical of Southern United Statesbarbecue, while tomato-based sauce is Western United Statesstyle.
Many forms of barbecuing involve tough cuts of meat that require hours of cooking over low heat that barely exceeds the boiling point of water. Some forms of barbecue use rapid cooking over high heat, being barely distinguishable from grilled meats to those who would make such a distinction. With high heat barbecuing (often called grilling), the food is placed directly above the flame or other source of heat. With low heat barbecuing, the food is off to the side and almost always under a cover, frequently with added smoke for additional flavor. It is generally agreed among the many regions of North America that indirect heat constitutes "barbecuing," while direct heat is the mark of "grilling." Outside of the US this distinction is rarely observed.
Sometimes an open flame is required, with the fuel source irrelevant. In other cases, the fuel source is critical to the end result, as when
woodchips from particular kinds of trees are used as fuel.
Barbecuing is popular in the
Australasian, Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesianislands. Every country has its own version of cuisine a la pit but some of the most legendary and continuously-practiced examples can be found in the South Pacific. In Hawaii, it’s the imu. New Zealand’s Maori have the hangi. Tahitians call it hima’a. And a thousand miles away in the Marquesas Islands, there’s the umu. As with many tropical islands' styles of barbecue, the meat is glazed with sauce and decorated with fruits.
Australiabarbecues are a popular summer pastime. Coin-operated, and increasingly free, public electric barbecues are common in city parks. While Australian barbecue uses similar seasonings to its American counterpart, smoking or sugary sauces are used less often; more commonly, the meat is marinated for flavor and then is cooked on a grill. The barbecuing of prawns (" shrimp" in the USA) has become increasingly popular in Australia but was not popular at the time of the American TV commercial featuring Australian actor Paul Hogan.
Barbecues are also common in fund raising for schools and local communities, where sausages and onions are served on white bread with tomato sauce. These are most often referred to as "Sausage Sizzles".
New Zealand, as in Australia, barbecue is also popular. New Zealander barbecue is similar to a mix of American, British, Australian, and Pacific Island styles.
Jamaican jerk chicken is an example of barbecue.
Bahamian barbecue is similar to Pacific Islander, Hawaiian, mainland American, UK, and Australian styles.
Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico
Taínomethod of slowly cooking meat over a wooden mesh of sticks. An example is in Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean, such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, and especially Puerto Rico, Lechonis a common and extremely pupular delicacy. Lechon consists of taking a whole pig, slicing it from the head to the rear from the bottom, and slow-grilling the hog as it is turned on a rod.
Other Caribbean islands
Barbecue is also popular in all the Caribbean islands, each with their own traditions.
China, pork barbecue is made with a marinade of honey and soy sauce, and cooked in long, narrow strips. This form of barbecue is known as char siu. Outdoor barbecues (usually known simply as BBQ) are popular among Hong Kongresidents on short trips to the countryside. These are invariably coal-fired, with meat (usually beef, pork, sausage, or chicken wing) simply marinated with honey, then cooked using long, hand-held forks. In these sense, the style and atmosphere is closer to fondueand hot pot.
Bulgogi(불고기) is thinly sliced beef(and sometimes porkor chicken) marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlicand chili pepper, cooked on a grill at the table. It is a main course, and is therefore served with riceand side dishes such as Kimchi. Bulgogi literally means "fire meat." The more common "Korean BBQ" is called kalbi, which is marinated ribs.
Baribecueing is very popular in Japan as part of outdoor activity. Normally more vegetables and seafood are incorporated than in US, and soy sauce or soy based sauces are commonly used. Occasionally Japanese style fried noodle "Yakisoba" would be cooked as well.
Yakitoriis a example of Japanese barbecue. It is the Japanese version of shish kebab. Spare ribs, chicken, and steak are also grilled and glazed with teriyaki sauce.
tandooris a form of barbecue common in Afghanistan, Pakistanand north India.
Satayis popular in several Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It consists of pieces of meat skewered on a bamboo stick. The meat is marinated in a mixture of spices similar to a curry mix and pulverised peanut. Most common meats are chicken, lamb and beef. In non-muslim enclaves, you will also find pork and various other satay made from animal offal.
After the meat has been cooked over a charcoal flame, it is served with a thick gooey dipping sauce made from the same mixture as the marinate for the meat(a peanuty tasting curry like mixture).
Borneo. In the mountainous regions of North Borneo, the local Kadazan people's specialities are chicken butt satay and snake meat satay (as of 2007 this is only available under exceptional circumstances). Before 1990 it was possible to get satay of animals like tapir, elephants, flying fox, goannasand wild boar. Unfortunately, these animals are now rare and/or endangered. Lechon. In the Philippines, Lechon is a centerpiece of the main cultural diet. It is extremely rare for any celebratory occasion to lack lechon. Filipino lechon is made similarly to the same fashion as its done in the Spanish speaking islands of the Caribbean. The hog is cut, slicing it from the head to the rear from the bottom, and slow-grilling the hog as it is turned on a rod. Even though the Spanish speaking islands of the Caribbean and the Philippines do not share a common language, it is stil referred to with the same pronunciaiton. This may be in due to both regions being ruled by Spain for many centuries.
Nomadic Mongolians have several barbecue methods, one of them called "
Khorkhog". They first heat palm-sized stones to a high temperature over the fire and sandwich several layers of lamb and stone in a pot. The cooking time depends on the amount of lamb used. It is believed that it's good for your health if you hold the stone used for cooking.
