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Help me with some regional flavor ideas.

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    Help me with some regional flavor ideas.

    A few relatives were over recently and having watched American Pitmasters they asked me about the money muscle. I showed it to them and discussed a bit, but decided to put together a 'box' for them to try various parts; money muscle, tubes, from the horn and pulled. They said far and away the best BBQ ever but I think a lot of it had to do with knowing what it was and how each part is different opposed to just a big pile of pulled.

    They are coming back over in a few weeks and I am doing some pork shoulder and brisket and possibly some other meat, but this time I want to take a regional perspective. They grew up eating KC and Memphis style BBQ but they loved my mustard sauce too, so I want to do just a few sauces to show the wide variety of what is out there.

    Meathead has his article here on regional sauces, but I wanted to get your ideas on which you think highlight regions the best while showing a wide variety. I would prefer to keep the meat sauce and glaze free so the tasting isn't compromised. If there are some commercial sauces you like let me know that too.

    I think you have to have:
    • A traditional KC sauce (or do you? they are Sweet Baby Ray folks for the most part, do you keep it for comparison?) They really love Head Country, that is an Oklahoma brand KC sauce and OK is only 15 minutes from here.
    • A Mustard sauce, I have my own but might try Meatheads or a commercial for consistency sake
    • There are the vinegary mop sauces like the East Carolina mop sauce, but if I don't actually mop the butt with it does it really stand alone as a sauce?
    • Maybe 1 more, something with some kick or out California way? Real fruity sauces and hot sauces have done well for me too.
    Those are mostly for pork, I can't say that I remember putting sauce on brisket, i'm not even sure what flavors would go well with it, so very open to suggestions here.

    His Tennessee whiskey sauce is to die for, one of my favorites for sure. If you haven't made his SC mustard sauce yet I would highly recommend it, it is my favorite overall Q sauce hands down. Another great one I stumbled upon is doing a double batch of MH's Lexington dip and putting it in a pan underneath the butts toward the end of the cook (I often finish my butts in the oven if the Fire is dying down and I don't want to fuss with lighting more charcoal) and letting the smokey drippings blend with the sauce. This creates a brilliant smokey/vinegary sauce that is dynamite. Use a gravy separator or put it in the fridge to skin the fat off at the end. So good.
    Last edited by bbqoaf; April 17, 2015, 02:27 PM.


      Pulled/chopped butt go great with the East Carolina style sauce, I use it all the time, but only after its pulled/chopped. I have never used it as a "mop" sauce. A good tomato based sauce, a mustard based sauce and a vinegar based sauce, would really show them a broad spectrum of flavor profiles...I've read about that Bama white sauce, but...eh I don't know about that one.


      • _John_
        _John_ commented
        Editing a comment
        I plan on doing the white sauce if I do chicken, I hear that is what it is best on.

      I like to mix 50/50 a sweet/spicy/vinegary sauce that I make with Mh's Columbia Gold mustard sauce. Add a dash of lime juice (optional but worth it). It's delightful and covers many bases, superb on both pulled pork and chicken. I eat it in MI so I call it MI style. Although truth be told most MI style sauce is the grocery store shelf since we're not known for BBQ...but I've been aiming to change that for several years now.


        This is pretty good with ribs. I basted them every 30 minutes while they cooked. You could try it off to the side for a dipping sauce.

        Chipotle-Plum Sauce

        1 teaspoon instant coffee
        3/4 cup plum sauce
        1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
        2 tablespoons minced chipotle in adobo with sauce
        2 tablespoons brown sugar
        Salt and freshly ground black pepper
        2 1/2 pounds pork back ribs


        Mix 1/4 cup hot water with the instant coffee and stir to dissolve. Once, dissolved, combine with the plum sauce, orange juice, chipotle sauce and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.



          KC is probably my fave but I also like a Western Carolina sauce. Tomato-based (put canned tomatoes with their juice in a loaf pan and pop them in the smoker for a couple of hours) with a fair amount of vinegar and hot sauce - zesty with some heat.

          Ever thought of doing an Asian sauce? Ground cloves, ginger, white pepper, coriander, anise and perhaps even a little allspice. I would puree some tomatoes and mix with a fair amount of hoisin sauce. To that I would add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and maybe a dash of fish sauce. If you want to liven it you could add red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce.


          • _John_
            _John_ commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, thought about several sauces, but wanted to try something that if they visited the area in question they would taste something similar.


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