BBQ 411

Whether smoked, sweet, spicy or a com­bi­na­tion of all three, we give you the low­down on all things bar­be­cue.


Fire up the grill…

THERE'S A DIF­FER­ENT CONNOTATION THAT COMES WITH THE WORD “BAR­BE­CUE” WHEN UT­TERED IN HAWAI‘I. KALUA PORK, kalbi ribs, char siu and huli huli chicken are the usual va­ri­eties that come to mind. Vine­gar-based BBQ sauce? Not so much. But for the south­ern U.S. states (Ten­nessee, Texas, Ken­tucky and the like), that's type of bar­be­cue that comes to mind. Served on a plate with but­ter-doused corn bread, crunchy cole slaw, home-style col­lard greens and stickto-your-bones mac-and-cheese, south­ern bar­be­cue is called com­fort food for a rea­son. It just de­pends on who's call­ing the shots.

If you were to ask a woman walk­ing down the street in North Carolina, she'd tell you that pep­pery, vine­gar-based bar­be­cue sauce takes the crown—that a whole pig smoked over a pit where ev­ery part is chopped, served and mixed to­gether with thin vine­gar-based sauce is the way to do it. Those in South Carolina beg to dif­fer. Over there, BBQ sauce is done in three ways: a pep­pery tomato based sauce in the west; a yel­low mus­tard, vine­gar and brown sugar BBQ sauce hy­brid called “Carolina Gold” in cen­tral South Carolina; and a spicy, wa­tery, vine­gar-and­pep­per sauce in the coastal re­gion. Travel left to­ward Ten­nessee and you'll see how they do it down in Mem­phis, where you'll find both wet ( brushed with sauce be­fore and af­ter cook­ing) and dry (sea­soned with a dry rub) meat on the menu ev­ery year at the Jack Daniel's World Cham­pi­onship In­vi­ta­tional Bar­beque com­pe­ti­tion. And who can for­get Texas, who has their own riff on bar­be­cue done right. Locals will swear by good ol' Texas beef brisket, which car­ries an ex­tra layer of plea­sure thanks to the meat's high fat con­tent that pre­vents it from dry­ing out dur­ing cook­ing. If you're look­ing for a sauce that's thick, sticky and sweet, head to Kansas where meat is smoked with a dry rub and served with a side of sauce for all your dip­ping needs.

In the caloric world of bar­be­cued, grilled and smoke meats, sausage is a pop­u­lar choice that falls un­der the la­bel of “com­fort food” around the globe. There's Bratwurst with sauer­kraut in Ger­many, sausage with pep­pers in Italy and chorizo in Spain. Qual­ity sausage com­bines the best char­ac­ter­is­tics of all the other pop­u­lar cuts of pork. A re­spectable sausage has fat, which is re­spon­si­ble for a sausage's juici­ness, and salt, which is also re­spon­si­ble for the sausage's tex­ture and re­tains the meat's mois­ture dur­ing cook­ing. Sausage, like Mem­phis brisket or bar­be­cue chopped pork from North Carolina, is ten­der, smoky and hearty—it's un­de­ni­able com­fort food, no mat­ter who's call­ing the shots.


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