Another way of cooking is a "boodog" ("boo" means wrap in Mongolian). Usually
marmot(black tail prairie dog) or goats are cooked in this way. There is no pot needed for cooking "boodog", after slaughter and dressing, the innards are put back inside through a small hole and the whole carcass is cooked over the fire.
Mongolian barbecueoften found in restaurants is a style of cooking falsely attributed to the mobile lifestyle of nomadic Mongolians. Having its origins in Taiwan in the mid to late 20th century, "Mongolian" barbecue consists of thinly sliced lamb, beef, chicken, pork, or other meat, seasonings, vegetables, and noodles, or a combination thereof, that are quickly cooked over a flat circular metal surface that has been heated.
Al tazaj Israeli mangal
Sorts of beef steaks, chicken parts, middle eastern kebab made from beef and lamb, hot dogs and beef burger and the known Shish Lik
Mangal is the act of grilling meat on coal's outdoors and also known as "On the fire" - על האש
The meat is eaten with
pita bread, Tehinipaste, Hummus, israeli saladand all kinds of salads Persian-style kabob
There are various types of barbecued Persian Kabob. The main type is koobideh kabob, which is seasoned ground beef that is skewered and barbecued outside on a charcoal flame. There is also a marinated chicken kabob called joojeh kabob and a filet mignon steak kabob, called kabob barg. Both are skewered as well. All three main types of Persian kabob are usually served with Iranian style saffron rice and
salad Shirazi, but can also be eaten with middle eastern lavashbread.
braai(abbreviation of "braaivleis", Afrikaans"meat grill") started out as a major social tradition amongst the Afrikanerpeople of Southern Africa, though the tradition has since been adopted by South Africans of all ethnic backgrounds. The word "braai" is very popular in South Africa; it replaces the standard English word "barbecue," which is almost never used in South Africa, except on chips packages. One won't find "barbecue wood" or "wood for the barbecue" in the supermarket; instead one will find "braaiwood".
Germans are enthusiastic about their version of barbecue, grilling ("Grillen"), especially in the summertime. It is the one area of traditional home cooking that is a predominantly male activity. Germans grill over charcoal or, increasingly, gas, and grilled meats include all of the local sausage variations as well as steaks (especially marinaded pork steaks from the shoulder) and poultry. Regional festivals feature grilled items ranging from eel to trout, whole sides of pork or beef, chicken, and duck. Smoking is common practice in German butchering, but pure smoke-based techniques have not yet entered popular practice. Barbecue variations are also popular among the immigrant communities in
Germany, with notable traditions of outdoor grilling in Germany developed by immigrants and visitors from the United States of America, Turkey, Greece, other Balkan States, and among the German-speaking immigrees from the states of the former Soviet Union.
Barbecuing is popular in
Mediterraneancountries. It is influenced from traditional Mediterranean gourmetcooking. Olive oilis a key part of the Mediterranean barbecue style, as it is in the region's gourmet cuisine. The most common items grilled are chicken, beef steaks, souvlakis/ brochettes, and pita bread, with other traditional Mediterranean ingredients. Often, many barbecue items are garnished with various herbs and spices; basic persilladeand variations are often put on top of the meat.
United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
Barbecuing is a popular
al frescocooking and eating style, common in both the United Kingdomand the Republic of Ireland. Many homes in both countries have a barbecue, usually located in the home's back garden. Most popular are steel-built "kettle" and range-style barbecues, with wheels to facilitate moving the barbecue. Due to the typically wet weather of the climate of the British Isles, during the autumn and winter, many British and Irish people store their barbecues in a garden shed or garage, although permanent brick barbecues are also common.
In recent times, barbecue competitions are beginning to take place in the United Kingdom, similar to those in the United States. Some of these barbecue competitons allow teams from Ireland to compete as well. Similar competitions are also held in Canada, continental Europe, and Australia.
The most common foods cooked on a British-style barbecue are
chicken, hamburgers, sausages, beef steaks, shish kebabs, and vegetarian soya or quornbased products. Such vegetarian products require extra attention due to their lower fat content and thus tendency to stick, as well as their weaker structure due to the manufacturing process of such foods. Less common food items include fish, prawns, lobster, halloumi (cheese), corn-on-the-cob, potatoes, asparagus, pork fillets, pork patties, and pork or beef ribs. Similar to the United States, barbecue sauceis sometimes spread onto the meat while it is cooking. All the major supermarket chains now offer a range of barbecue products, although availability is usually limited to the duration of the "barbecue season" (late spring to early autumn).
Barbecue in the UK is mostly influenced by traditional English, Scottish, and Welsh cuisines. However, as modern
British cuisineas a whole is also heavily influenced by its multi-ethnic minority communities, Continental Western European and Mediterranean cuisines, and to a lesser extent, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Oriental cuisines, may occasionally influence the food cooked at the British barbecue. For example, in addition to barbecue sauce, persillademay be put on top of the meat as a garnish. Overall, British barbecue is similar to a mix of American, Australian, German, and Mediterranean styles.
In the Republic of Ireland, the Irish people have their own tradition of barbecue which is influenced by traditional
Irish cuisine. As with British homes, many Irish homes also have a barbecue. In addition to meat, potatoes are also grilled, and barbecue sauce is spread onto the meat while cooking. As with the United Kingdom and the other islands of the British Isles, the barbecue season is somewhat limited due to its climate. Overall, the Irish barbecue style is similar to a mix of American, UK, and Australian styles.
