May 27, 2010

North Carolina Barbecue - East vs. West

Being from North Carolina, I'm a big fan of barbecue.

Barbecue is a noun. It's not a verb. One doesn't "barbecue" eats barbecue.

Barbecue is also not chicken or beef or lamb or goat. Barbecue is pork. And, barbecue is cooked over wood......slowly.

If you have any questions, please ask for my copy of "Holy Smoke," it's the bible of North Carolina Barbecue. Or, consult with the North Carolina Barbecue Society.

Now, in North Carolina we have our adherents to Eastern 'Cue and believers in Western 'Cue.

What's the difference?

In Eastern North Carolina, barbecue is a whole pig cooked over wood. The sauce is vinegar-based. No tomatoes!

In Western North Carolina, they tend to cook pork shoulders. They also tend to use gas fires. And, the sauce (those heathens), is tomato-based. Really, it's ketchup-based.

Eastern Sauce
  • 1 gallon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cups crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (optional, but common today)
  • Combine, heat and simmer for a few minutes. Then let it sit for at least 4 hours. No need to put this in the fridge.

Western Sauce

  • 3 quarts white vinegar
  • 1 quart water
  • 5 1/3 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cayenne
  • 4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons
  • Combine and simmer for 15 minutes and bring it to a boil. Then cool.

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