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Summer Guide to Barbeque Sauces

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So many types of barbeque sauce, so little time. Here's a guide to simplify things.


It's summertime, and if you're thinking about anything other than beaches and barbeques, well, some may call you un-American. To help build your reputation as a red-blooded patriot, you might want to school yourself on the many types of barbeque sauces born and bred right here in the U.S. of A.

1. Kansas City
This variety of sauce is what many people think of when barbeque is mentioned. It's thick and tomato-based, often enhanced with vinegar, black pepper, molasses, sugar or liquid smoke. Also, it tends to be sweeter than other sauces, and therefore burns faster – so just add it on your meat during the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking.
Barbeque sauce with brush

2. South Carolina
If you like mustard, then you'll love the South Carolina variety of barbeque sauce. Most often, this variety is paired with pork, as the tangy condiment complements the fatty goodness of the meat quite well.

3. Texas
Unsurprisingly, they like their flavors big it the Lone Star State. Sauces from Texas tend to be tomato-based and contain spices from south of the border, like ancho chile powder and cumin. Some say this condiment is best on brisket, but you can be the judge.

4. Tennessee
Whiskey is the word for this wonderful creation – after all, there's a reason the Jack Daniel's World Championship is held in the Volunteer State. You could even make your favorite bottle sauce Tennessee-style by adding a tablespoon or two of whiskey.

5. Memphis
Barbeque enthusiasts in this Tennessee march to their own beat by using a dry rub. Okay, okay, it's not technically a sauce – so what's it doing on this list? Well, the rub – an amalgam of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, chili powder, oregano and other secret spices – imparts the same smoky, complex flavors of a sauce, but with less mess.

6. Louisiana
They like it hot down in the bayou, as evidenced by the fact that this region's barbeque sauces are little more than a pepper and chile blend supplemented with tomato sauce. Try this sauce on your favorite Cajun dishes or even just to spice up an American classic.

Now that you know your stuff, it's time to put that knowledge to work. Experiment with different sauces in recipes like this Root Beer Barbecue Beef Sandwich, Barbeque Chicken Pizza or Stuffed Barbeque Chicken Pitas.
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