Canadian barbecue takes many influences from its American neighbor down south, but also takes influences from British, Irish, French, and Australian barbecue styles. The most common items grilled on a Canadian barbecue are chicken, burgers, ribs, steaks, sausages, and shish kebabs. As in the United States, barbecue competitions are quite common.
Although regional differences in barbecue are blurring, as are many other aspects of U.S. regional culture, variations still exist.The USA is known for its barbecues. Much of the population barbecues every year. One of the most frequent days for barbecueing is Independence Day, celebrated on July 4th. Americans tend to barbecue meats such as ribs, pork, beef, spam, etc.
Alabama barbecue most often consists of
pork ribsor pork shoulder, slowly cooked over hickory smoke. Pork shoulder may be served either chopped or sliced; some diners also specify a preference for either "inside" or "outside" meat. Alabama barbecue is typically served with a spicy, tomato-based sauce, although a mayonnaise-based sauce is popular in the extreme north of the state. One of the more well known barbecue establishments in Alabama is Dreamland Barbecue. With its flagship restaurant in Tuscaloosa, it also has restaurants in Huntsville, Mobile, Birmingham, Northport,Montgomery, and Atlanta. It is known primarily for its Barbecue ribs.
Located between California and Texas, Arizona barbecue is similar to Texas barbecue, but also takes Californian and Missouri-style traits. Ribs, chicken, steak, and sausage are popular in this state. There are many barbecue restaurants in Arizona that serve Deep Southern-style barbecue as well, adding to Arizona's barbecue influences. As Arizona is a southwestern state, the barbecue style is influenced by southwestern cuisine. The barbecue sauce used in Arizona is tomato-based, as are all western states.
Arkansasis in some ways a crossroads of American barbecue. This is largely due to its location -- firmly rooted in the Deep Southbut close enough to the Midwest, Texas, and Tennessee to incorporate Kansas City, Memphis, and Texas-style barbecue traits. It is one of three states that act as a crossroads for American barbecue; the other two are Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Like all true southern barbecue, meat is never exposed to high or direct heat. Instead it is smoked at low temperatures for long periods of time (over 6-24 hours for many cuts of pork).
Pork and beef appear on almost all menus, although pork is more popular in the Delta than in the Ozarks. Arkansas-style ribs are a key attraction and similar to those had in Memphis, which lies across the Mississippi River from Arkansas.
A unique feature of barbecue in Arkansas is prevalence of chicken, evidence of a particularly strong poultry processing industry led by companies including Arkansas-based
Tyson Foods, as well as ConAgraand Pilgrim's Pride. Barbecue chicken, Arkansas-style, is sometimes marinated with a "dry rub", smoked, and divided into edible portions after it is completely cooked. Most has sauce applied within the last few minutes of cooking. Barbecue sauce can be applied by the eater.
Another characteristic of Arkansas barbecue is that a barbecued pork or beef sandwich is usually served with a thin layer of
cole slawatop and/or underneath the meat. Arkansas cole slaw, which is not as sweet or creamy as found in other states, provides a toothsome crunch and prevents the sauce from soaking into the bread. Barbecue sandwiches are traditionally served on slices of white bread. Additional cole slaw and potato salad are traditional side dishes.
The best illustration of the confluence of culinary influences that come together to make Arkansas barbecue is the sauce. Most restaurant have a thin tomato base sauce that is vinegary and peppery, much like its Deep South ancestors, but incorporates some of the sweetness found in Kansas City-style sauces. To varying degree, Arkansas sauces contain a sweetener (usually
sorghum molasses), but many are not thick and never taste syrupy. They are, however, noticeably smoother (i.e., less acidic) than eastern sauces, particularly those from eastern Carolina.
Arkansas sauces tend to be spicier than those found in other states. Most restaurants serve at least two different sorts of sauce — “regular” and “hot”. The “hot” variety incorporates more pepper into the already spicy “regular” sauce.
Notable barbecue establishments includeFact|date=December 2007 [http://www.mcclards.com McClard's] in Hot Springs, which developed a national reputation decades before one of its most loyal patrons,
Bill Clinton, was elected president. (The earliest days of the restaurant, during the 1920s, featured goatas a primary meat.) [http://www.wholehogcafe.com Whole Hog Cafe] in Little Rock also has developed a national following in recent years, winning dozens of national competitions.
In northern California, many BBQ restaurants serve
tofu, tempehand Portobello mushrooms for vegetarians, in addition to barbecue. Oakland is a center for traditional BBQ and other soul food side dishes.
The most famous Californian barbecue is Santa Maria style, in the central part of the state, with its unique 2-3 inch cut of
top sirloinor tri-tipsteak, more popular is the whole cut of tri-tip, which resembles a roast, served with pinquito pink beans, grilled french bread, and salsa. The tri-tip is rolled in garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper just prior to grilling over red oak wood or coals. Some old timers soak their tri-tip in a flat beer marinade the night before grilling, while others use a red wine vinegar, tomato, and oil basting barbecue sauce during the grilling The most common seasoning when preparing tri-tip for the pit is a commercial blend, Susie Q's. It is usually liberally applied and rubbed deep into the meat to assist in the searing process. [ [http://www.santamaria.com/visit/section_visitor/barbecue.html Visitor Info | Santa Maria Style Barbecue ] ]
Tri-tip is the tetrahedron shaped tips of a sirloin portion that many butchers consider waste and cut into stew meat or shish kebabs, or grind into burgers or sausages. [ [http://old.cbbqa.org/meat/beef/tritip/NameSantaMaria.html The Name "Santa Maria" ] ]
Other common items grilled on a Californian barbecue include chicken and ribs. The California barbecue scene is influenced by the southwestern styles from Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico.
