A Guide to Southern Barbecue Sauces
From Kansas City-style to spicy vinegar, you may find bottles of these sauces on the table at your favourite barbecue joint.
A proper barbecue joint will not sauce its meat prior to serving. After all that time in the smoker, pit masters don’t want the intensity of sauce to overpower the meat’s flavour. To that end, most Southern barbecue places put out bottles of house-made sauce for guests to add as they see fit. Here’s a cheat sheet for some traditional regional sauce styles.
What many Canadians consider “barbecue sauce” — a thick, ketchup-y concoction sweetened with molasses and brown sugar.
Another thick, tomato-based sauce, Texas sauces tend to be spicy with savoury ingredients such as onion and Worcestershire sauce.
Memphis sauces are made from similar ingredients as Texas-style sauces but are usually less sweet and have a higher ratio of tangy vinegar.
A signature sauce of South Carolina, it reflects the tastes of the state’s German population and works beautifully with pork.
Common in North Carolina, this sauce is thin and tangy. Not much more than apple-cider vinegar flavoured with hot pepper flakes and a little sugar, it works particularly well poured over fattier meats.