We know you all love barbecue sauce (because who doesn’t?!), but did you know that there are many different types of barbecue sauce to choose from? Barbecue sauce is versatile and can be used on almost anything. Some sauces are tangy and sweet, while others are thick and spicy. In honor of National BBQ Day, we will be highlighting the top 5 most popular barbecue sauces by region. Here’s what you need to know:
Texas Barbecue Sauce
Let's start with good ole' Texas. Now Texas barbecue is all about the beef. They usually use their sauce to baste or marinate the food rather than use it as a condiment.
Texas-style barbecue sauce is thin and less sweet than other barbecue sauces, but it is hearty, using the beefy flavor from meat drippings and full of rich flavors. For a perfect meal, pair this sauce with meat like brisket. As a thinner sauce, it lets your barbecue shine without covering up the taste.
Memphis Barbecue Sauce
Moving to the southwest region, we have barbecue sauce from Memphis, Tennessee. While people will tell you that Memphis barbecue is served without sauce (because they use a dry rub on their ribs that give plenty of flavors), others will strongly disagree.
Many barbecue enthusiasts say Memphis has the best all-purpose barbecue sauce. It has an excellent balance of sweet and tangy flavors and is traditionally served with pulled pork, though it works great with beef and chicken.
South Carolina Barbecue Sauce
If you’re more of a mustard-on-your-hot-dog kind of person, you’ll love South Carolina barbecue sauce.
This sauce contains no ketchup whatsoever. Instead, it’s made with plain yellow mustard! It is rich, spicy, and tangy, with no hint of sweetness to be found, making it a good marinade for pork or chicken.
Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
For our next barbecue sauce, we are taking it to Kansas City. When you think of traditional barbecue sauce, you’re probably thinking about Kansas City-style sauce without even knowing it. Kansas City-style barbecue sauce is perhaps America's most popular barbecue sauce.
Rich, thick, sweet, and tangy, this barbecue sauce is excellent on everything from smoked brisket to the classic rack of ribs. It’s a classic ketchup-based barbecue sauce.
Alabama Barbecue Sauce
We’re now moving into Alabama. You’ll immediately notice what makes this regional barbecue sauce unique: It’s white!
Big Bob Gibson has been credited with creating this mayonnaise-based Alabama BBQ sauce in 1925 for his signature hickory-smoked chicken. In addition to using this sauce on chicken, you can also use it as a dipping sauce, marinade, or dressing for coleslaw.
North Carolina Barbecue Sauce
Last but not least, we are ending this list in North Carolina with sauces from the East and West sides. The traditional East Carolina barbecue sauce is pretty basic. This spicy, thin sauce is made from cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Western North Carolina barbecue sauce, also known as Lexington-style, is almost identical to the East Carolina sauce, except they tame things down a bit by adding ketchup and brown sugar to mellow out the vinegar tang.
This sweeter, thicker sauce is the style that Lefty's best replicates. Although, Lefty's Barbecue Sauce does stand out on its own!
With its smooth balance of hickory and sweetness, it's our twist on barbecue sauce. The texture is not as thick as your typical Kansas City sauce and not too thin like a St. Louis barbecue sauce. Our sauce has no trans and saturated fats, no artificial dyes, and, best of all, it's Kosher and gluten-free! This condiment is a must-have for a marinade, glaze, and dipping (even for your fries!).
So if you're ever in the Maryland area, stop by our restaurant, Lefty's Barbecue, and try our #1 seller, the North Carolina-style barbecue sandwich, and don't forget to top it off with our barbecue sauce. Trust us; it's crazy good!
All the barbecue sauces listed above are exceptional and unique. Celebrate National Barbecue Day by trying out some of these different sauces!