Barbecue is one of those things that can be incredibly divisive, but it’s also a delicious regional tradition that brings people together. Different parts of the country have differing opinions on what constitutes barbecue, from the sauces to the cuts of meat to the type of animal. While Denver, Colorado and the surrounding areas may not be known for their barbecue, that doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand at any of these regional specialties the next time you light up the grill.
Everything is bigger in Texas, and barbecue is practically a religion down there. Beef is the primary source, and brisket is one delicacy that every grillmaster should attempt at least once in their life. Brisket is served chopped or sliced and served with sauce, but the specifics vary based on where you are in the state.
Kentucky certainly isn’t the first place most people think of when you think of barbecue, but they definitely have their own take on it. In western Kentucky specifically, you may be able to find a regional specialty of mutton barbecue. That’s right, mutton. You’ll also find some more traditional fare like ribs and pork, but the long tradition of sheep farming has led to this unique barbecue.
No barbecue list is complete without mentioning North Carolina, a battleground of competing ‘cues. The eastern half of the state love their vinegar sauces while the western half loves more of a tomato-based sauce to go with pulled pork.
Kansas City is known for thick, tomato-based sauce and smoked chicken, pork, beef, sausage—you name it. Known as the BBQ capital of the world, Kansas City also specializes in the treat of the burnt ends of brisket.
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