Provocative post title, eh? Well for us it’s also a prudent one as well for a number of reasons…a few of which I’ll explore in the following text! As a ‘BBQ Guy’ I am ALL ABOUT wood smoke and low temps, they just make our locally sourced meats and fish taste INCREDIBLE! (of course I am slightly biased on the matter!)
When asked, I am always quick to point out that we do MOST of our ‘Q’ in a ‘Traditional Eastern North Carolina’ style….what does THAT mean to me? Well, to ME it means that we use primarily Hickory wood and our rubs and sauces are those that are frequently associated with that region of the country. Specifically, our sauce is a mostly Vinegar based (about 75/25 Dark Cider Vinegar to Ketchup with some ‘other spices’ in there too) sauce that is thin and adds a nice kick to our proteins. That said, we are pretty fond of doing our Brisket ‘Texas Style’….simple rub; Salt and Pepper with NO SAUCE, cooked over mostly Mesquite! So, there you have it…a few of OUR methods of doing ‘Q’ and completely different perspectives of ‘sauce’!
Actually, when you think about it…the thing that REALLY makes REAL ‘BBQ’ so different from region to region in the USA isn’t the cooking methods or techniques…other than the choice of Wood versus Charcoal and what type…we all cook it in similar ways…it’s the SAUCE that separates (or unifies) us! Whether it’s a thick, sweet sauce with a smokey flavor or a thin ‘Carolina Style’ like ours or perhaps NONE at ALL…like they do (rightly methinks) in Texas…we are fixated on correlating BBQ and SAUCE in this country!
To be really honest…it always almost hurts me to see a customer pouring just about ANY sauce on our meats with the notable exception of a Pulled Pork Sandwich and even then…just a little bit! I mean, we carefully select each and every cut of meat that goes onto our smokers and then spend up to several hours preparing it to hit the smoke. We then take the time and effort to do it right…Low & Slow…cooking our Pork Shoulder for up to 26 hours until it’s DONE….not by a clock! Then we let it rest just long enough before we pull it, pack it and send it directly to our customers, fresh off the smoker! THEN….Sweet Baby Ray…here I come…SMOTHERING OUT all that hard work! – No offense to Sweet Baby Ray or any other sauce for that matter…it’s just sad to see all that effort erased by a bottle!
There is a LOT of things that I love about TEXAS….the fact that no matter what part of the state you are in (it’s a BIG state) folks are almost universally opposed to using sauce on their BBQ! They GET IT! It’s the SMOKE and the preparation combined with cooking technique and love that make it BBQ….NOT SAUCE!!! Although this assumption begs the question; If you take sauce out of the equation, what separates our ‘BBQ’ regions? – Too big a topic for this post…just a rhetorical question that I’d love to hear other’s opinions on!
Well…that’s about enough ranting on for a Wednesday afternoon…just food for thought and my perspectives about BBQ and Sauces…love to hear what y’all think! Thanks for reading along…now git out there and make it a GREAT DAY!!!