dreamstime_xxl_33200862-160621-576993177bea7-300x200We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: here at Smokin’ Dave’s, we dedicated to preserving and honoring the art of American BBQ. Of course, we do everything we can to honor the idea of BBQ itself and the amazing flavors you can get. But honoring every type of barbecue sauce out there would be impossible for any one restaurant to do, because there are just too many styles. Here’s a breakdown of the myriad of different barbecue sauce offerings from around the United States.


When it comes to barbecue sauces, most modern sauces can trace their origins back to East Carolina sauce. While it uses many of the traditional ingredients such as vinegar, hot pepper flakes, and black pepper, it doesn’t contain sugar as most modern barbecue sauces do. The basic ingredients are where most barbecue sauces get their origins.


The Lexington Dip, sometimes known as Western Carolina Dip sauce or Piedmont Dip sauce, has its roots in East Carolina Sauce. The big difference here is that tomato paste or sauce is used for flavor and as a thickening agent. Ketchup can also be used.


Kansas City barbecue sauce is, by far, the most popular barbecue sauce in the country. Kansas City sauce came from the Lexington dip, in that it is tomato-based with vinegar and spices. The main addition that makes it Kansas City sauce is a sweetening agent, usually sugar or corn syrup. Because KC sauce is thicker it is less likely to get into the meat and mostly sits on the surface.


Memphis barbecue sauce is a derivative of Kansas City Sauce, but tends to have a considerably higher vinegar percentage than KC sauce. Another aspect that differentiates Memphis sauce is that it often used molasses as its sweetener.


Here’s one more derivation of Kansas City Sauce. Florida sauce is similar to Memphis barbecue sauce in that it contains a higher percentage of vinegar. Florida changes up its sweeteners, though, and uses fruit juices from citrus fruits that you might find in that area of the country: pineapple, papaya, mango, guava, and oranges.


The distinctive aspect of South Carolina sauce is that it is mustard-based and seldom has any tomato aspect to it. The mustard idea started with a wave of German immigrants to a particular area in South Carolina.


Using just a little tomato paste and almost no sweetener, Texas sauce is distinguished by its heavy use of chili powder, black pepper, onion, and meat drippings. Spices such as cumin and various regional peppers can also be added. Because it is a thinner sauce, it is more likely to penetrate the meat.


Here’s one of the most unusual barbecue sauces around! Alabama white sauce is white because it’s mayonnaise-based. After that the ingredient list gets back to normal: sugar, black pepper, and vinegar. It’s more commonly used on chicken than on other meats.

Who knew American BBQ had such amazing variety? Well, we did, because we love BBQ so much! When you’re looking for an Estes Park restaurant that delivers an amazing barbecue flavor or need BBQ catering in the area, stop by Smokin’ Dave’s!