There are three variants of barbecue in Florida, based on the parts of the state. The first is the Deep Southern style, found mainly in northern Florida, which is influenced by the barbecue styles of states such as Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia. The second is
Floribbeanbarbecue, found in central Florida, which is a hybrid of Deep Southern and Caribbean barbecue styles. The third is tropical barbacoa, found in southern Florida, which is Floribbean barbecue further mixed with Latin American cuisine. Barbacoa was brought to southern Florida by immigrants from Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, and blends Mexican, Cuban, Jamaican, Bahamian, and American Deep Southern barbecue traits. Overall, Floridian barbecue as a whole is best described as a mix of Deep Southern and Caribbean styles, with occasional Latino influences. The Latino-Floribbean barbacoa is loosely comparable to Tex-Mex cuisinein that there are some Mexican influences in Latino-Floribbean cuisine, as Mexican dishes such as fajitas and nachos are popular in Florida as they are in Texas.
In northern Florida, the southeastern pulled pork style of barbecue extends from Georgia into Florida with minor variations. In addition to pulled pork, baby back ribs, pork patties (sausage patties, rib patties, or spam), pork fillets, short ribs, chicken, steak, brisket, burgers, string sausages, and shish kebabs, local Floridian meats such as
mullet, a type of fish, are also smoked. Other seafoods such as shrimp and lobster are also routinely grilled over direct heat.
In central Florida, the local barbecue style mixes traits of Northern Floridian (Deep Southern) barbecue with traits of Caribbean barbecue, particularly from the Bahamas, due to its proximity to Central Florida. It basically takes the same items grilled on a Deep Southern barbecue and mixes it with tropical flavors. The meat may also be marinated and sometimes be decorated with fruits, similar to a mix of Hawaiian and Australian barbecue styles.
In southern Florida, the influx of Cuban immigrants has brought with it a style of cooking pork shoulder outdoors in which the pork is marinated in
mojo, a marinade including sour orange juice and garlic, and then placed in a caja china, (literally "Chinese box"), a wooden box clad on the inside with metal, and with hot coals placed in a tray on the top. When the pork is completely done, the resulting texture is very similar to American-style pulled pork.
In general, it can be said that Georgia barbecue is based on
pork, which is slow-cooked over an open pit stoked with oakand/or hickoryand served with a sauce based on ketchup, molasses, bourbon, garlic, cayenne pepper, and other ingredients. However, the reality is that barbecue culture in Georgia represents an enormous range of styles, traditions, and influences. As such, Georgia can be accurately assessed as a melting pot of regional variations where almost any sauce or cooking style can be found.
Barbecue in the Eastern part of the state (from St.Simons Island to Augusta) is somewhat unusual in that it consists almost universally of finely chopped pork - usually from a shoulder or
hamcut - served with a side of hash(a thick, tomato-based stewoften flavored with meat drippings and other vegetables) over long grain white rice. Occasionally, ribs, chicken, and/or beefbrisket accompanies pork on the menu, but all meats are slow cooked "bare" (i.e. without the addition of spice rubs or sauces) over wood coals and served accompanied by "hash and rice" and sweet pickles. Mustard-based potato salador traditional mayonnaise-dressing coleslawoften completes the meal as a side dish, and many of the most famous purveyors of this style of barbecue offer almost nothing else on the menu. Sauces typical of East Georgia barbecue consist of a ketchupand/or vinegarbase with exotic flavors like worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, honey, and even clovesometimes added.
Middle Georgia barbecue restaurants (from Macon to Atlanta) most often serve
Brunswick stewinstead of hash, and are more apt to offer additional side items, including (but not limited to) french fries, onion rings, baked beans, and potato chips. The meat in "middle Georgia barbecue" shows similar diversity, as restaurants in this area regularly offer beef brisket, ribs, chicken, and sometimes smoked sausagein addition to the traditional shoulder-cut chipped pork. Accompanying sauces are often in the vein of the "bourbon and ketchup"-based styles described above.
Northeast Georgia barbecue - centered around the city of Athens and its neighboring counties, but extending upward along
Interstate 85into South Carolina- has much in common with the style of barbecue typically found in eastern South Carolina(see below.) Most restaurants in the region serve a more finely-chopped pork most often taken from a slow roasted whole hog, rather than just a pork shoulder. Meat is served with a thinner, vinegar-based sauce, and pulled pork sandwichesare especially popular.
West Georgia barbecue, centered in the city of Columbus, holds a great deal in common with Alabama-style barbecue. Restaurants in this area of the state typically serve a mustard and
vinegarbased barbecue sauce which often features the addition of jalapenos or other hot peppers. Meats in West Georgia barbecue are more typically cooked over oak(particularly White Oak) coals, and are often served along with dill (rather than sweet) pickles and/or grilled slices of Vidalia onion. The West Georgia style also typically features the greatest variety of side dish offerings, often including "country vegetables" such as sweet potatoes, collard greens, lima beans, and corn. West Georgia barbecue is sometimes served with cornbread, although the more traditional offering of white breadas an accompanying starch is still most common.
Barbecue of North Georgia, particularly those counties around Chattanooga shares many traits with the typical "smokey" Tennessee style, while South Georgia Barbecue, centered in and around Albany, Thomasville and Valdosta, shares qualities with its North Florida neighbors, including the use of dry spice rubs and a
hickory-based smoke for cooking. Vienna, Georgiais notable as the home of The Big Pig Jig, [http://www.bigpigjig.com/] one of the Southeast's largest porkbarbecue cook-offs, which has been featured on the Food Network.
