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Regional American BBQ

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Jun 20, 2017

Top Culinary Trends 2017: Regional American BBQ
AM Flavors on PM Menus


Rooted in tradition but evolving to meet the demands of today’s consumers, regional American barbecue comprises an astounding variety of proteins, sauces, spice rubs and techniques. To the purist, “barbecue” means cooking meat indirectly with charcoal or wood—from hickory-smoked chicken in Alabama to Chicago-style hot links prepared in an aquarium smoker. A more relaxed definition encompasses direct cooking or grilling, such as Maryland pit beef or Santa Maria, California tri-tip. The appeal of barbecue extends beyond sandwiches and “pick two” platters. Beef brisket, common in Texas, can be found in breakfast hash, nachos and more. Apple, maple and pecan wood smoke flavors are popping up in side dishes and desserts, too.

BBQ Trends
Regional American BBQ Infographic


Birmingham Pulled Pork Hushpuppy
Birmingham Pulled Pork Hushpuppy
Tender pulled pork folded into cornmeal Custom Culinary® Hushpuppy Batter with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh chives, fried to a golden crisp and served with Custom Culinary® Alabama-style White BBQ Sauce for dipping.
Kansas City Blue Smoke Brisket Sliders
Kansas City Blue Smoke Brisket Sliders
Bacon Compote

Custom Culinary® Applewood Smoke Base-marinated burnt ends drenched in a sweet and smoky Custom Culinary® Kansas City-style BBQ Sauce, on toasted slider buns with cider-pickled red onion and creamy cabbage slaw, for the ultimate signature brisket sliders.


Custom Culinary® helps to meet operational and consumer needs with products that add smoky depth to barbecue-inspired dishes, including these unique custom items:

  • Smoked Banana Pudding Custard
  • Applewood Smoke Base
  • Kansas City-style BBQ Sauce
  • Alabama-style White Sauce
  • Smoky Red Eye Gravy
  • Hushpuppy Batter
Featured Products


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Chef Michael Smith


Michael Smith, CEC, AAC, shares his appreciation for all things regional barbecue— from the competitive spirit and hometown pride to the skill of the pit masters and nuances of flavor. Read his latest blog post.
View blog post »

FlavorIQTM from Custom Culinary® is a revolutionary approach to product development. Our four-step process delivers fast, intelligent menu innovations to meet your needs. Click here to learn more about Custom Culinary® and FlavorIQTM.

Adam Lapetina, “A Field Guide to Regional Barbecue BBQ Styles in America,” Thrillist, February 10, 2014.
Bret Thorn, “Brisket rides the barbecue wave,” Nation’s Restaurant News, February 15, 2017.
Joan Lang, “New Groove for Barbecue,” Flavor & The Menu, May 2015.
Nick Solares, “The American Barbecue Regional Style Guide,” Eater, June 16, 2016.
Rebecca Flint Marx, “A Guide to Regional Barbecue of the USA,” Lucky Peach, accessed May 2017.