There is no shortage of barbecue styles in the world, and each region has its own way to grill, smoke or cook meat. For example, Kansas City BBQ typically features a sweet tomato-based sauce with a tangy taste. There are many different barbecue styles, but two of the most popular are Kansas City and Carolina. Carolina BBQ typically is spicier and uses vinegar as a base for their sauces. We will discuss these two different types of barbecue styles and which works best work with different types of meat.
Each style is best for a particular type of meat, so it’s important to know which one is right for you before you start cooking. In general, Kansas City BBQ is best for beef and Carolina BBQ is best for pork.
Kansas City style barbecue is slow cooked with a sweet sauce made from tomato soup or ketchup mixed with sugar, vinegar, and spices. Its flavor profile includes a smoky hickory flavor that comes from the use of hickory wood chips in the smoker to give it an authentic “barbecue” taste. The main cuts used are beef brisket or ribs. It can also be made using pork spareribs or sausage links wrapped in bacon. It has a sweeter flavor profile than Carolina BBQ so Kansas City style goes better with some traditional American cuts of meat such as chicken thighs and turkey breast.
South Carolina pulled pork has roots in both Virginia and North Carolina but it is most closely associated with South Carolina (also shares some similarities with Memphis-style barbecue). The pulled pork sandwich made its way into the hearts of barbecue lovers and it has become a staple of backyard barbecues all over the country. This style is typically made using shoulder cuts of pork and a tangy, spicy sauce and Carolina-style barbecue features vinegar as the main ingredient in its sauces, which gives it more of a tart flavor than Kansas City styles. It can be slow cooked or smoked with various woods including hickory and pecan to give it that smoky flavor.
Kansas City style barbecue is typically made using beef brisket or ribs, however, if you’re looking for something more exotic, Kansas City style works well with elk, venison or boar as well.
Carolina style barbecue is best for pork ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. The vinegar sauce makes it a good match with the fattier cuts of pork like spareribs and Boston butt. This type also goes great with chicken dishes such as fried chicken or grilled chicken wings.
One of the most important aspects in cooking any type of barbecue is experimenting with different types of meat and even wood chips to find out what you like best. Try making a few dishes at home according to your favorite style before trying it out on guests so you can get used to how it works. This way, when company comes over for dinner, everyone will love your barbecue!