Atlanta truly epitomizes the reputation of Georgia as a "melting pot" of barbecue styles, as virtually every style found within the state - as well as those typical of Kansas City, St. Louis, Texas, Chicago and the Caribbean - are not only present but commonplace. Yet despite the tremendous diversity of barbecue styles present in Georgia, one factor remains constant throughout the entire state, the presence of "
sweet tea" as the perpetual accompanying beverageto a barbecue meal.
Arguably, Georgia's most famous "original" contribution to the barbecue world is
Brunswick stew, named after Brunswick, Georgiawhere tradition holds that it originated.
In Hawaii, the local barbecue style is mainly influenced by those of the South Pacific Islands of Oceania. However, many immigrants from the mainland brought their own styles into Hawaii and mixed it into the Hawaiian barbecue scene. The meats are glazed with sauce, cooked over Kiawe and Guava wood, and decorated with fruits when it is served. Overall, Hawaiian barbecue is best described as a mix of mainland American barbecue and Pacific Island barbecue styles.
In Kentucky, barbecue also has a long and rich tradition. Mutton is the most notable specialty in Western Kentucky, where there were once large populations of sheep. However, mutton is virtually unknown in The Purchase of the extreme west, where "barbecue" without any other qualifier refers specifically to smoked pork shoulder. A vinegar- and tomato-based sauce with a mixture of spice and sweet is traditionally served with the meat, though not always used in cooking. The
Moonlite Bar-B-Q Innin Owensboro is the most famous of all Kentucky BBQ places, and Owensboro hosts an International Bar-B-Q Festivalevery year during the second weekend in May. Western Kentucky BBQ (more specifically, Purchase BBQ) has also been transplanted to Lexington by way of Billy's BBQ near downtown, a favorite among University of Kentuckybasketball and football fans. A great deal of "Kentucky barbecue" has found its way into southern Indiana, where it has earned widespread favor. Traditionally, a combination of hickory and oak is burnt.
Louisiana is another crossroad point in American barbecue. The local barbecue style mixes Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, and Deep South barbecue traits with additional influences from
Cajun cuisineand Louisiana Creole cuisine. Chicken, ribs, steak, and sausage are very common in the state. In addition, brochette, which consists of meat, vegetables, and bread on a stick, also known as shish kebabor souvlaki, is also cooked in the Louisiana barbecue due to the influence of Cajun cuisine, which is in turn influenced by French cuisine, a major branch of Mediterranean cuisine. As with other states, barbecue sauce is spread over the meat, but Louisiana in particular sometimes adds a garnish known as persillade, and olive oilmay also be used.
Like its neighbor Alabama, Mississippians prefer pork to other meats, usually pork shoulder, or whole hog. Most restaurants serve only pulled pork, though some also serve chicken halves. Unlike the surrounding states, a purely vinegar-based sauce is preferred; in fact, many sauciers take a great deal of pride in using absolutely no tomato in their creations.
Though most barbecue in Mississippi is pork shoulder slow-cooked in a smoker (either a drum, or a converted shed), special events call for open-pit barbecue, which is still common practice in some parts of Mississippi. A whole, freshly slaughtered hog is brought to the site very early in the morning while a pit, generally half a foot deep by several feet wide and broad, is filled with hickory wood. The wood is allowed to burn to coals before a grill is laid down, and the hog is smoked whole over the embers. The process usually takes an entire day, and if begun early enough, is ready for dinner. There are numerous pig-cooking competitions throughout Mississippi each year, one of which is the "Pig Cookoff" at April's Super Bulldog Weekend at
Mississippi State University. Another, held during the annual Rivergate Festival in Tunica is one of several qualifying preliminary competitions for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in nearby Memphis, Tennessee.
Famous barbecue joints includeFact|date=December 2007 [http://www.leathas.com/ Leatha's Bar-B-Que Inn] in Hattiesburg, [http://www.littledooey.com/ The Little Dooey] in Columbus and Starkville, Sonny's in Starkville (both favorites of
Mississippi State Universitystudents), and Sonny's Real Pit BBQ (no relation) in Jackson.
In Missouri, beef is a popular meat for barbecue, especially in the Ozarks. Often the beef is sliced and a tomato-based sauce is added after cooking. About half of the supply of charcoal briquets in the USA is produced from Ozark forests (e.g., Kingsford brand), with hickory "flavor" being very popularFact|date=December 2007.
St. Louis-style barbecueoften uses pork and features a sauce that is typically tangier and thinner than its Kansas City cousin, with less vinegar taste. It somewhat resembles the Memphis style sauce. Maull's barbecue sauceis representative of the St. Louis style. The most famous barbecue competition in St. Louis is held annually during the July 4th holiday at Fair St. Louis.
A quick and easy Missouri-style barbecue sauce can be made from mostly ketchup, some brown sugar, a little mustard, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
Kansas City is sometimes referred to as the "world capital of barbecue." There are more than 100 barbecue restaurants in the city and the
American Royaleach fall claims to host the world's biggest barbecue contest.
Kansas City barbecue typically consists of brisket and
burnt ends, pork, lamb, and beef ribs, steaks, chicken, and turkey. Meat is more often sliced than shredded. Kansas City barbecue is served with the sauce on the side, or mixed into the meat, depending on the establishment or personal preference. Kansas City style uses a sweet, spicy sauce with a tomato base.
