March 30, 2010

Barbeque Regions

We only touched on it briefly last time so I figured we would go a little deeper into the different styles of Q! Their is some debate as to West Coast and New England being included as styles of barbeque on there own or if they are a mash up of styles. We decided to included them for two reasons. The first being, the competition circuit is starting to show teams placing in the top at national contests from both of those areas regularly. The second is that after eating at many restaurants in both areas I have learned that each areas has there own flavor profile that I haven’t fund in any other area in the country that I have been in. (I live in one now so I may be a little biased) O.K. down to then!
The Carolinas- Both North and South Carolina have there own style of sauce north being a vinegar based spicy sauce and south Carolina using a mustard based sauce. The thing that ties them together into one region is the use of pork as the primary meat for barbeque. Either whole hog ribs or pulled in the Carolina’s they do hog and they do it well! Oak maple and hickory are all favorite woods used in the Carolinas.
Memphis- Is know for the ribs mostly but pulled pork is also a common item on menus. They are usually “dry” meaning they are not cooked with sauce. BBQ sauce is usually a side item and is for dipping rather than being served already on the ribs. They are one of the two cities to claim to be the barbeque capitol of the world. They are home the Memphis In May competition and governing body of a major competition circuit(MIM).
Kansas City- Is the second city to claim the title of bbq capitol. They are know for their ribs, but beef also plays a major role. The Major defining factor of Kansas City barbeque is the sauce. It is a thick tomato based sauce sweetened with molasses, and is usually served already on the meat. They are also home to the Kansas City Barbeque Society one of the largest competition circuits (KCBS).
Texas-The cow is king in Texas. And in particular brisket. Brisket is one of the toughest meats on a bovine, and a very hard meat to cook let alone master. It is the meat that separates the contenders from the backyard cooks in competition. The sauce in this region is mostly a thick and spicy tomato based product used for dipping not cooking, and the favorite wood is mesquite.
West Coast- The main dish out west is beef with a strong showing of chicken as well. A major distinguishing factor in west coast barbeque is the flavor profile. West coast barbeque uses a wide variety of flavors not typically found in other areas of the country. The sauce of choice is a sweet tomato based sauce.
New England- Well the New England states are the up and coming barbeque region, the sauce favored by most people is a sweet and tangy tomato based sauce and as far as a top meat chicken and pork are the major players but beef also has a very strong showing. Most of the competitions in the New England states are KCBS sanctioned.

That is a brief breakdown of the different regions of barbeque. Not one area is all one thing or another, but that does break it down to the basics. We use a New England style of barbeque, seems to do well around here.

What is barbeque?

To most Americans the term barbeque means, 4th of July parties and hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill. That’s not what we do. Now we like to grill as much as the next person and that is a special skill in and of itself , but that is not really barbeque. True American barbeque is a process of cooking meat using fire and smoke to slowly cook and flavor the meat. Cooking hotdogs and hamburgers over a gas fire or open coals is “grilling” the main difference is direct high temps.
True barbeque uses indirect heat and smoke to cook the meat with lower temps and much longer cooking times. This method allows a wide variety of things to happen to the meat that doesn’t have time to happen with a grill. It is often referred to as “low and slow”.
There are as many styles of cooking as there are barbeque cooks. But it is generally accepted that the country can be broken down into 6 different “regions” or styles of Q. Each one has it’s own traditions, flavor profiles, and types of meat sauce and even the wood used.
The major regions are; The Carolinas, Memphis, Texas, Kansas City, West Coast, and New England. The rest of the country produces a variation on each of those styles of barbeque. We will go into more depth on each of the styles in a future post.

March 29, 2010


I would like to take a second to thank you for stopping by and checking us out. We are just a couple of BBQ nuts from New England and love to share our stories and advice with anyone willing to listen!

Just to give you a little background about us, we are a husband and wife team that has been Q’ing for many years. Just last year started a competition BBQ team called Angry Pig BBQ to take our food to the judges. Being new to the competition circuit last year, we used our first year to learn what was expected but this year it gets serious. We learned many things about the competition circuit and this year we are heading back into it to take home some Trophies. We both grew up loving good barbeque and over the years have worked to perfect our skills in the craft. A lot of people have taught us and helped us along the way offering advice and tips and we want to share that with you as well.

We hope to be able to bring some useful advice and ideas to you here, as well as to be able to share our stories about barbeque. It is our intention to post as often as possible as hardly a day goes by without some barbeque action going on around here!

Thanks again and hope we see you back soon!