Delicious, Tangy, Sweet BBQ Recipes

Delicious, Tangy, Sweet BBQ Recipes

With National BBQ Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to look at the different types of sauces that are known in regions of the United States. I love BBQ sauce; it’s one of my favorite sauces to dip meat in. But the sauce, as well as the style, varies significantly from country to country and from one area of the country to another.

BBQ Styles

Some of the most notable styles within the US are based primarily on the traditions of the state or region they are from. I’ve learned that I am not a big fan of Texas BBQ because it contains a lot of smoke flavor of which I am not a fan. I like either the Memphis style or Florida style since they are sweeter and don’t have the added meat/smoke flavor.

The following descriptions are from the Wikipedia page about BBQ Sauce:

  • East Carolina Sauce – Most American barbecue sauces can trace their roots to two sauces common in North Carolina and South Carolina. The simplest and the earliest were supposedly popularized by African slaves who also advanced the development of American barbecue. They were made with vinegar, ground black pepper, and hot chili pepper flakes. It is used as a “mopping” sauce to baste the meat while it was cooking and as a dipping sauce when it is served. Thin and sharp, it penetrates the meat and cuts the fats in the mouth. There is little or no sugar in this sauce, which in turn has a noticeably more sour flavor than most other barbecue sauces.
  • Lexington Dip (a.k.a. Western Carolina Dip or Piedmont Dip) – In Lexington and the “Piedmont” hilly areas of western North Carolina, the sauce is often called a dip. It is a lot like the East Carolina Sauce (above) with tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup added.
  • Kansas City – Thick, reddish-brown, tomato or ketchup-based with sugars, vinegar, and spices. Evolved from the Lexington Dip (above), it is significantly different in that it is thick and sweet and does not penetrate the meat as much as sit on the surface. This is the most common and popular sauce in the US and all other tomato-based sauces are variations on the theme using more or less of the main ingredients.
  • Memphis – Similar to the Kansas City style, typically having the same ingredients but tending to have a larger percentage of vinegar and use molasses as a sweetener.
  • Florida – Similar to the Memphis style because it has a higher percentage of vinegar than Kansas City style. Florida style is characterized by the tropical fruit flavors such as orange, mango, guava, papaya, pineapple, and tamarind as well as peppers with some heat such as chipotle and habanero. Because of its fruity flavor, it is commonly served with pork, beef, chicken, and seafood.
  • South Carolina Mustard Sauce – Part of South Carolina is known for its yellow barbecue sauces made primarily of yellow mustard, vinegar, sugar, and spices. This sauce is most common in a belt from Columbia to Charleston, an area settled by many Germans. Vinegar-based sauces with black pepper are common in the coastal plains region as in North Carolina, and thin tomato- and vinegar-based sauces are common in the hilly regions as in North Carolina.
  • Texas – In some of the older, more traditional restaurants the sauces are heavily seasoned with cumin, chili peppers, bell peppers, chili powder or ancho powder, lots of black pepper, fresh onion, only a touch of tomato, little or no sugar, and they often contain meat drippings and smoke flavor because meats are dipped into them. They are medium thick and often resemble a thin tomato soup. They penetrate the meat easily rather than sit on top. Bottled barbecue sauces from Texas are often different from those used in the same restaurants because they do not contain meat drippings.
  • Alabama White Sauce – North Alabama is known for its distinctive white sauce, a mayonnaise-based sauce, which is used predominantly on chicken and pork. It is composed of eggs and oil (or mayonnaise), apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
  • Barbecue ranch – A fusion of barbecue sauce and ranch sauce.
Delicious, Tangy, Sweet BBQ Recipes

Son Shine Kitchen Recipes

I’ve gathered some of my favorite recipes that use BBQ sauce, as well as options from other wonderful bloggers as well. There’s a recipe for almost any BBQ lover here, so be sure to check some of them out!

Related Posts

Delicious, Tangy, Sweet BBQ Recipes

Recipes from Blogging Friends

I’ve gathered a few recipes from other food bloggers from around the web (with their permission, of course) to share with you as well. There are so many different ways to make delicious BBQ recipes, so I wanted to give a variety of options.


BBQ Bacon French Onion Dip
BBQ Pretzel Football Cheese Ball
BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza


Best Ever Smokey Barbecue Ribs
Honey BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
One Pan BBQ Pulled Pork and Rice Skillet Supper

Side Dishes

Smokey Skillet BBQ Baked Beans
Oven Roasted Barbecue Potato Wedges
Southern Style Bourbon Meatballs

BBQ Rubs

Homemade Grill & BBQ Dry Rub
Homemade BBQ Spice Rub
Low Carb Barbecue Dry Rub Seasoning

Vegan Options

Roasted Plantain + BBQ Chickpea Vegan Bowl
BBQ Cauliflower Pitas with Avocado Ranch Slaw
Tofu Burgers with Pineapple BBQ Sauce
Delicious, Tangy, Sweet BBQ Recipes

12 thoughts on “Delicious, Tangy, Sweet BBQ Recipes”

  1. Yummmmmmm! I’m literally going to try making all of these sauces because I tend to get bored with the same old sauce all the time. The weather is warming up so I’ll have lots of time to taste test 😀

  2. Oh yum! I love a good bbq sauce, perfect timing for grilling season too! I’ll have to try a few of these.

  3. You might find this crazy but I have never had REAL BBQ sauce before because I cannot eat sugar and back when I could, I was a total KETCHUP GIRL over anything else!!!! 😮 I have tried some sugar-free versions but I feel like that’s just NOT the same!

  4. Christina Holthuis

    Yummy! I love the way, you have listed all of these sauces. Would definitely try these in future…. These sauces makes me starving, 😉 Thanks for sharing such a detailed article with proper references.

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