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Spice Advice: Ultimate BBQ Collection

Spice Advice: Ultimate BBQ Collection

BBQ; a national darling. You see it at every family cookout, food truck, and even as an elevated option at fine dining establishments. It’s the focus of shows, movies, songs, and books. It dominates the Southern cuisine zeitgeist and beyond, and the worldwide fanbase is huge, passionate, and diverse. Whether you say barbecue, barbeque, barbie, or BBQ, its cultural and culinary impact on Americans cannot be overstated. But before we dive into our US regional flavour faves, we have to give props to the BBQ OG’s. Interestingly, we can trace some of its tasty roots back to Africa, the islands of the Caribbean, and more locally; Native Americans. In fact, the word barbecue actually comes from barbacoa: the Caribbean Taino tribe’s word for grilling on a raised grate.  

In Central Texas, we’ve got Czech and German butcher-shop-owning immigrants to thank for sharing their smoking techniques with us. Thanks, y’all! For us, when it comes to Texas BBQ, beef brisket is king. This tough-at-first cut is usually rubbed with a coarse, salty, peppery mixture (how ‘bout our Texas Pepper BBQ Rub, eh?), then oak-smoked for at least 6 hours, but up to about 24. We love how smoky, spicy, and straightforward this profile is - you really don’t want to overpower the flavour of the meat itself. You want a nicely charred crust to form on the outside for maximum burnt-ends bliss, and you’re looking for a rosy pink “smoke ring” right below the crust. Tender and perfectly juicy. Now take the brisket, throw some plain white bread and pickles on a tray, and call it a day! You’ll also catch us scooping some out for our avocado toast, and pinching a lil to add another level of spice to the everyday fried egg.

South Carolina people do their BBQ thing a little differently. Again, Native American know-how is what led to what we now know as SC BBQ. But really, coastal South Carolinian tribes were cooking barbecue long before the state was given the name “Carolina” by the English. Traditionally, the protein of choice is almost always pork - sometimes pulled off the whole hog in the Pee Dee region, but sometimes the shoulder. The method is low temperature, for a long time; low & slow over hardwood coals. Then, when the meat’s ready, you grab a bun, and a light vinegar & mustard-based sauce on the side. The sharp mustard and vinegar give that perfect tangy bite to cut through the sumptuous, rich pork, so it’s easy to see why this is the preferred setup. We recommend sprinkling some of our Carolina Mustard BBQ Rub mid-cue to punch up the flavour! We also love the idea of mixing some into honey and olive oil for a delicious salad dressing or veggie marinade.

Last but certainly not least: Kansas City, baby! The self-proclaimed “Father of Kansas City BBQ”, Henry Perry was at least among the first to popularize the famous KC style in the early 1900’s. Kansas City style typically features a relatively varied selection of proteins, and a more liberal use of their signature sauce - a thick, bold, smoky, and sweet elixir. Slather it on pork ribs while the open flame kisses the meat, caramelizing the outer edges until they’re crispy and blackened. Or, just coat your chosen meat in our Kansas City BBQ Rub before you start grilling, and you’ll achieve that crave-able KC flavour from sweet brown sugar, savory tomato powder, and hickory smoke powder. We also suggest tossing it onto freshly fried vegetable chips for that traditional BBQ chip satisfaction, or mix some into a brine for tangy house-made pickles.

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