The classic Kansas City-style barbecue was an
inner cityphenomenon that evolved from the pit of Henry Perryfrom the Memphis, Tennesseearea in the early 1900s and blossomed in the 18th and Vine neighborhoodFact|date=December 2007. Arthur Bryant'swas to take over the Perry restaurant and added molassesto sweeten the recipe. In 1946 Gates and Sons Bar-B-Qwas opened by one of Perry's cooks. The Gates recipe added even more molasses. Although Bryant's and Gates are the two definitive Kansas City barbecue restaurantsFact|date=December 2007 they have had little or no luck exporting the barbecue beyond the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Rich Davis, a child psychologist, test marketed his own concoction called "K.C. Soul Style Barbecue" Sauce. He renamed it KC Masterpieceand in 1986 he sold the sauce to the Kingsford division of Clorox. Davis retained rights to operate restaurants using the name and sauce. Only one of the restaurants remains in the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas.Fact|date=December 2007
In Nevada, the local barbecue style blends traits from Texas, Arizona, and California, as well as from the Deep South. The sauce is vinegar based, and chicken, ribs, sausages, and steaks are the most common items grilled.
Within North Carolina, there are two regional barbecue traditions, both based on the slow-cooking of pork, served pulled, or chopped. In
Eastern North Carolina, typically the whole hog is used, and the dominant ingredients in the 'sauce' are vinegar and hot peppers. In the Piedmont, Lexington-style barbecue is the norm. It is prepared from primarily pork shoulder and served with a mix of vinegar-based and tomato-based sauce. The western style of barbecue is a tomato- based sauce. The tomato-based sauce, called "dip" by some, can be made with ketchup and is thinner and less sweet than most bottled barbecue sauces available nationwide. Except for the "whole hog" preparation, hams are not generally barbecued. Throughout the State, the term "barbecue" refers to slow cooked pork. It is almost never used to refer to a backyard cookout. Any meat basted in a barbecue sauce and cooked over heat can be called "barbecued," for example, "barbecued chicken" or "barbecued ribs." A common home preparation called "chicken barbecue" is oven-braised chicken pieces with a sauce, usually thin and slightly spicy.
Common side dishes include
hushpuppies, barbecue slaw, french fries, boiled potatoes, corn sticks, Brunswick stew, fried okra, and collard greensfollowed with cold sweet tea. In the popular North Carolina State Legislative Buildingcafeteria, accompaniments include fried pickle. Also popular is the "barbecue sandwich," consisting of barbecue, vinegar/pepper sauce, and sweet cole slaw served on a hamburger bun. A "barbecue tray" is a thick paper rectangular bowl with barbecue and french fries or hushpuppies served side-by-side. The meat may already have sauce mixed in, or the diner may add his own.
Lexington's well-known annual [http://www.barbecuefestival.com/ Barbecue Festival] is normally held on one of the last two Saturdays in October. Attesting to its popularity, Carolina-style barbecue restaurants are scattered along the Eastern seaboard and tubs of NC chopped barbecue can be found in many grocers.
The third crossroad point of American barbecue, the
Oklahomabarbecue style reflects the state's geographic location. Located south of Kansas City, north of Texas and west of Memphis, Oklahomans like the beef brisket favored by their neighbors in Texas, the sweet spicy sauce typical of Kansas City and the pork ribs that are found in Memphis. However, Oklahoma barbecue also includes pork, chicken, sausage, and bologna. In Oklahoma, barbecue refers to meat that has been slowly cooked over wood smoke at a very low temperature, for a very long time. The woods most commonly used for smoking meat include hickory, oak, and pecan.
South Carolina features four types of barbecue sauces: mustard, vinegar, heavy tomato, and light tomato. The meat used in South Carolina is consistent throughout the state, slow-cooked pulled pork. In the Palmetto State, barbecue is a noun, meaning hickory-smoked, pulled pork. You will never hear a South Carolinian refer to grilling hamburgers as barbecuing. In the
Pee Deeand Lowcountry coastal region, a vinegarand pepper sauce is prevalent. Charleston(more specifically, Mount Pleasant) is home to Sticky Fingers, a rib house who uses all four sauces. In the Midlands area around Columbia, a mustard-based sauce sometimes referred to as "Carolina Gold" is the predominant style. Such establishments as [http://www.melvinsbbq.com/ Melvin's] (2 locations in Charleston, SC), [http://www.mauricesbbq.com/ Maurice Bessinger's "Piggie Park"] , [http://www.shealysbbq.com/ Shealy's] and Jackie Hites* (both located in Batesburg-Leesville) and Dukes BBQ (3 locations in Orangeburg, SC) use gold sauce made from mustard, apple juice, brown sugar, and other ingredients. The German immigrants, who first concocted mustard-based sauce, often used beer in place of apple juice. Maurice's BBQ sauce is found in grocery stores around the country. In upcountry around Rock Hill, one finds the light tomato and the rest of the upcountry stretching down past Aiken is home to the heavy tomato sauce. In addition to pork, other popular BBQ dishes include hash and ribs. Barbecue in South Carolina is often served over rice, and with such sides as fatback, cracklins, hash, cole slaw, hush puppies, potato salad, etc. No barbecue meal is complete without a glass of cold, sweet tea to accompany it.
