I think a lot of it has to do with the spices available in the area, and the types of wood. If you have mesquite wood, then mesquite is the best; if you have red oak, then red oak is the best,,,,, and so on
pork bbq is practically a religion here in NC and SC/Georgia. whole hogs cooked in 'smokers' all night for a pig picking. the real deal though is butts (shoulders) slow cooked and torn apart. oak and hickory are favorite woods sometimes you will see bbq'ers useing apple.
that said though I have to limit my intake of it (due to problem w/my ticker), I used to own a smoker I made from an oil drum split lenghtwise with grill racks and also a spit that fit into it and orginazations/partys was after me often to cook a whole hog for a 'picking'.
I now prefer slow cooked turkey, chicken or my favorite cornish hens.
I have to admit, pulled pork BBQ with cole slaw on top (NC style) is really, really good!
But nothing comes close to beef brisket slow smoked over mesquite wood. Growing up is South Texas, the rule was if it needs BBQ sauce, you messed up while cooking. Cooking brisket is an art form, and I have had little luck finding it done right outside of Texas.
The best BBQ is the BBQ on my plate! There is definitely some regional variation in BBQ, but one of my great joys in life is trying all sorts of different foods and cooking styles. Some days a love sauce lathered on some ribs, others I can't get enough of a good dry rub on 'em.
Variety is the spice of life....the trick is not to focus on the ingredients, but rather on the outcome!
Now, I'm here to say, Texas BBQ brisket, done right, is hard to beat.
Gotta' agree. I think Texas style BBQ is very misunderstood by others. We have our sauce which is spicy, but usually served sparingly, on the side, or not at all. I know a few cooks who would get seriously-- and I'm not joking-- seriously insulted if you put BBQ sauce on their brisket. TX BBQ is all about cooking the meat in its' own juices to perfection. And NO gas grills.
Originally Posted by JCavSD
I've pounded BBQ from North Carolina to San Diego, and region be damned, good BBQ is just good no matter where it is.
Very true. No one region can claim the best BBQ. Good BBQ in Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America, too.
several countrys overseas they cut the meat up in 1"X1" chunks (or thereabouts), marinate it awhile and skewer on bamboo spikes then grill/roast over coals with or without any sauce.
also quite tasty IMO.
I was surprised to see on the 'travel channel' that in Turkey bbq/grill cafes are the big thing - and behold a favorite side order is fried green tomatos.
I'm an Arizona-raised cowboy cook, who learned most of my skillset from displaced Texans. The Light Of My Life is a St. Louis girl. No sauce vs. plenty of sweet, gloppy sauce; we're both having to make adjustments. I even learned to make sauce. She makes slaw from scratch, and makes as good a St. Louis sauce as can be had anywhere. Her dad is a pit monster, and when he comes to visit we have BBQ wars. We each take half of the space on the Weber and let the good times roll.
The basic process for smoking a brisket Texas-style is the same as BBQing pork, but you never hear anyone talk about BBQing a brisket. "Smoke" a brisket, "do" a brisket, etc, but "BBQ" doesn't seem to show up.
Most of the local BBQ places around Phoenix are KC or STL style. That's because almost nobody is from Arizona, everybody's a transplant. Ray's, Lovejoy's and Honey Bear's are the three that I go to when I want good 'Q but don't want to cook.
Western Carolina is the same except the sauce and hot pepper is provided at the table, usually a tomato sauce, a mustard sauce and a hot pepper/vinegar sauce all 3 are provided. my favorite is the 'hot' tomato sauce. and we have fries, baked beans and slaw- mac and cheese and cooked greens/blackeyes is down east food.