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.
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Adam Lapetina, “A Field Guide to Regional Barbecue BBQ Styles in America,” Thrillist, February 10, 2014.
Bret Thorn, “Brisket rides the barbecue wave,” Nationrsq 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.