The origins of the ultimate American comfort food, barbecue or BBQ, is thought to have originated in the Caribbean. Historians believe it was brought to the American colonies by Spanish explorers who first encountered the practice of smoking meat over a pit fire by the native peoples they met. The practice of slow roasting meat over indirect heat for an extended amount of time resulted in a tender, juicy and extremely tasty product. Since then, home cooks and pitmasters have been perfecting the art of barbecue with the addition of spice rubs, different types of wood for smoking, different cuts of meats, and sauces have defined the continuing popularity of barbecue.
Regional styles of BBQ evolved and changed depending on the availability of meat, source of wood, and local preferences. The four most recognized regional styles in what some call the “BBQ Belt” are often the launching point for new and different styles of barbecue. Because SmokeHouse 54’s signature barbecue combines the best of these worlds, we thought we’d profile them for you.
It’s up for debate which Carolina, North or South, has more influence, so we are talking about them together. The two states are known for their barbecued pork in all its many flavors, which grew up out of the pork farming in the area. BBQ traditions from this area date back to colonial times when pigs were first introduced to the area and began to thrive. North Carolina barbecue masters baste pork shoulders with a vinegar and pepper-based sauce and serve their barbecue with a ketchup-based sauce. South Carolina is known for barbecue pork with mustard and brown sugar sauce, an influence thought to have arrived with German and French immigrants who settled in the area.
Memphis is known for its rack of pork ribs served wet (with sauce) or dry (without sauce). They are also known for pulled pork including a pulled pork sandwich. Before being smoked, meat is dressed with spicy, dry rub composed of garlic, paprika and pepper. Their barbecue sauce is traditionally a tangy, sweet tomato sauce to offset the spicy meat rub.
Typical of the more western-style of barbecue, Texas barbecue was influenced by the availability of beef in the region and is well known for its beef brisket, beef ribs, and sausage – a nod to the German and Czech traditions in the area. Before smoking, beef brisket is rubbed with a dry spice rub before placed on the pit and smoked for 8-10 hours at a low temperature over an indirect oak wood fire. The brisket develops a deep brown “bark” on the outside which locks in the juicy, meaty goodness on the inside that ripples forth when carved. Brisket is often served with a tomato-based sauce.
Some believe that Kansas City in the Midwest is the perfect mix of eastern and western styles of barbecue. Its central location and its meat packing industry make the city a natural BBQ mecca.Because different types of meat – beef, sausage, pork and chicken – is abundant, Kansas City is known for many types of BBQ, not concentrating on exclusively beef or pork as in other regions.Kansas City BBQ is cooked low and slow with a spice rub and smoked with hickory or cherry wood. The smoked meat is typically dressed with a thick sweet tomato sauce sweetened by molasses. The city is also known for its “burnt ends,” a delicacy cut from the ends of pork or beef brisket.
SmokeHouse 54 is carrying on the lively tradition of pit barbecue, cooking our meats low and slow and blending the most well-known BBQ traditions. Stop by our restaurant today located within the Courses at Andrews and savor our delicious brisket, ribs, and pulled pork specialties and homemade side dishes. Need an order to go or to feed a crowd, we can happily handle that, too.