Get ready to hit the road and embark on a mouthwatering adventure as we explore the 10 states with finger-licking BBQ that are worth every mile of travel. Whether you’re a die-hard barbecue enthusiast or simply a lover of good food, these destinations promise to satiate your cravings and leave you yearning for more. So, pack your appetite and join us on a tantalizing tour of America’s BBQ havens.
No surprise Texas sits atop the pile for people’s favorite barbecue. The state prides itself on high-quality meat, good grilling, and huge portions. One fan says he loves the simplicity of Texas barbecue. “I prefer very simple seasoning and no sauce,” he explains. “I just want the flavors of meat and smoke.” Texas is most famous for its smoked beef brisket.
Missouri has a strange role in the U.S. barbecue game. It sits above the Mason-Dixon line — an anomaly for barbecue supremacy. However, Kansas City-style barbecue attracts thousands of meat pilgrims every year. “I’m from Texas, but I think K.C. BBQ is best,” concedes a humble grill connoisseur. “They make [sic] great meat and don’t fear sauce, whereas a lot of Texas places hate sauces.” If great meat is your thing, get to Kansas City!
A commenter from Birmingham, Alabama, is such a fan of Memphis barbecue that they make pilgrimages just for food. “We have to jump in the car and drive nine hours north-east to Memphis, Tennessee,” admits the smokey meat lover, “where dry-rubbed ribs and pulled pork will give you multiple foodgasms.” Tennessee is renowned for its smokey, sweet-tasting barbecued pork.
4. North Carolina
“You will likely get different responses based on where people grew up,” says a philosophical North Carolinian. I live in North Carolina, and locals love their vinegar-based barbecue.” The Old North State has a curious barbecue style, dousing its pork with a vinegar-based glaze.
5. South Carolina
The ‘other’ Carolina and its northern cousins have always competed for supremacy. Whether it’s through college sports or food, the rivalry remains strong. The state produces bountiful mustard crops, so mustard is prevalent in South Carolinian grilling — mustard powder in dry rubs or mustard-based sauce.
Personally, as a native Floridian, nothing tastes better than Florida pork barbecue,” begins the thread. With such strong cultural roots in Florida, the definitive Floridian grilling style is hard to pin down. Caribbean traders brought the word barabicu to the mainland, though Floridian barbecue comprises many Cuban, Spanish, and other European influences.
So what is Georgia’s style? “Well that all depends on where in Georgia you are,” says an Atlanta local. It isn’t easy to pinpoint exactly what Georgia’s distinctive style is. Parts of Georgia favor smoking their meat dry, while others prefer a sweeter-based sauce accompaniment.
“One of my best memories of barbeque was Fletcher’s on Government Street in Mobile,” says someone who grew up in the region. The state’s region defines its ‘Bama’ barbecue. Oak or pecan-smoked meat is the staple throughout most of the state, while the white sauce-basted chicken is more common near the shores of the Tennessee River. In the north, even Carolina or Memphis-style variations of pork are available, too.
“California has the best tri-tip,” declares someone who appreciates California’s cultural grilling heritage. Santa Maria barbecue is the West Coast state’s preferred method. Favoring smaller cuts cooked in shorter periods, they give their beef tri-tip a simple salt, pepper, and garlic rub before grilling over native oak wood.
One must travel far to try Hawaii’s distinctive barbecue recipes. Sitting remotely in the Pacific Ocean, America’s 50th state loves to grill. The main difference in Hawai’i style barbecue is the sauce, which uses molasses, ginger, and soy sauce for its authentic Asian-infused flavor. Hawaiian grilling differs from most mainland styles, but it can be wonderful.
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