Barbeque runs deep in the veins of this country, with a history as rich and diverse as these beautiful United States. Barbeque is a slow cooking practice that is based on the Caribbean’s process of slow cooking over indirect heat and was originally transported here by the colonists. The process has been said to have been refined and perfected by slaves because the quality of meat they were given was so poor, it needed slow cooking and creativity to be made into a delicious meal. Since then barbeque has become more than a meal; it has become a pastime and a source of regional pride with each area of the country claiming that their unique brand of barbeque is best.
Even though there are a number of different styles of barbeque, they all employ similar smoking strategies. What differs is the type of wood that is used, as well as different animals, cuts of meat, and different sauces and accompaniments. In the early years, farmers in the South relied heavily on pigs for their meat because pig farming was easy and cheap, while cattle farming was far more prominent in Texas. To this day, the south relies heavily on pork for their barbeque, and Texas is all about the beef. The regions of this country that are most known for their barbeque are often referred to as “The Barbeque Belt,” and those regions are broken down into Texas, Kansas City, Alabama, the Carolinas, and the style that Red Hot and Blue Annapolis is famous for, Memphis.
As aforementioned, Texas barbeque relies heavily on beef. German immigrants in Texas were known to do a lot of cattle farming, and they would smoke a lot of beef brisket because its high fat content allowed for it to be cooked over long periods of time without drying out. Texas has a few different subcultures in its barbeque community. Central Texas is known for dry smoked meats, served plain without sauce. West Texas uses direct heat when cooking their “Cowboy Style” barbeque. “Cowboy Style” barbeque will often employ the cooking of mutton and goats. South Texas barbeque is heavily influenced by Mexico, therefore a lot of their dishes use the meat in some form of taco. They are also known for wrapping the head of the steer in agave leaves and slow cooking it in a pit. East Texas barbeques bears more of a resemblance to that of the Southern states. East Texas uses more pork than other Texas style barbeque, and relies heavily on sauces and chopped meats.