Nothing beats the mouth-watering smell of a Memphis barbecue, rich in smoky flavor and soul. Barbecue flavors and techniques vary by region, the most popular being from Kansas City, the Carolinas, Texas, and Memphis. The barbecue style of Memphis is what we could now term ‘slow food’. Each piece of meat is slowly smoked, allowing the flavours to mature in layers. Pork is the traditional meat of a Tennessee barbecue, but that should not stop you from trying the cooking methods, sauces, and rubs on other cuts of meat. Rubs are often favored over sauces, each with a unique tangy sweetness. Just like the city of Memphis itself, the barbecue that comes from this region is steeped in tradition and culture that is unforgettable and leaves you wanting more.
What is it about Tennessee barbecue that makes it so unique and intoxicating? Itǯs the combination of rich smokiness and acidic, yet slightly sweet flavors. Memphis barbecue is so renowned that every May since 1978, the city has hosted the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, called Memphis in May. This contest is the largest in the world for barbecuing pork. The contest has three main categories: pork ribs, pork shoulder, and whole pig. With approximately 100,000 competitors and spectators flocking to the festivities each year, Memphis barbecue has become one of the most favored styles of barbecue worldwide.
As you read on, you will discover more about the flavor and techniques that make Tennessee barbecue so delicious, and you will be able to recreate these same flavors in your own kitchen and backyard. Share them with your family and friends to create your own traditions and memories, all while bringing the taste of Memphis, Tennessee into your life.