In the southern states, barbecuing is a religion for many and for some even a competitive sport. While a classic Aussie BBQ involves cooking quickly over a hot plate, southern Americans cook meat low and slow in a pit barbecue, over indirect heat, with wood smoke flavouring the meat. Where you’re from in the States dictates the choice of meat and wood, as well as influences how you use brines, marinades, spice rubs and sauces, all essential elements of the barbecuing experience.
While you might not be able to dig a pit in your backyard you can still treat your friends to the flavours of a southern American barbecue.
Pork is the traditional meat and if you have a kettle barbecue or, even better, a smoker, you can use it to smoke a pork shoulder and turn it into pulled pork, a staple of North Carolina-style barbecue. Invite your friends around early, down some cold beers and snack on Beer Candied Bacon and Popcorn Chicken Sliders while you wait the nine or so hours for this meltingly tender meat to emerge.
If you only have a chargrill, you can still pay homage to American barbecue with Gary’s Braised Pork Spare Ribs. He uses a dry spice rub and a hot barbecue plate to seal the ribs, then braises them in the oven with a sweet and sticky bourbon-laced sauce.
Serve your meat with sides like coleslaw, baked beans, corn on the cob and macaroni cheese. Even if it’s not quite how they’d make it in the “Barbecue Belt” it’ll still taste pretty damn fine.