Whether you're going to try your own hand at preparing BBQ or you simply want it catered, it pays to know the stylistic choices of regions throughout the United States, inarguably home to some of the best barbecue in the world. Throughout the course of this brief guide, you'll learn about just a few of the best regional BBQ types in America.
There are two types of BBQ you will find in North Carolina, the Eastern-style and Lexington-style. They have two one things in common, however: the pork should always be brushed with a sauce admixture that is spice-and-vinegar based and served with a side that is largely ketchup base. The major point of contention between the two schools of Carolina thought is that adherents of the Eastern school maintain that the entirety of the pig be used during the BBQ, while Lexington-style fans demand that you should just use the ribs and shoulder.
While Carolinans demand that pork be used for their BBQ, Kansas City residents are far more libertine. Any kind of meat that you can use for BBQing is alright by them as what makes the product great is the process. Cooking Kansas City BBQ is a time consuming affair, as you're going to be cooking for hours over low heat. The sauce is also considered much sweeter than the normal American fare. It's largely constructed from tomatoes and molasses and winds up looking like a sticky, viscous, and most importantly, delicious goo.
East Texas takes Kansas City's libertine approach to meat types to all new heights. They're actually okay with blending meats together. East Texas BBQ consists of a mixture of pork and beef and is smothered with a vinegary sauce. East Texas BBQ is always shredded finely, drenched in sauce, and consumed sandwich style between two hamburger buns.
Residents of Memphis are big on pork, and that's what you're going to find in your BBQ. It doesn't matter if it's still on the rib, pulled, or shredded. What is important for Memphis style BBQ is how it is prepared and cooked. Memphis is a dry rub city, which means you're going to find your meat chock full of spices like garlic and paprika. The meat is then cooked over a large, open pit and served to you with a tangy, vinegar and tomato based sauce.
Contact a local chef or caterer, like those at Bassett Caterers and other locations, for more info.