While Memphis dominates the culture of
Tennesseebarbecue, some other restaurants in other cities have achieved some notoriety outside of their local markets. Ridgewood Barbeque in Elizabethton has been featured in national publications and network television for its smoked sliced pork, drenched in a light, spicy tomato-based sauce. Still in its original location, Ridgewood has served a variety of notable clientèle over the past six decades, including country musicstars and NASCARdrivers who race in nearby Bristol. Bar-B-Cutie Bar-B-Que in Nashville is a popular destination for tourists, and Sticky Fingers, a chain based in Charleston, South Carolina, but whose founders hail from Chattanooga, has overcome the stigma that hardcore barbecue fans tend to attach to chains and is widely regarded throughout the southeast for its ribs. Traditional Tennessee barbecue is saucy, slow-cooked pork ribs or pulled/sliced pork shoulder, though beef brisket (and sometimes sliced roast beef served with sauce) is also popular. The molassescontent in the sauce usually becomes less pronounced in middle and east Tennessee, causing the sauces there to be thinner and less sweet. These eastern varieties more frequently use ketchupas a base, sometimes adding small amounts of Tabasco sauceor jalapeñofor flavor.
In recent years it has become increasingly common for restaurants in the far eastern part of the state to serve the meat "dry" and offer customers a choice of either tomato or "Eastern Carolina-style" vinegar-based sauces. The use of
cole slawas a condiment on sandwiches varies from location to location. Typical side dishes include french fries, baked potatoes, potato salad, cornon the cob, barbecue beans, cole slaw, green beans, white beans, dinner rolls, and collard greens. Most barbecue restaurants are locally owned, no-frills establishments, though a handful of fast food chains (such as Buddy's BBQ in the Knoxville area) and several more upscale "rib houses" have proven popular regionally.
One particular area of interest is Robertson County (i.e. Springfield and surrounding areas, or the northern middle portion of the state, approximately 30 minutes to an hour north of Nashville), in which the norm is to serve pulled pork shoulder (or sometimes, pulled whole-hog barbecue) or a half- or whole-chicken with a finishing sauce consisting of almost pure apple cider vinegar, with a bit of ground cayenne pepper (sometimes with more pepper in a mild, medium, or hot choice), and perhaps some Coca-Cola for a little sweetening, depending on the establishment. This is a very similar sauce to the vinegar-based sauce served by the Athens, Alabama-originated Whitt's Barbecue chain of restaurants, now a very popular chain in Nashville-area/Middle Tennessee. While vinegar-based, the sauce is still rather different from the eastern North Carolina style of sauce, primarily due to the exclusion of ground black pepper, but is also different than much of the rest of the state (especially Memphis) in the lack of any tomato-based ingredients. Sometimes, the sauce may also be used as a "mop" sauce, applied during cooking, often with the addition of a vegetable oil (usually canola) to help adhesion to the meat. Common side dishes include a choice between a mayonnaise-based coleslaw or a mayonnaise-and-mustard-based potato-salad, as well as either slow-cooked white beans (usually Navy or Great Northern beans, usually cooked slow and low with bacon, ham, or other fatty pork meats) or "baked beans" which are again usually a white bean slow-cooked with pork, and then baked with a sauce of tomatoes, vinegar, and sometimes with brown sugar or molasses (but less frequently than in other parts of the country). The usual bread accompaniment is mass-produced "brown-and-serve" dinner rolls, or a cornbread dish, which can vary from cornbread-griddle-cakes to slices of sweetened cornbread baked in an oven in a cast-iron skillet.
Memphis-style barbecue is known for
*wet ribs, made with a mild, sweet barbecue sauce that's basted on the ribs before and after smoking;
*dry-rub ribs, made with a spice rub applied during or right after they've been cooked; and
*pulled or chopped
porksandwich topped with sweet, finely chopped coleslawand served on hamburger buns, which some locals insist is Memphis barbecue's highest form.For people who simply can't get enough barbecue, there's also barbecue spaghetti, barbecue pizza, and barbecue nachos.
Memphis is also home to the
Memphis in MayWorld Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (WCBCC), an annual event which regularly draws over 90,000 porklovers from around the globe. The title of "the largest porkbarbecue cooking contest in the world" was bestowed on the WCBCC in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records[http://blog.commercialappeal.com/bbq/archives/2005/05/history_of_worl.html] .
It is also home to over 100 barbecue restaurants, including [http://www.corkysbbq.com/ Corky's] , [http://www.hogsfly.com/ Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous] , [http://www.commissarybbq.com/ the Germantown Commissary] , [http://www.leonardsbarbecue.com/ Leonard's] , [http://www.pig-n-whistle.com/ Pig-N-Whistle] , [http://www.centralbbq.net/index.html Central BBQ] , [http://www.dancingpigs.com/ the Bar-B-Q Shop] , [http://www.hogwildbbq.com/ Hog Wild Barbecue] , [http://www.jimneelysinterstatebarbecue.com/ Interstate Barbecue] , Gridley's, Three Little Pigs, Tops Barbecue, and Cozy Corner. Several have been so successful that they have branches dedicated to shipping barbecue overnight via FedEx (especially convenient for these restaurants, as the primary hub for FedEx is
Memphis International Airport).
In much of the world outside of the American South, barbecue has a close association with
Texas. Texas barbecue is often assumed to be primarily beef. This assumption, along with the inclusive term "Texas Barbecue" is an oversimplification. Texas has four main regional styles of barbecue, all with different flavors, different cooking methods, different ingredients, and different cultural origins. East Texasbarbecue is an extension of traditional southern barbecue, similar to that found in Tennessee and Arkansas. It is primarily pork-based, with cuts such as pork shoulder and pork ribs, indirectly slow smoked over primarily hickory wood. The sauce is tomato-based, sweet, and thick. This is also the most common urban barbecue in Texas, spread by African-Americans when they settled in big cities like Houstonand Dallas. Walsh, Robb. Legends of Texas Barbecue. Chronicle Books, 2002.] Central Texaswas settled by German and Czech settlers in the mid 1800s, and they brought with them European-style meat markets, which would smoke leftover cuts of pork and beef, often with high heat, using primarily native oak and pecan. The European settlers did not think of this meat as barbecue, but the Anglo farm workers who bought it started calling it such, and the name stuck. Traditionally this barbecue is served without sauce, and with no sides other than saltine crackers, pickles, and onions. This style is found in the Barbecue Belt southeast of Austin, with Lockhartas its capital.
