A Sauce Guide for the Official Food of the Unofficial Start of Summer (BBQ)

Differences in Barbecue Sauce

For many, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer! Now, with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, people soon will be planning some holiday get-togethers while still maintaining social distancing. But what’s a holiday weekend without barbecue? Here’s a helpful guide to knowing the differences in barbecue sauces:

Barbecue sauces come in many flavors and styles. From sweet and savory to hot and spicy, the choices are endless. While it’s easy to grab a bottle of prepared sauce off the grocery store shelf, there’s nothing quite like creating your own from scratch.

Most popular barbeque sauces originate in the southern states, from Texas to Florida. As unique as the people, each state has its own preferred style. From thick, rich tomato-based sauces out of Kansas City to thin vinegar-based sauces hailed in North Carolina, there’s a style and flavor for everyone.

If you’re not familiar with the differences, here’s an overview of the most popular styles.

Kansas City Style:

Kansas City folks like their tomato-based barbecue sauce to be thick and sweet with just a hint of heat. They usually add molasses to the sauce to sweeten the pot.

Memphis Style:

In Memphis you’ll find mostly dry rub barbeque; however, not one to be left out, they also have a style of sauce. Similar to Kansas City, it starts with a tomato-base; however, Memphis sauce tends to be slightly thinner, sweeter and often uses liquid smoke.

St. Louis Style:

While similar in style to the two mentioned above, St. Louis barbeque has more tang than either Memphis or Kansas City. Just smelling the smoky rich flavor with a hint of tang will instantly set your mouth to watering.

Texas Style:

In Texas, everything is bigger so as to be expected, their barbecue sauce is bold and spicy. Eating Texas style BBQ, you’ll enjoy a tomato-based sauce containing Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and chili for extra punch.

Carolina Style:

Now the Carolinas are a unique group of people as they have several styles to choose from. Even so, each state has their favorite.

North Carolina tends to favor the vinegar-based barbecue sauce containing red pepper or cayenne pepper. South Carolina folks on the other hand, swear by their mustard-based sauce. Either way, the combination of the sweet and tangy flavors is an excellent choice for chicken and pork.

Florida Style:

If you’re a citrus lover, this style of barbecue sauce may be for you. Naturally, with Florida being a citrus state, the good folks there include lemon or lime in their sauces. These are usually tomato-based sauces with an obvious sour bite.

Alabama Style:

Alabama likes to boast of their unique white barbecue sauce made from mayonnaise. While, it may sound like an odd ingredient for barbecue, it makes a moist, delicious meat. Don’t knock it until you try it!

Kentucky Style:

Kentucky folks include good ol’ Kentucky bourbon in their barbecue sauce. Taking ingredients from surrounding states, they add a uniqueness all their own with the bourbon. If you haven’t experienced this mouthwatering deliciousness, you’re missing out.

Louisiana Style:

What’s the first thing you think of when you think Louisiana? Hot! Not one to disappoint, Louisiana’s thick tomato-based sauce with creole mustard and Cajun spices give their barbecue sauce a tantalizing kick. If you like Cajun flavors, this is the style for you.

There you have it, the difference between the most popular types of barbecue sauces. The only thing left for you to do is to whip up a batch of each kind and take them for a taste drive.


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