Since the author is considered an expert in the art of barbecue, he is often asked what type of charcoal or wood do I use? Not sure that I have the expertise to be considered the barbecue guru to folks, but this is a question that I can answer from experience.
Memphis BBQ is in a league of its own. Memphis locals favor their style over all the other major barbecue styles. The author is from Alabama (which has its own style) but certainly likes Memphis style ribs over all other types. Check out Barbecue at Its Best for a general overview of different barbecue styles.
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
In my opinion the rub for barbecue is the foundational ingredient for good barbecue, whether it is going on ribs, chicken, pork or beef. While sauce can be important, I believe that sauce should complement the meat, not ‘BE’ the flavor. There are several core ingredients to most good rubs and then there are several spices that are common to make your rub unique, yet still retain barbecue flavor.
Second to ‘what is a boston butt’ the next most frequently asked question relating to barbecue is the difference between spare ribs and baby back ribs. Imagine a circle with the top of the circle being the back bone and the bottom of the circle being the sternum (also known as brisket). Baby back (loin back or back ribs are all interchangeable terms) run from just below the backbone (top) to the midpoint of the circle. Spare ribs continue from the midpoint all the way to the sternum. So each carcass supplies 2 racks (slabs) of baby backs and 2 racks of spares. Since baby back ribs come from the upper part of the pig near the tenderloin, they tend to be much more expensive than spare ribs which are lower on the pig so often deemed less valuable.
Pork is one of the best meats for barbecue. Pork is generally divided into four primal cuts: loin, shoulder, leg and belly. The loin is by far the most tender (and usually most expensive) part of the pig. Loin cuts include loin chop, butterfly chops, tenderloin, sirloin steaks, baby back ribs and the loin roast. In comparison to a cow, the loin chop is the equivalent of a t-bone steak. Shoulder cuts contain the highest level of fat and often make the most flavorful and most economical cuts. Because of the fat content, shoulder cuts are typically best suited for slow cooking at low heat for long periods of time (can we say smoking). Shoulder cuts include the Butt (blade) roast, shoulder chops, stewing pork and picnic roast.