For us Southerners, most, if not all, outdoor celebrations center around a barbecue grill. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which comes first. Are we gathering together as an excuse to barbecue, or is the barbecue itself the reason to celebrate? And truthfully, does it even really matter?
While some people prefer to eat their brisket “naked”, many folks believe the secret to a good barbecue is in the sauce. Where you were born often dictates which type of barbecue sauce you prefer, and these regional differences have been known to cause a heated debate or two. Let’s take a look at the most popular types of sauces.
- East North Carolina Sauce – Cider vinegar-based and tangy with the kick of red pepper, cayenne, and black pepper this barbecue sauce is tart and sharp with no sweetness.
- West North Carolina Sauce – Similar to the East Carolina version, but with the addition of ketchup and brown sugar.
- Kansas City Sauce – Tomato or ketchup-based with molasses, vinegar and spices. Kansas City Barbecue Sauce is served on top of the meat.
- Florida Sauce – Similar to the Kansas City style with tropical fruit flavors that complement the kick of hot peppers.
- South Carolina Mustard Sauce – A yellow barbecue sauce consisting of mustard, sugar, spices, vinegar and black pepper.
- Texas Sauce – Light on the tomato and sugar and heavy on cumin, chili powder, black pepper, fresh onion, and smoke flavor from drippings as the meat is basted. Texas Barbecue Sauce is on the spicier side and penetrates the meat rather than sitting on top of it.
- Alabama White Sauce – Made from mayonnaise, vinegar, apple juice, lemon and black pepper, White Barbecue Sauce is popular in Alabama and can range from a thin drizzle to a thick sauce.
No matter if you prefer your barbecue sauce spicy, smoky or sweet, it’s always better when it is homemade. Looking for something new to try? Check out six of our favorites.
Dr. Pepper Sauce – Texas born and bred, this sweet sauce gets it’s kick from Dr. Pepper Cherry Cola soda. You don’t have to be from Texas to love this one.
Pineapple Sauce – Looking for a way to change up your typical barbecue sauce? The addition of pineapple makes this recipe a real winner, full of island flavor and a treat for the taste buds.
Chipotle Sauce – Sweet and spicy, finger-licking good chipotle barbecue sauce makes ribs extra flavorful. Dark brown sugar and spicy peppers are key to this tangy barbecue sauce recipe.
Peach Sauce – By adding peach to the traditional southern barbecue flavors, this savory Peach Barbecue Sauce is sure to spice up your cookout. Add it to any of your favorite meats as a marinade or a dip, but it pairs best with pork and chicken.
Sweet and Smoky Sauce – This sauce gives a nod to its West North Carolina cousin. Perfect on chicken, ribs, burgers, or even as a pizza sauce for barbecue pizza.
Tangy and Spicy Sauce – A lighter, Asian influenced sauce that pairs well with shrimp, chicken or fish.
For a variety of barbecue recipes and outdoor grilling recipes, be sure to visit our website. You can also wander over to our tailgating section, for more great recipes that are also perfect for football tailgating parties the entire fall season.
What is your favorite barbecue sauce recipe?