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Find the Best BBQ Restaurants in Your City »
Each city has them -- you just need to know where to look. Discover all the top "Q" near you.
Great barbecue is as American as apple pie. But how it's done varies across every region of the country. Which is the best? That fiercely passionate debate takes place across all strains of aficionado. Time to decide for yourself. From rubs to sauces to type of meat, here's a road map to America's four major types of "Q":
Memphis barbecue pride runs almost as deep as its love for Elvis. This legendary 'cue lore revolves around smoked meat and tasty chops cooked over wood or coals. Known for its use of dry rubs, Memphis style coats the meat in spices and slow-smokes it until it literally falls off the bone.
Lone Star State chefs can often be found preparing their meat in an above-ground smoker -- so the meat absorbs the taste and smell of the smoke. Only rub against Texas-style? Sometimes, the Ketchup-like, tomato-based sauces can be uninspiring.
North Carolina »
There are two styles of BBQ in North Carolina: The eastern part of the state prefers the whole hog while the western regions generally indulge in the pork shoulder. Sauces range from vinegar- to tomato-based -- and the meat's usually sliced, chopped or pulled. Either way, NC folk loves their 'cue almost as much as Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski.
Kansas City also takes its barbecue very seriously. Barbecue beef and pork are slow-cooked for almost a day before they're served. One dish that tends to rule all? Burnt ends. These are the sometimes tough, chewy, flavorful pieces of meat that are cut off the edges of a brisket.