I don’t really get this regional BBQ rivalry thing.

I know that this is going to be rank heresy and everything, but speaking as somebody who doesn’t actually come from a region with a BBQ tradition… it all tastes about the same to me.  Chili, too.

There.  I said it.  I was tired of living the lie.

Moe Lane

PS: Look, I’ll happily eat both BBQ and chili until I burst. But I’m not detecting the variations that I’m apparently supposed to be experiencing, here.

PPS: All that being said; suggestions for good BBQ and chili cookbooks welcome.

18 thoughts on “I don’t really get this regional BBQ rivalry thing.”

  1. Gaaah! Vegetarian chili is an abomination, as well as an oxymoron. Chili should be nothing but meat and spices, primarily chili powder and salt. Anything else and you might as well be eating tofu.

  2. Oh, Moe. I’m SO sorry.

    Fine. I’ll get some flown in from Corky’s, and we’ll educate your heathen Yankee self at some point this summer — I’ve got some of the sauce here already, but the meat itself is even better. I know we’re both crazy busy, but this is IMPORTANT, dammit.

    Now you’re making me even sadder about missing the Memphis In May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, you heartless bastard. Sometime this summer (we’ll have to work out the exact timing), you provide the vampire movies and the beer, and I’ll provide the barbecue. Deal?

  3. Eastern North Carolina style. Vinegar-based sauce, with Texas Pete added to taste. No beef, no ketchup, no nothin’ else — including debate. End of story.

    I’d like to think I maybe had a hand in this latest trolling of yours, Moe. 😉

  4. Moe,

    Coming from a Texas family, I probably got more Q as a child than milk. I’ve also traveled extensively, especially in the South, and I LOVE food, so I’ve tasted Q just about everywhere that thay CLAIM to have “the best.”

    Ya know what????? It’s ALL the best. Dry rub is GREAT – if it’s good dry rub, on good meat, smoked/barbecued PROPERLY (low heat and lots of smoke, from REAL wood and charcoal). Sauce can be excellent – if it’s GOOD sauce, used in proper proportions on GOOD meat, smoked/barbecued properly. I’ll eat Memphis Q, Carolina Q, Texas Q, St. Louis Q, even Santa Maria Q (California style), and be damned happy to do it. So, I like them all – but to say you don’t see/taste any DIFFERENCE?????? Dude, you must have the taste buds of a desert burro.

    Chili, OTOH, is, as the man said, meat and spices. Oh, and beer. Lots of beer. In the chili, and while eating it. That’s it. NOTHING else. “Chili beans” are a Yankee abomination, that no self-respecting Texican would eat to avoid starvation. Now, you can have beef chili (my favorite), pork-based chili (although, if ya got good pork, make chili verde), chicken chili (NOT my favorite), turkey chili, buffalo chili and rattlesnake chili – but if y’all put anything in it but meat and spices (and beer, lots of beer), ya just ain’t doin’ it right.

  5. “Dude, you must have the taste buds of a desert burro. ”

    Well, I *did* smoke for twenty years, and that *did* seem to have to have some adverse effects on my sense of taste/smell.

  6. If it messed up your taste buds to the point you can’t taste the difference between Texas barbecued brisket and Carolina barbecued baby backs, you must have been smoking some NASTY s**t. Tarred mooring ropes, perhaps???? Gauloises???

  7. Well, alright Mike, if it’ll make y’all feel better:

    “The ONLY Q worth eating is Texas Q!!! Beef, beef, and more beef (brisket, of course!!). Lots of good, spicy sauce, just a little sweetness to temper the heat. Burnt ends!!!!! Yum! Anything else ain’t Q, it’s just badly-cooked meat. PORK?!?!??! Pork ain’t Q. If you just GOTTA have some ribs, what’s wrong with some good ole Texas beef ribs?!?!?!?! Now, that THERE is some good Q!!!!”


  8. Oh boy. I’m not even going to get involved in Q debate, but I will say without hesitation that Cincinnati style “chili” is the vilest abomination ever to wear the name.

    Unless you think of it as a thin Hungarian ground beef curry, then it’s palatable.


  9. Randy,

    TRUE DAT!!! The person who invented “Cincinnati-style ‘chili'” should die a horrible death – like from eating his/her own concoction.

    I usually use a good, slightly fatty 7-bone chuck roast, cut up, seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne and chili powder and browned, then I add diced onions, LOTS of garlic, a little apple cider vinegar, lots of beer and LOTS more cayenne and chili powder – sometimes more salt and cumin, depending on the taste. Cook low and slow for a few hours, taste and adjust. I know folks (even some Tejas folks) that add tomatoes, but I just don’t hold with such newfangled ideas. Meat, and spices, and beer (OK, OK, I cheat and use just a little cider vinegar – but that’s a spice, far as I’m concerned).

  10. I am down with the Cincinnati chili sucks crowd, putting spaghetti in chili is an abomination and should be punished with a vigorous beating. Crackers and cheese only, with plenty of hot sauce.
    Kansas City Q is some of the best, but you can find good Q almost anywhere. Look for a shack with smoke coming out the back end of it, and some grouchy old fart tending the fire. The only sides are a can of Coke and some stale bread.

Comments are closed.