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What’s Your Favorite Style of Barbecue?

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August 27, 2012

What’s Your Favorite Style of Barbecue?

By David Draper

I’m not sure what it is about the smoking process that makes a guy want to just pull up a chair, crack a beer, and start thinking. That’s precisely what I did last Sunday, wasting away the afternoon watching the cherry smoke roll out of my Smoke Vault, as I waited for some chicken quarters to finish cooking. What did I think about? Anything and everything, but I really got down to considering just what was the best barbecue I’d ever eaten.

Let me preface this by saying I am far from the last word in barbecue, as I haven’t spent nearly enough time in Texas towns like Lexington, Lockhart, or Luling (not to mention Austin or Abilene). I have enjoyed some good ’cue in Kansas City at both Jack Stack’s and Gates and Sons (but no Arthur Bryant’s or Oklahoma Joe’s, yet).

However, despite the fact that I’ve never actually eaten it in-state, I have to say my favorite, if I had to pick just one, is that unique blend of mustard and vinegar that makes up the sauce of much of South Carolina. I’ve only had it once, here in Nebraska, in a pulled-pork recipe I adapted from an old copy of Cook’s Country, but it was a revelation of fat and acid and tang.

I know my pick is probably fighting words for some, so let’s hear it. What’s your favorite barbecue?

Comments (14)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I take sweet Baby Rays, mix in some Red Hot, take a beef brisket or venison roast, season and marrinade it with garlic pwder, onion powder, and peppar flakes, and montreal steak seasoning, marinade for 4 days mixing and adding more sauce, then cook it all day in the crock pot,

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I like North Carolina style vinegarey sauce myself. Love to fire up my charcoal smoker. Like you said Dave, better have some beer on hand when the smoker is going, and not just for soaking the chips.
Most store bought sauces can be greatly improved with a little vinegar and my spice rub. i often make my own sauce. The smoker, however, must not be rushed. Pull up a chair

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I prefer KC style barbecue with Texas close behind.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FOX wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

PA chicken barbecue. you can't say you live in pa until you have Kaufman's chicken at your local fire house.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I can't say I like one over the other. Eating too much of one can burn a guy out, I like to mix it up and eat them all. Variety

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryffel wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

For me, it would depend on what I'm eating. Ribs, I like KC style, Brisket would be Texas. Chicken is good with the marinade from Dinosaur BBQ in Upstate NY. Just to many choices out there that are great to settle on a favorite!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Pulled pork or baby back ribs dry Memphis style with homemade rub and basting sauce. Actually I don't think I even ate any kind of barbeque that I didn't like. Remember barbeque has to be "low and slow", low temperature over many hours, you want to be able to see the smoke line in the meat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2lb.test wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

The only barbecue I don't like is bad barbecue, all the different styles are what keeps it interesting, but I'm from SC and the mustard/vinegar combo is tops with the eastern NC vinegar style a close second.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Smoked Pulled pork I like the North Carolina vinegar style. RIbs I like with a Memphis dry rub (Spare Ribs) or baby back KC BBQ sauce. Brisket is best done texas style. Chickens are done beer can style with a dry rub and baste. Everything must be cooked low and slow with smoke. A mixture of apple and pecan for chicken. Pecan hickory for ribs and straight hickory for brisket

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mdsulli2 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I agree with DSMbirddog but also like the Memphis no sauce ribs. Carolina mustard based sauces is something else but the Carolina ketchup based sauces are good for a change of pace.Josh Giannino, You should try Bull's eye with cayenne pepper mixed in with it. I love the sweet with the heat too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Daniel Allison wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

If it ain't brisket, it ain't Bar-B-Que in Texas. The only pork we like is ribs, if we can't get beef. Mesquite is the wood to use. Charcoal is for grills, not Bar-B-Que. A good brisket takes a minimun of 10 Hours to do properly. It is cooked at no more than 190 degrees and is taken out when the internal temp. reaches 160 and then allowed to rest and finish cooking on the side. It should read aout 170 after about 15 minutes of rest with a GOOD digital thermometer. A good dry rub is all that is needed as the sauce is served on the side. The brisket is cooked with the fat side up. If you use a dry rub then Cantina Fajita seasoning is hard to beat. If you use store bought sauce then Sugar Baby Ray's is hard to beat. I make my own sauce. I have a hole in the bottom of my smoker and a hook to hold a pail to catch the drippings from the meat. That is the base for the sauce. Be sure to bring the drippings to a boil and lower heat to a simmer before adding in fresh tomatoes, garlic, jalepenos, onions, vinegar to taste, salt, pepper, oregeno, and celantro. I run all the ingredients through a blender before adding to the drippings. Again BOIL the drippings as they are raw meat drippings and you realy won't enjoy food posioning. Y'all enjoy now y'all hear. And come on down to Texas for the real stuff. Fat Boy's in Cooper, Texas is real good, almost as good as mine and a lot easier.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

For chicken and pork roast,plain old oil and vinegar with herbs salad dressing, marinated at least four hours.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Hart wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

For beef or venison I like a SW style seasoning with generous amounts of Cumin over Mesquite. With venison I'll typically use a salt/sugar brine with bacon strips on top to avoid drying it out.
For chicken or pork I really like a Jamaican Jerk style. I'll make a dry rub and finish it up with a sauce. I really like the sweet/hot flavor that is prevalant in Jerk seasoning. I typically use apple wood, but here lately I've been using pecan with very good results. I really don't care for hickory, I find the flavor to be too strong.
Of course when it comes right down to it, I'll eat any style of 'que, it's all delicious!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Hart wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

