Although there are many variations of BBQ sauce in the United States, there are generally 4 main styles. These are South Carolina, Memphis Tennessee, Kansas City and Texan.
These are not exhaustive and sub styles include St. Louis, Alabama and Kentucky.
Apart from the meat which is cooked in these different areas the style of sauce varies greatly
South Carolina BBQ Sauce – Carolina barbecue is well known for its slow cooking mode. They usually grill beef, chicken or lamb at their barbecue. A traditional rub consists of salt, sugar, brown sugar, ground cumin, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. The sauce is made by first heating distilled white vinegar and cider vinegar, and then adding sugar, hot red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper.
Kansas City BBQ Sauce – In Kansas City, they usually like ribs at their BBQs. Their traditional rub is made by mixing brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, onion powder, cayenne, garlic powder and chili powder. The Kansas City sauce falls under the Heavy tomato sauce category. It is prepared by boiling oil in a sauce pan and frying garlic until its brown. Then add ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, garlic and cayenne.
St. Louis BBQ Sauce – This is a tomato and vinegar based sauce. It is not as sweet and thick as Kansas City-style and not as spicy and thin as Texas-style. A St. Louis barbecue always includes lots of sauce.
Texas BBQ Sauce – The Texas style of rub and sauce are pretty famous in the South Western U.S., where they usually cook Briskets at BBQ. A typical rub consists of mixing paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, chili powder and dried parsley. The Texas style sauce consists of tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard, margarine, Tabasco sauce, garlic cloves, chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste, chopped and de-seeded jalapeno peppers.
At The Great Food Company we use a home made BBQ sauce for our ribs, the following is a great base to which you can add spices and chillies to your own taste.
Home made BBQ Sauce
250g Dark Brown Sugar
200ml Dark Soy Sauce
100ml Red Wine Vinegar
Tabasco to taste
Combine all ingredients and warm through but do not boil,…it can be explosive!