Top 10 Regional BBQ Styles in the United States

North Carolina

Known for its pork, North Carolina features pulled pork with a tangy vinegar sauce in the east and a ketchup-based “red” vinegar sauce in the west

South Carolina

Distinctive for its thin yellow mustard sauce, South Carolina BBQ is a pork-focused style with traditionally toasted buns

Memphis, Tennessee

Famous for pork barbecue, Memphis features dry-rubbed ribs and a tangy, thin, sweet sauce made with tomatoes, vinegar, and spices

Central Texas

A beef-centric BBQ style, Central Texas is known for its smoked meats over oakwood, seasoned with a simple rub, often served without sauce

Kentucky

Unique for its barbecued mutton served with a thin sauce flavored with Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, onion, and garlic

Kansas City

Offers a wide variety of meats with a signature thick, sweet, tomato-based sauce; famous for its burnt ends from brisket

Alabama

Known for pork shoulder and ribs with a unique white BBQ sauce made from mayonnaise, vinegar, and black pepper, especially popular on chicken and turkey​

California (Santa Maria-style)

Features tri-tip beef cooked over red oak coals and seasoned with a rub of salt, pepper, and dried garlic​

Pacific Northwest

Specializes in smoked salmon, traditionally cooked over an open fire on cedar planks​

Georgia

Georgia BBQ is diverse, featuring pork, brisket, smoked sausage, and chopped chicken, with a strong emphasis on smoky flavors​