When it comes to BBQ styles, there are many. The ones you hear about the most are:
- Kansas City - Usually cooked over hickory wood, KC is not partial to any one particular type of meat. Everything is cooked "low and slow" and the sauce is typically thick and contains sweet molasses and tomato as its base.
- Memphis - Pork, pork, pork. It can be in rib or pulled form, and usually uses a dry rub that includes garlic, paprika, and other spices. The meat's cooked in a big pit, and is typically served with a tangy, thin tomato-based sauce.
- Central Texas - Huge portions of brisket and ribs smoked over pecan or oak wood. Meat, meat, and more meat - sauce and sides are secondary and sometimes discouraged. Sausage also became popular in Central Texas and theirs is considered the standard across the country.
- East Texas - More in common with other styles of BBQ than Central Texas, East Texas BBQ is split 50/50 between pork and beef and is served chopped instead of sliced, on a roll, and with hot sauce.
- North Carolina - There are generally two camps when it comes to BBQ in North Carolina. Typically pork, both camps (Lexington style and Eastern style) feel the meat should be brushed with a spice and vinegar mixture while cooking and served with a ketchup based sauce. You will typically find the whole hog in the east and shoulder and ribs in Lexington.
- South Carolina - Very similar to North Carolina as far as the meat is concerned. The sauce mid-state is usually mustard based and includes brown sugar and vinegar.
- Alabama - Caught between the Carolinas and Texas, Alabama trends towards meaty sandwiches of pulled pork (or chicken) and cole slaw. Unique to Alabama is their signature white sauce (mayonnaise and vinegar at its base) which can be found throughout the state in many variations.