BBQ sauce is the crowning finish to any grilled or smoked meat. Our friends at Char-Broil in the US have some interesting info on the preferences found throughout their vast country!
The overall winner in popularity is a thick, sweet ketchup and sugar-based sauce – often referred to as a Kansas City-style sauce. However, there are many other flavours from different areas of the US.
Alabama is famous for its white BBQ sauce, originally gaining fame from the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q restaurant in Decatur. This mayonnaise-based sauce baptizes smoked chicken. It is tangy and rich and gives a delicious finish.
In the Carolinas, there is a mixture of three or four sauces, depending on the geography. To the north, you have more tangy vinegar sauce. To the south, you have mustard-based sauces. And there are pockets of North Carolina that enjoy tomato-based sauces. They all have their virtues. The vinegar sauces cut through the rich, fatty pulled pork from shoulders and hogs. The mustard sauces add tangy sweetness to pork, as well.
Then you have the dips or mops, which are thin flavourful liquids used to moisten the meat periodically during cooking. Kentucky uses a complex mutton dip that varies from spicy vinegar to sweet. In the Piedmont area of the Carolinas, you have a thin vinegary sauce that soaks into the meat.
Tennessee is abundant with many tomato and ketchup-based sauces, but there are pockets where thin vinegar sauces can be found. Whiskey is a popular additive to many sauces in this state.
In Texas, beef is king and sauce is used sparingly. Mops are sometimes used for meats cooked in large open pits and can be comprised of Worcestershire, steak sauce and beefy stocks.
No matter what your favourite sauce is, enjoying new recipes and flavour profiles is always fun and absolutely delicious.