While barbecue is a food genre in its own right, there’s nothing that says summer quite like meat hot off the grill or straight out of the smoker. What you serve your meat with is up to you, but Thrillist.comhas some specific sauce recommendations here. We’ve rounded up these tips to help you augment your meat with the perfect sauce.
Alabama White Sauce
Alabama barbecue legend Big Bob Gibson created this mayo-based dip for the hickory-smoked chicken he started serving in 1925. It’s a thin sauce made of mayonnaise, vinegar, apple juice, lemon, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. There are also variations that use horseradish. BEST FOR: Smoked chicken, turkey and as a dressing on coleslaw.
Eastern North Carolina Sauce
In this region of the country, barbecue is no frills and the sauce is created in the same tradition. Featuring cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to take the edge off, this thin sauce cuts through the rich, fatty layers of slow-cooked pork. BEST FOR: Whole hog or other cuts of pork.
Arthur Bryant’s Original Barbecue Sauce
Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City is a legendary sauce style that has fervent fans. Simply Google “Arthur Bryant’s sauce recipe” and you can experience some of the love. Enthusiasts spar over whether it is the ground celery seeds that give the sauce its signature gritty texture and whether you use double-strength pickle juice instead of vinegar to try to make a home-made version. The bottom line: It is delicious! BEST FOR: Burnt ends and ribs.
Western North Carolina Sauce
A ketchup-based sauce with brown sugar, this sauce is thicker and sweeter than its Eastern counterpart. While some ’cue fiends may consider the addition of ketchup blasphemous, others will find it downright delicious. BEST FOR:Pork shoulder
South Carolina Mustard Sauce
This condiment is tangy, but not sweet, and it’s a great complement to ketchup and vinegar-based sauces. Made with plain yellow mustard (no fancy Dijon), a smidge of tomato paste, cider vinegar, as well as hot sauce, garlic and onion powders, sugar, salt and pepper, the mustard is a nod to the German history of this area. BEST FOR: Pulled pork, chicken
No matter which way you slice your barbecue or pull your meat, there is sure to be at least one of these sauces that will make it taste even better. After all, the sauce is boss!