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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-09-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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Default Is BBQ regional, or is it the Sauces/Rubs/Sides/Woods that are?

From a story about Smokey Bones Closing down or selling all locations.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-s...,3914608.story

"Barbecue in the U.S. is very, very regionalized, and I think Darden believed they had cracked the code on how to appeal to a cross-regional market," said Christopher Muller, restaurant professor at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

This got me to thinking. Is BBQ itself all that different in the different regions or is it the Sauces/Rubs/Sides/Smoking Woods that distinguish a region?

Seems like smoked ribs are smoked ribs and pulled pork is pulled pork. Close your eyes, put on the sauce take a bite and you are suddenly in Kansas City, Texas, Memphis or North Carolina.

When I do pulled pork, I usually fix three or four different regional style sauces just to illustrate the differences to my guests.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 10:46 AM   #2
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Rubs, sauces, woods, degree of tenderness, which cuts are popular, sides.....these are just a few of the things that come to mind that might define regional differences....while in many places the basic foundations of low and slow defines bbq (but do you shovel coals or burn sticks?), but in texas, there are places that cook their 'que at 400 or above.....so, imnsho, I think there are differences out there......but the uniting factor is that most of it is tasty
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Unread 05-09-2007, 11:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backyardchef View Post
Rubs, sauces, woods, degree of tenderness, which cuts are popular, sides.....these are just a few of the things that come to mind that might define regional differences....while in many places the basic foundations of low and slow defines bbq (but do you shovel coals or burn sticks?), but in texas, there are places that cook their 'que at 400 or above.....so, imnsho, I think there are differences out there......but the uniting factor is that most of it is tasty
I agree! definately regional but IMHO we spend way to much time discussing our differences in BBQ insteaf of celebrating our similarities. I have my preferences, but it is all good!
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Unread 05-09-2007, 11:15 AM   #4
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Mark this day on the calendar, eh BT?
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Unread 05-09-2007, 11:19 AM   #5
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I think that the meat is also regional but that is slowly changing. Some areas prefer beef where others prefer pork. Different cuts can be regional. Woods can be regional.

But with the ease that info travels around the world now, the regional barriers are breaking down.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 12:25 PM   #6
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So does that make us some type of BBQ UN?
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Unread 05-09-2007, 12:30 PM   #7
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BBQ is very regional.

My roots are in up state NY near the Vermont border where vinegar based sauces rule. I have a killer vinegar based bbq basting sauce for chicken that I got from my grandfather. I use it here at home and love it. I want to try it in a comp but have concerns because people here love "traditional" sauce. I think I am just gonna do it anyway and give it a shot. It's not like I am pulling in the big bucks with my hobby.

I read a bbq book some time ago and can not recall it's name. As far as wood goes, it discussed that there is no one wood that is better than another. People will use what is available in their area. An example went something like this: Mesquite is popular in the south west because that is where it grows. Maple and corn cobs are used in the north east because there are readilly available.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 12:39 PM   #8
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coming soon to Ronkonkama just off the LIE Willie B's Award Winning BBQ second location
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Unread 05-09-2007, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppyboy View Post
...and corn cobs are used ...
In the Midwest mostly in outhouses.







Going to my room now.


But I agree that the regional barriers are breaking down. When I cook a butt, I prefer to serve it "Carolina style" with cole slaw in a sammich. Since there really isn't much of a tradition for Q in these parts, all who do Q are obviuosly borrowing from other locales.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 03:51 PM   #10
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I think that in commercial BBQ the styles are still regional out of necessity for a business theme, but the vast majority of people cooking BBQ in there backyards are going way past the regional barriers.

It seems to me that forces like the food network and the publishers all of the BBQ books on the market are causing a BBQ melting pot to develop, which I personally think is a good thing. I think when we talk about regional styles we have to separate commercial and residential cooks because we (backyard cooks) cook a much more eclectic range of food on the pit than the old butcher pits of old.