For beef or venison I like a SW style seasoning with generous amounts of Cumin over Mesquite. With venison I'll typically use a salt/sugar brine with bacon strips on top to avoid drying it out.
For chicken or pork I really like a Jamaican Jerk style. I'll make a dry rub and finish it up with a sauce. I really like the sweet/hot flavor that is prevalant in Jerk seasoning. I typically use apple wood, but here lately I've been using pecan with very good results. I really don't care for hickory, I find the flavor to be too strong.
Of course when it comes right down to it, I'll eat any style of 'que, it's all delicious!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I take sweet Baby Rays, mix in some Red Hot, take a beef brisket or venison roast, season and marrinade it with garlic pwder, onion powder, and peppar flakes, and montreal steak seasoning, marinade for 4 days mixing and adding more sauce, then cook it all day in the crock pot,

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I like North Carolina style vinegarey sauce myself. Love to fire up my charcoal smoker. Like you said Dave, better have some beer on hand when the smoker is going, and not just for soaking the chips.
Most store bought sauces can be greatly improved with a little vinegar and my spice rub. i often make my own sauce. The smoker, however, must not be rushed. Pull up a chair

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I prefer KC style barbecue with Texas close behind.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Smoked Pulled pork I like the North Carolina vinegar style. RIbs I like with a Memphis dry rub (Spare Ribs) or baby back KC BBQ sauce. Brisket is best done texas style. Chickens are done beer can style with a dry rub and baste. Everything must be cooked low and slow with smoke. A mixture of apple and pecan for chicken. Pecan hickory for ribs and straight hickory for brisket

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Daniel Allison wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

If it ain't brisket, it ain't Bar-B-Que in Texas. The only pork we like is ribs, if we can't get beef. Mesquite is the wood to use. Charcoal is for grills, not Bar-B-Que. A good brisket takes a minimun of 10 Hours to do properly. It is cooked at no more than 190 degrees and is taken out when the internal temp. reaches 160 and then allowed to rest and finish cooking on the side. It should read aout 170 after about 15 minutes of rest with a GOOD digital thermometer. A good dry rub is all that is needed as the sauce is served on the side. The brisket is cooked with the fat side up. If you use a dry rub then Cantina Fajita seasoning is hard to beat. If you use store bought sauce then Sugar Baby Ray's is hard to beat. I make my own sauce. I have a hole in the bottom of my smoker and a hook to hold a pail to catch the drippings from the meat. That is the base for the sauce. Be sure to bring the drippings to a boil and lower heat to a simmer before adding in fresh tomatoes, garlic, jalepenos, onions, vinegar to taste, salt, pepper, oregeno, and celantro. I run all the ingredients through a blender before adding to the drippings. Again BOIL the drippings as they are raw meat drippings and you realy won't enjoy food posioning. Y'all enjoy now y'all hear. And come on down to Texas for the real stuff. Fat Boy's in Cooper, Texas is real good, almost as good as mine and a lot easier.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FOX wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

PA chicken barbecue. you can't say you live in pa until you have Kaufman's chicken at your local fire house.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I can't say I like one over the other. Eating too much of one can burn a guy out, I like to mix it up and eat them all. Variety

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryffel wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

For me, it would depend on what I'm eating. Ribs, I like KC style, Brisket would be Texas. Chicken is good with the marinade from Dinosaur BBQ in Upstate NY. Just to many choices out there that are great to settle on a favorite!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Pulled pork or baby back ribs dry Memphis style with homemade rub and basting sauce. Actually I don't think I even ate any kind of barbeque that I didn't like. Remember barbeque has to be "low and slow", low temperature over many hours, you want to be able to see the smoke line in the meat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2lb.test wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

The only barbecue I don't like is bad barbecue, all the different styles are what keeps it interesting, but I'm from SC and the mustard/vinegar combo is tops with the eastern NC vinegar style a close second.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mdsulli2 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

I agree with DSMbirddog but also like the Memphis no sauce ribs. Carolina mustard based sauces is something else but the Carolina ketchup based sauces are good for a change of pace.Josh Giannino, You should try Bull's eye with cayenne pepper mixed in with it. I love the sweet with the heat too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

For chicken and pork roast,plain old oil and vinegar with herbs salad dressing, marinated at least four hours.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Hart wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

For beef or venison I like a SW style seasoning with generous amounts of Cumin over Mesquite. With venison I'll typically use a salt/sugar brine with bacon strips on top to avoid drying it out.
For chicken or pork I really like a Jamaican Jerk style. I'll make a dry rub and finish it up with a sauce. I really like the sweet/hot flavor that is prevalant in Jerk seasoning. I typically use apple wood, but here lately I've been using pecan with very good results. I really don't care for hickory, I find the flavor to be too strong.
Of course when it comes right down to it, I'll eat any style of 'que, it's all delicious!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Hart wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

For beef or venison I like a SW style seasoning with generous amounts of Cumin over Mesquite. With venison I'll typically use a salt/sugar brine with bacon strips on top to avoid drying it out.
For chicken or pork I really like a Jamaican Jerk style. I'll make a dry rub and finish it up with a sauce. I really like the sweet/hot flavor that is prevalant in Jerk seasoning. I typically use apple wood, but here lately I've been using pecan with very good results. I really don't care for hickory, I find the flavor to be too strong.
Of course when it comes right down to it, I'll eat any style of 'que, it's all delicious!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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