Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Kansas City vs. Memphis: What's the Difference in BBQ Styles?


Real estate executive Tom Velken is the owner and president of Viking Real Estate Group in Lafayette, California, and possesses more than two decades of experience with real estate acquisition and development. In his leisure time, Tom Velken enjoys cooking, particularly barbecue-style dishes.

Two of the best-known styles of barbecue in American cuisine are Kansas City style and Memphis style. But what are the differences between the two? Here’s quick primer on what separates these two types of barbecue.

Kansas City style is generally considered the most prominent type of barbecue in the country. Grocery stores across America are lined with different sorts of Kansas City barbecue sauce, which is so popular that the city itself is home to the largest barbecue society in the world and is often referred to as the “Mecca” of barbecue. Kansas City style barbecue is distinguished by thick, tomato-based sauces that contain lots of sugar. The rubs are sugar-heavy as well but mostly use brown sugar; consequently, Kansas City barbecue has a sweet and tangy flavor and is typically used on pork, pork ribs, and chicken.

Memphis style, while similar to Kansas City style, doesn’t contain nearly as much sugar. Rather, Memphis style barbecue is typically spicier and - most notably - is often served without sauce. In the rare occasions sauce is used, though, it typically is employed as a pork dipping sauce and is thinner than Kansas City sauce. Pork ribs and pork butt are the two most popular proteins for Memphis style barbecue.