American cuisine does not consist of just fast-food hamburgers. In fact, arguably one of the great cuisines of the world has its roots in the southeastern United States. Almost every nation around the world lays claim to some form of barbecue, whether it be grilling, roasting, or smoking. But in America, barbecue has been taken to another level, which is truly an art form and uniquely American. This hugely popular recreational and commercial form of cooking is also called barbeque, barbacoa, or simply BBQ.
PORK SHOULDER, also called PORK “BUTT” is usually from the upper shoulder and is a fatty cut of meat. But cooked low&slow, it develops a tasty crust and makes a perfect pulled or sliced pork.
CHICKEN is the final meat judged by the KCBS. It sounds easy, but keeping chicken moist with a crispy skin can be a challenge.
Other meats popular with low&slow BBQ include BEEF RIBS, TRI-TIP, PORK BELLY, HAM, WHOLE HOGS, SAUSAGE, and TURKEY.
There are 4 main BBQ “regions” in the USA:
KANSAS CITY STYLE is characterized not by the type of meat used, but by the sauce. A thick, sweet, tomato-based sauce is added liberally to pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken.
MEMPHIS STYLE is similar to Kansas City BBQ, but focuses more on pork ribs served “dry”. Memphis-style ribs are seasoned only with specially blended rubs and served without sauce.
TEXAS BBQ is all about the beef. Brisket is rubbed down with peppery spices and served with a thin, spicy sauce that compliments the beef. Also popular are sausages and beef ribs.
CAROLINA BBQ comes from pork country. Many types of smoked pork are served with a mustard-vinegar sauce. Whole hog cooking is a popular pastime in the area.