The Basics of Barbecue: Regional Styles

Pitmasters are passionate about who has the best 'cue. Texas brisket? Pulled pork from North Carolina? Learn a little more about regional barbecue and you'll be ready to hop in the fray.
Related To:


Babyback Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Babyback Ribs with Espresso Barbecue Sauce

There's one thing all barbecue has in common, and that's patience. From there, it can be hard to get anyone to agree. Dry or wet rub, vinegary or sticky and sweet — different regions have different tastes, and knowing which is which will help you earn some serious backyard cred.  

Three Regional Barbecue Styles You Should Know:

1. Carolina barbecue usually means pork, cooked on a barbecue pit, slow and long with lots of smoke and low heat. Generally, hickory wood is used for the smoky flavor, and the meat cooks for around half a day. No wonder the state's signature sandwich is the pulled pork sandwich.   

2. Memphis, Tennessee barbecue is all about the ribs. They come coated with either a wet or dry rub, and don't "fall off the bone," but instead tear away from the bone. Take a bite out of a Tennesse-style rib and you'll see what we mean.

3. Kansas City-style barbecue is known for its sauce. Meat comes smoked with a dry rub, ready to be dipped in a thick and sweet sauce that's flavored with tomatoes and molasses and served on the side.    

Great Barbecue Recipes to Try:

WATCH: The Barbecue Trail

Keep Reading

Next Up

Essentials: Barbecue Basics

Learn how to barbecue with Cooking Channel's essential BBQ guide, including tips, advice, ideas, recipes, explaining different styles and more.

Asian-Style Ribs on the Grill

Get an Asian-style ribs recipe prepared on the grill, plus pro tips from chefs like Bobby Deen and Ching-He Huang at Cooking Channel.

The Best Beer Can Chicken

Beer can chicken should be juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. With our tips and tricks, you'll master the recipe in no time.

Southern BBQ Menu

Take your pick of party-perfect recipes for turning your backyard into a barbecue pit.

How to Cook Steak at Home

Get the best sizzling steak recipes and steak grilling tips from the chefs at Cooking Channel.

How to Sharpen Your Garbage Disposal Blades

Here's a safe and easy trick to sharpen your garbage disposal blades.

How to Freshen Up Your Garbage Disposal

Want to know how to rid your garbage disposal of its stench? One simple step will help you clear the air.

How to Make a Better Cheeseburger

Get our tips for elevating your burger recipe, including out-of-the-box toppings, add-ons and tasty substitutions.

Make Your Own Gift Popcorn Tin

Fill a festive tin with a sweet and salty popcorn mix for an easier-than-it-looks homemade gift.


So Much Pretty Food Here