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Carolina Barbecue 101

Bradley Carlson, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet | 01/30/2015 | Grilling

At Kalamazoo, it’s no secret how much we love barbecue.

One of our favorites is Carolina barbecue. Within the region, there are actually two distinctive styles: Lexington and Eastern.  

While both are always pork-based, Eastern style is characterized by “whole hog” cooking and Lexington focuses solely on pork shoulder.       

Sauce is another area of distinction. Eastern style is thin and consists mainly of vinegar and pepper. Lexington style is also vinegar-based, but adds tomato sauce or ketchup as a key ingredient.

A third sauce style that uses mustard defines barbecue in some parts of South Carolina.

Meathead Goldwyn – founder of amazingribs.com and an authority on all things barbecue and grilling – has a mustard barbecue sauce recipe that we recommend checking out. It even includes a map of the Carolinas that outlines where each sauce is most popular.

To learn more about Carolina-style barbecue, we recommend reading this article in USA Today by noted travel and food journalist Larry Olmsted.

And for a new twist on Carolina barbecue we created a pulled turkey recipe, a great way to doctor up Thanksgiving leftovers.



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