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American Barbecue / BBQ

The art of the American Barbecue — with wet or dry sauce or none at all

How is it spelled? The correct spelling is Barbecue and not Barbeque. However, the acronym BBQ has found its place in the colloquial language.

Cooking and preparing a barbecue is a kind of a science and for pro’s it goes far beyond the ‘backyard home grilling’ – several states are arguing about the question where the home of the original and especially BEST barbecue is.

Dry or Wet?

Topic Barbecue Sauce … most people know the “wet and reddish looking sauces” but there’s the so-called “dry sauce” as well. It’s a mix of different spices and herbs – … we do not know what exactly the ingredients are because every Barbecue place has its own ‘secret’ recipe.
A good Barbecue Restaurant or diner offers either “wet” or “dry” sauce and specializes in this art. It’s not necessary to mention that a “good” Barbecue place has to make its own sauce – supermarket products are out of question, of course.
Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs Restaurant in Memphis is considered one of the leaders in the art of creating ‘dry’ Barbecue. Please check out our link list with other restaurants and Barbecue contests across the United States. The link is provided at the end of this article.

Wet sauce friends are divided into the ones that love a more spicy character of the sauce or a more sweet one. The annual Barbecue contests all over the United States are the perfect place for a Barbecue friend or novice to check out all the different flavors of meats and sauces in one place.


Charcoal or Gas grills? This is a topic not open to discussion. No question about it and no arguing at all: Grilling on CHARCOAL is a must. The restaurants and Barbecue chefs certainly have their preference of wood they use in order to guarantee the typical smoky flavor of the meat.


Beef or Pork, what makes a the best Barbecue meat? Every state and within the states the restaurants have their own idea of what the best “material” is or what must be used for an original Barbecue. It seems that many are leaning towards pork but it’s hard to tell if it is the majority. Texas BBQ is also often prepared with pork even it is the typical beef state. Slow cooked (means an entire day!) Beef Brisket (piece of the breast or lower chest) is a delicacy and every barbecue friend should try it at least once.


There are large national events that bring together the best of the best Barbecue chefs of the Nation. Many contests require a pre-qualification and therefore the visitor can expects extraordinary Barbecue creations, styles, and sauces. These contests are a great way to find out towards what kind of Barbecue you are leaning to.


Many (however of course not all) Barbecue friends agree that it was probably Christopher Columbus who found the natives in the Caribbean cooking meat over charcoal in their open fireplaces and topping the meat with spices (and may be even sauces).
It’s said that the natives called this style of cooking ‘barbacoa’ which became the word “barbecue” later in the United states.
During the Colonial era this barbacoa was probably brought first to the Southern states and later to all other places in the United States.
Texas, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kansas, Kentucky and others consider themselves today still as the original Barbecue states.

By the way, Spare Ribs could be likely be invented by the slaves that were forced to work on plantations in the American South. Since they were given often the bones and other rests of the butchered animals they were forced to ‘make something out of it’ – so they grilled the ribs over charcoal pits and used their experience with exotic spices to cook a sauce for the meat. That’s how spare ribs could be invented…

North Carolina’s Barbecue Trail

North Carolina, long the world’s premiere bastion of barbecue, now celebrates its heritage and diversity with a map of the state’s perfect pits.

Starting in Ayden and finishing in Murphy, the North Carolina Barbecue Society Historic Barbecue Trail spotlights ca. 25 stops that specialize in roasting pig the old-fashioned way – slowly over pits of wood or charcoal.

The trail is a central piece of a plan by the North Carolina Barbecue Society (NCBS) to elevate the state’s profile as the best place on earth to find this delicacy. Find the trail map and information about the ‘cue culture on the website of the NCBS, see link further below.

Barbecue Links on the Web

Web: National Capital Barbecue Battle
Washington, District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)
Web: Massachusetts State BBQ & Blues Festival
BBQ Cookouts of the New England Barbecue Society
Web: Memphis in May BBQ World Championship
Memphis, Tennessee
Web: Stubb’s Bar-B-Que
Austin, Texas
Web: North Carolina BBQ Society
North Carolina
Web: Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue
Kansas City, Missouri
Web: Joe’s Barbecue
Kansas City, Missouri
Web: Jack Stack’s BBQ
Kansas City, Missouri
Web: Pappy’s Smokehouse
St. Louis, Missouri
Web: Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs
‘Dry’ BBQ Memphis, Tennessee

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