I look at the BBQ sauce selection at my local market and find styles of sauce from every region in the nation. They wouldn't carry the sauce if nobody was buying it so we must be melding styles and moving past the regional paradigm.
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Unread 05-09-2007, 03:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbsnwngs View Post
coming soon to Ronkonkama just off the LIE Willie B's Award Winning BBQ second location
huh?
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Unread 05-09-2007, 04:45 PM   #12
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That kinda sucks. I like Smokey Bones' ribs. Of course, since I've started Q-ing for myself I haven't been back so the closings don't really affect me.
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Unread 05-10-2007, 05:44 AM   #13
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I'm like HSLS in that I usually serve my guests 3 different sauces. One KC style sweet, one vinegar and one mustard. I like pretty much any style sauce as long as it isn't chunky. The family likes one of my sauces the best, so I've just been making it lately when I cook for them.

I'm fortunate in that where I work has(had) 3 different chains - SB, Famous Dave's and Corky's. I have preferences at each restaurant and go to each one depending on the mood. I'm sad to see SB go. Maybe Big Bob Gibson will come take its place locally.
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Unread 05-10-2007, 06:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puppyboy View Post
BBQ is very regional.

My roots are in up state NY near the Vermont border where vinegar based sauces rule. I have a killer vinegar based bbq basting sauce for chicken that I got from my grandfather. I use it here at home and love it. I want to try it in a comp but have concerns because people here love "traditional" sauce. I think I am just gonna do it anyway and give it a shot. It's not like I am pulling in the big bucks with my hobby.

I read a bbq book some time ago and can not recall it's name. As far as wood goes, it discussed that there is no one wood that is better than another. People will use what is available in their area. An example went something like this: Mesquite is popular in the south west because that is where it grows. Maple and corn cobs are used in the north east because there are readilly available.

That was my first book and it's definitely true. It's also true that the internet is melding all of the regional preferences, unfortunatly much of what is being melded isn't really true. For my new book (Barbecue Road Trip due out June 12th) I specifically went to many of the regions and found some amazing things. Did you know that slaw is always served on a pork sandwich in Memphis? It is. A local food writer told me that to a local the slaw is as important as the meat. I thought that was a Carolina thing? You'll also get slaw on your sandwich at Big Bob Gibson's in Alabama. BTW the locals in Memphis also don't care much about the wet vs. dry rib thing. Any decent BBQ joint anywhere will serve your ribs wet or dry without a hassle.

I spent 6 days in North Carolina with Dave DeWitt and we ate at 23 BBQ joints. Among the things we learned were that you will never get a beer with your BBQ in NC. We also learned that pulled pork doesn't really exist there. All the pork is chopped and chopped fine unless you ask for it coarse. We also learned that the meat isn't smokey at all, and we went only to the places that still burn wood. They just burn all the flavor out of the wood before they put it under the meat. There is much more.
Bottom line is the mythical concepts of what is happening in these regions is often bullcrap. I don't think the people that write about it have ever been there.
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Unread 05-10-2007, 07:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbbq View Post
Did you know that slaw is always served on a pork sandwich in Memphis? It is.
Learned this lesson the hard way.

Red, Hot, and Blue, Memphis Barbecue opened a store in Naperville 10 years ago. Took the family, I ordered a pulled pork sammie (this is long before I started smoking, and we use to buy those "Lloyd's KC Masterpiece Pork Tubs")

Ordered the pulled pork sandwich, and a large dollop of slaw was on top.

I asked "What the hell is this?"

Sir, that is how pulled pork sandwiches are sold in Memphis.

Well, this isnt how they sell them in Naperville.

So off with the slaw, salvage the sandwich and eat it with a fork.

Others agreed, and the place is long gone.

I agree that tastes are pretty regional, and agree with Ray that the internet is spreading different variations on the theme. Some things catch on, and some don't.

As far as barbecue becoming more nationalized and somewhat homogenous, I think it will eventually happen as people try more things and are open to more types of food (thanks to TV, the Internet, DrBBQ and those spreading the word).

Heck, it took Tex-Mex decades, but once homogenized or Americanized enough, you can get Nacho's, Fajitas, etc almost anywhere in the country.

Sorry to hear about Smokey Bones. I didnt view them as a BBQ joint. They were a killer sports bar, with TV's viewable from every seat, a main big screen, and each booth had a volume/channel control.

And oh yeah, they had some decent bar food like pulled pork and brisket sammies that most sports bars don't even try to sell
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