Warning: this may cause mouth-watering, hunger grumbles and the desire to fire up your grill.
June 30, 2023
BBQ comes in all shapes, sizes and styles! Roll up your sleeves and let’s dig in to the Texas, Memphis, Carolina and Kansas City styles of BBQ.
Everything is bigger in Texas… including their BBQ! Texas-style BBQ features influences from East, Central, West and South regions, however Central Texas BBQ is the most common. With flavours such as mesquite and oak, Texas BBQ focuses on using dry seasoning blends and often only salt and pepper on. Texas-style barbecue is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired smoker using oak wood, which imparts a smoky flavor and helps to create a bark on the meat.
Cook low and slow – Cooking at a lower temperature for 10-16 hours allows the meat to cook slowly and become tender.
Wrap in foil or butcher paper – To keep it moist and tender, try wrapping the meat in foil or butcher paper after a few hours of cooking. This helps trap the moisture and creates a tender, flavourful crust on the meat.
Let the meat rest – Once the meat is cooked, let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat making it even more tender and flavourful.
Carolina-style barbecue is typically made with pork, particularly pork shoulder or often referred to as the “Boston butt.” Traditionally cooked in a wood-fired smoker, Carolina BBQ uses hickory wood to impart a smoky flavour and create bark on the meat. Paprika, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper are staple dry rubs in Carolina BBQ and this gives the meat a tender taste and the opportunity for wood flavours to shine.
Cook low and slow – Pork shoulder, for example can take anywhere between 8 to 12 hours to cook, but cooking low and slow locks in the flavour and allows the meat to become tender.
Serve with sauce – Carolina BBQ is typically served with a vinegar-based sauce that is tangy and slightly sweet. Combine apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce and spices in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the flavours have melded together.
Pull it apart – Once the meat is cooked, pull it into small pieces using two forks or your hands. This creates a tender, juicy texture that is perfect for sandwiches or served on its own.
Prepared traditionally using pork ribs, baby back or spare ribs, Memphis style is typically seasoned with a dry rub made from a combination of salt, sugar and spices like paprika, garlic and onion powder. In Memphis BBQ the flavour comes from the dry rub and hickory wood.
Cook low and slow – cooking at a low temperature for a long time allows the ribs to cook slowly and become tender. Pork ribs can usually take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours to cook.
Serve with sauce – Memphis BBQ is typically served with a tomato-based sauce that is slightly sweet and tangy. Combine ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and spices in a sauce pan. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and flavours have melded together.
Finish with a glaze – To add a final layer of flavor and texture to the ribs, many Memphis-style barbecue recipes call for a glaze made from a combination of the tomato-based sauce, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Brush the glaze onto the ribs during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to create a sticky, sweet crust.
Kansas City-style barbecue is known for its variety of meats, including pork ribs, beef brisket, chicken and burnt ends. With a dry rub combination of salt, sugar, and spices like paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, Kansas City BBQ is a popular style that is bursting with flavour.
Cook low and slow – Kansas City-style BBQ is cooked “low and slow” at a low temperature for a long time to allow the meat to cook slowly and become tender. The cooking time can vary depending on the type of meat, but a good rule of thumb is to cook the meat for 1 hour per pound.
Serve with sauce – serve your Kansas City BBQ with a thick, sweet and tangy sauce that is made with ketchup, molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices like chili powder and cumin. To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the flavors have melded together.
Finish with a glaze – To add a final layer of flavor and texture to the meat, many Kansas City-style barbecue recipes call for a glaze made from a combination of the sweet and tangy sauce, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Brush the glaze onto the meat during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to create a sticky, sweet crust.
Be at your #BBQBest this season and serve Texas, Carolina, Memphis or Kansas City BBQ at your next cookout.