Your sauciest summer: The best barbecue sauces from around the U.S.


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Spilled barbecue saucePut down those issues of Cosmopolitan and Maxim.

You don’t need ‘em because we’re here to provide the best advice on making your summer the sauciest.

Sink your teeth into this advice: Romantic flings and beachside couples’ massages are for the birds. This summer, plan to bring the hot, hot heat to your ribs, burgers and wings.

We have a few more sauce puns, but we’ll save them for Twitter. But seriously, whether it’s Memphis or Carolina, we’re in serious lust with barbecue sauces and you should be, too. We bring you a regional roundup of the best kinds of sauces (and the meats that go best with them) in the United States to further entice you.



Admittedly, there are other regionals of the United States better known for barbecue and sauces than the Northeast. We don’t go to New York City, Maine or Baltimore specifically for barbecue the way that foodies flock to other parts of the country.

But barbecue sauce enthusiasts would be wrong to turn up their noses at the Northeast’s contributions. Take, for example, Dinosaur BBQ, which makes its own sauces — for its eight restaurants in Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Harlem, Newark, Rochester, Stamford, Syracuse and Troy — that range from sweet to fire engine hot to garlic-y goodness. And subjectively, one of the best things about northeastern barbecue sauces is that you can put it on fish, chicken, beef or pork without fear of making a faux pas.

For those of you interested more in competition, there’s always the New England Barbecue Society. While others, such as the Mid-Atlantic Barbecue Association serve as a resource for those attempting to make the next best thing in sauce.



Whoa, baby! Where do we begin? Let’s start with a history lesson. Barbecue is a predominately American dish because, like the fine U.S., it’s borrowed from a melting pot of cultures. Barbecue combines the preservation and addition of spices from European explorers, a vinegar base from the English, zesty pepper from the Caribbean and mustard seeds from the soil of the South itself. And it all started in the South!

Also like the physical makeup of the people living in the United States, trying to define southern barbecue sauces by one signature trait would be a nightmare. Almost every state in the South has a signature sauce — North Carolina, South Carolina Mustard, Alabama White Sauce, Tennessee Whiskey Sauce, Lexington Dip and New Orleans, to name a few. Residents east of the Mississippi River tend to slather their sauce of choice on pork — whether pulled or as a rack.