What Exactly is Memphis Style Barbecue?

Oct 18, 2019 | Memphis Style BBQ

Red Hot & Blue’s mouth-watering barbecue might be famous in Annapolis, but we confess that our recipe wasn’t developed in Maryland. The smoking method we use here at Red Hot and Blue Annapolis actually originated in Tennessee—and that’s why we call it “Memphis Style Barbecue.”

Memphis Style Barbecue

But what exactly is Memphis-Style Barbecue, and why do we think it’s so special? While any type of meat can be transformed into barbecue, Memphis barbecue is typically comprised of smoked pork served either pulled or in a slab. Red Hot & Blue’s Annapolis technique involves slow smoking the highest-quality meats over hickory logs to maximize tenderness while enhancing the pork’s savory natural flavor. Unlike other types of barbecue, the focus is on flavoring the meat itself, and sauces don’t necessarily play a starring role.

One of the most distinctive features of Memphis barbecue is the use of dry rubs.  Primarily used on ribs, this dry style is exceptionally flavorful and has the added advantage of being much less messy to enjoy. Dry rubs are made from a combination of various herbs and spices, such as garlic, onion, cumin, and paprika. After the ribs are coated with the rub, they are placed in the smoker until they are so tender they fall off the bone. For those who insist on sauce for their barbecue, dry ribs are usually served with sauce on the side.

And if you just have to slather sauce on your dry-rub barbecue, rest assured that Red Hot & Blue Annapolis serves authentic Memphis-style sauces. Though the recipes vary from cook to cook, the sauces typically include tomatoes, vinegar, and a secret blend of spices. Sauces are generally slightly sweet, tangy, and fairly thin.

No barbecue meal is complete without the traditional accompaniments, and Memphis style is no exception. Southerners love their red beans & rice, fried okra, collard greens, hush puppies, and sweet potato casserole and at Red Hot & Blue Annapolis, we serve them all. Come join us for a taste of old Memphis tonight. View our full menu!