Emanating from the South, there are four major styles of barbeque in the United States. Whether you prefer pork or beef, like your barbeque “dry” or slathered in sauce, these delicious barbeque quotes will inspire you to order these slowly-smoked scrumptious entrees.
Perhaps it’s because my parents are from Kansas, but growing up as a military brat living all over the US and Europe, I always thought that the style of barbeque served in Kansas City was the only type in the country. So the first time I was served a Carolina-style barbeque sandwich, I was shocked to bite into shredded pork with a pungent vinegar-based sauce.
Regardless of the regional style that tastes best to you, these mouthwatering BBQ quotes will inspire you to try barbeque across the country, whether it’s chopped or sliced, “dry” or saucy.
Before we dive into these delicious barbeque quotes, let’s talk about how to spell the word that is synonymous with slow-cooked smoked meat. In the United States’s 250-year-ish history, there have been more than five accepted ways to spell barbeque. But for the past 150 years, Americans have settled on just two spellings: barbecue and barbeque. Since I live in Kansas City, the Barbeque Capital of the World, I default to the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s spelling and use a “q.”
Fun Fact: In the first president’s diary, he penned that he attended a “barbicue” in September 1773.
Four Main Styles of Barbeque in the US
With a wide range of dry-rubbed meats smoked to perfection and topped with tomato and molasses based sauces that range from sweet to spicy, this Midwestern girl believes that Kansas City barbeque is the best in the US. After all, there’s a reason KC has been crowned the Barbeque Capital of the World. However, three other types of barbeque are popular across the United States.
The barbeque style popular in the Carolinas is one of the oldest in the nation, and it nearly always features pork. Lexington-style Carolina barbeque is typically a roasted pork shoulder topped with a ketchup and vinegar sauce. But Eastern-style Carolina barbeque expands beyond pork shoulder to include a wider range of pork cuts, topping the smoked meat with a mayonnaise-based sauce.
Like Carolina barbeque, Memphis barbeque stars pork, especially ribs. In this part of the United States, you can enjoy ribs either wet (slathered in barbeque sauce) or dry (rubbed with spices and seasonings). Shredded barbeque pork is also commonly served on a variety of dishes in this part of the South, including sandwiches, nachos, pizzas, salads, and pasta dishes.
Everything is bigger in Texas, so it’s no surprise that its barbeque style varies by region based on if you’re in East, South, West, or Central Texas. As with Kansas City-style barbeque, Texas barbeque isn’t all about pork. Rather, the Lone Star State’s barbeque typically features beef. But while Kansas City is all about its dry rub and sauce, Texans use both much more sparingly.
The Tastiest BBQ Quotes
Regardless of where you enjoy barbeque in America, these delicious quotes are sure to inspire tasty travels.
1. “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” — Anthony Bourdain, American chef and author
Well said, Anthony. All the world needs is a little more barbeque and a little less judgment!
2. “There’s grilling, and there’s barbecue. Grilling is when people say, ‘We’re going to turn up the heat, make it really hot and sear a steak, sear a burger, cook a chicken.’ Barbecue is going low and slow.” — Guy Fieri, American chef and author
That’s right, Guy, and I haven’t really mastered either.
3. “If summer had one defining scent, it’d definitely be the smell of barbecue.” — Katie Lee, American cookbook author and food critic
4. “Good barbecue has to fall off of the bone when you grab it, and, to me, it’s not pull-hard chewy.” — Sinbad, American comedian
True! If it’s “pull-hard chewy” it probably wasn’t cooked low and slow for long enough.
5. “My comfort food, of all things, would be southern soul barbecue.” — Zach Johnson, American professional golfer
Barbeque is the ultimate comfort food!
6. “Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the U.S. to Europe’s wines or cheeses. Drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes.” — John Shelton Reed, American author
Such a legitimate observation about barbeque in the United States!
7. “I definitely enjoy my barbecue.” — Billy Butler, American professional baseball player
And if you don’t remember, Billy Butler was a designated hitter and first baseman for the Kansas City Royals for seven years, so you can guess what style barbeque he likes best!