The border between the
South TexasPlains and Northern Mexicohas always been blurry, and this area of Texas, as well as its barbecue style, are mostly influenced by Mexican tastes. The area was the birthplace of the Texas ranching tradition, and the Mexican farmhands were often partially paid for their work in less desirable cuts of meat, such as the diaphragm, from which fajitasare made, and the cow's head. It is the cow's head which defines South Texas barbecue, called barbacoa. They would wrap the head in wet maguey leaves and bury it in a pit with hot coals for several hours, and then pull off the meat for barbacoa tacos. The tongue is also used to make lenguatacos. Today, barbacoa is mostly cooked in an oven in a bain-marie
The last style of Texas Barbecue also originated from Texas ranching traditions, but was developed in the western third of the state by Anglo ranchers. This style of "Cowboy" barbecue, cooked over an open pit using direct heat from
mesquite, is the style most closely associated with Texas barbecue in popular imagination. The meat is primarily beef, shoulder clods and brisket being favorite cuts, but mutton and goat are also often found in this barbecue style.
In northern Illinois (including
Chicago), Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northern Indiana, and Michigan, barbecue typically means a cut of meat with bone-in, either slow-cooked or cooked over an open flame. No-bone cuts of meat are usually said to be grilled, and are almost exclusively seared using dry direct heat. Fire, in the Upper Midwestern style, is necessary for barbecue; similar slow-cooked meat dishes prepared in an oven or a Crock-Potare quite tasty, but not barbecue. Most of these bone-in meat cuts are beef and pork spareribs, and chicken quarters (thigh and drumstick together). Beef brisket has become increasingly popular in recent years. Restaurant chains named "Carson's Ribs", " Famous Dave's", and "Robinson's" use these meats with a variety of sauce styles. In portions of the Midwestbarbecue is also a name for a sloppy joesandwich.
Upper-Midwesterners typically serve barbecued meat with corn on the cob and baked potato (with butter, sour cream and chives) as side dishes, and sometimes baked beans and
Chicago is an exception to the rule in the Midwest. It has a very large population of African Americans who migrated from the Mississippi Delta in the middle of the 20th century. The million or so African Americans who live in Chicago today inherited the food, music, and religion of their parents and grandparents. The barbecue described in the Memphis, Arkansas, and Mississippi sections of this entry has become a part of the Chicago landscape and has evolved since leaving the South. South- and West-side Chicago is noted for smoked ribs and Deep South style rib sauce.
Many of the migrants to Chicago came for jobs in the meatpacking industry at the time Chicago was still known as the hogbutcher to the world. Pork spare ribs served with hot or mild sauce are a product of this happy cultural confluence. While barbecue is typically associated with tough cuts of meat, barbecue ribs in Chicago tend to be from very good cuts of pork, perhaps because of the abundance of good meat and resulting higher expectations in this meat industry town.
It is arguable whether Virginia has a BBQ tradition of its own--other than to realize that BBQ is a noun, never a verb. Much of the BBQ that exists in Virginia is found near the Tidewater region. Pork is the main offering, but chicken is often available, as are pork ribs. Meat from pork shoulders--"Boston butts"--is pit or smoker cooked. The more North Carolina-inclined places serve the meat dry and offer vinegar-based and tomato-based vinegary sauces. Some places offer smoked, minced pork in a light tomato/vinegar sauce, perhaps best fitting the appellation "Virginia BBQ" although very similar to some North Carolina BBQ. Most will, however, serve cole slaw on the sandwich as part of the deal. Given how many restaurants and stands offer "North Carolina BBQ" it is permissible to let the reader decide for him or herself whether there is a genuine variation or not.
In the Pacific Northwest, barbecue is approached using different smoking techniques and is primarily used for cooking salmon. In early spring, Native Americans living near the Columbia River celebrate the first appearance of returning Chinook salmon with outdoor feasts, which are repeated, in backyards and restaurants, until the middle of fall.
Through the summer, when silver and pink salmon is especially affordable, grills are crowded with the tender flesh of salmon. A few places in Seattle cook salmon the ancient way (on cedar sticks), while others add twists of their own.
Traditionally, the salmon are cut in long, wide strips along either side of the backbone. Then the fillets should be speared on skinny cedar sticks, while smaller twigs are used to stretch the fish sideways. When completed, this looks like a rib system, but it keeps the salmon from curling while cooking.
The fish-on-a-stick is then placed upright, about three feet from the firepit, and cooked slowly for about half an hour. This method keeps the juices intact; placing the fish any closer to the fire dries it out. When finished, the meat will break away in moist layers.
Other items cooked on a Washington barbecue include chicken, sausage, and steak.
In Mexico, the
carne asada(literally meaning "roasted meat") consists of marinated cuts of beef rubbed with salt and pepper, and then grilled. Normally, it is accompanied with tortillas. This dish is more common in Northern Mexico, however in Central Mexicoit can be also found.
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