8. “Golf is my passion, and so is great barbecue.” — John Daly, American professional golfer
I’ll take a slab of ribs, hold the golfing.
9. “Barbecue is to North Carolina as the hot dog is to New York.” — Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author
Whether you visit the Carolinas, Kansas City, Memphis, or Texas, you can count on barbeque being a way of life.
10. “I love New York, but I’m happy to be away from it. I really like small towns, with welcoming barbecue restaurants.” — David Burnett, American magazine photojournalist
Me, too, David.
11. “In America, diner food or roadside barbecue is the best road food, but I’m not a fan of eating while driving — too messy.” — José Andrés, Spanish-American chef and founder of World Central Kitchen
Barbeque is best enjoyed sitting down at a table. With a roll of paper towels (or a big pile of napkins) and no white shirts!
12. “If your face and hands don’t get messy while eating BBQ, you’re doing it all wrong.” — Unknown
Yeah, José Andrés warned you in the quote above!
13. “Barbecue is the good old technique of people making a fire and putting some stuff over the top.” Graham Elliot, American chef
The father of Kansas City barbeque, Henry Perry, got his start in the early 1900s by slowly smoking meat over a fire pit and selling tender chunks of brisket to workers in the Garment District.
14. “I use ginger like garlic. I love it for steaming fish and making barbecue sauces or roasted chicken.” — Tom Douglas, American chef and author
15. “Being so closely related to the South, barbecue was part of segregation and helped defeat it.” — Bobby Seale, American political activist and author
I love the role barbeque has played in ending segregation across the South. In Kansas City, Arthur Bryant’s is one of the oldest black-owned businesses founded in 1908.
16. “Whenever I travel to the South, the first thing I do is visit the best barbecue place between the airport and my hotel. An hour or two later, I visit the best barbecue place between my hotel and dinner.” — Jeffrey Steingarten, food writer
I get it. Barbeque is a religion in the South!
17. “The people who say ‘you are what you eat’ have always seemed addled to me. In my opinion, you are what you think, and if you don’t think, you can eat all the meat in Kansas City and still be nothing but a vegetable.” — Russell Baker, Pulitzer Prize winning American author
I love this quote! And, for the record, if you prefer barbequed vegetables, then be sure to order a Bella Z-Man at Joe’s Kansas City. This vegetarian-friendly menu item substitutes portobello mushroom for sliced brisket in the restaurant’s signature sammy.
18. “Although I grew up in Kansas City…I have always kept more or less au courant of Texas barbecue, like a sports fan who is almost monomaniacally obsessed with basketball but glances over at the NHL standings now and then.” — Calvin Trillin, American journalist
Yeah, that’s the pecking order for how I rank barbeque across the country.
19. “I have opinions about the differences between Memphis barbecue and Texas barbecue. Put me in the kitchen and you’ll see how Southern I can be.” — Chris Hardwick, American comedian, actor, and writer
Tell us more, Chris…
20. “Let’s hear it for Texas barbecue joints where the sandwiches are always chopped beef, the tea is always sweet, and none of the salads actually contain lettuce.” — Unknown
Texas-style barbeque is my second favorite type of barbeque. And that sweet tea is awfully darn delish!
21. “Barbecue sauce is like a beautiful woman. If it’s too sweet, it’s bound to be hiding something.” — Lyle Lovett, American singer-songwriter
Spoken like a true Texan
22. “I’m not a huge fan of North Carolina barbecue. I like Memphis style barbecue and Kansas City.” — Dale Earnhardt Jr., professional stock car racing driver
Dude, I’m soooooo with you!
23. “I love barbecue, it’s my favorite thing to eat.” — David Nail, American country music artist
I couldn’t have said it better myself, David!
Do You Have a Favorite Barbeque Quote?
What is your favorite BBQ quote? Which barbeque style is your favorite — Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis, or Texas? What do you like most about it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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