With so many barbecue styles to choose from, it's difficult to narrow all of them down. Barbecue has a rich barbeque, as well as the truncated BBQ) restaurants sprung up all over the north. Though there are so many different places to choose from, 4 main styles of barbecue are generally referenced: Memphis, Carolina, Kansas City, and Texas.
Memphis-Style - Barbecue in Memphis is primarily either ribs or barbecue sandwiches. The ribs come in two predominant styles: wet and dry. Wet ribs are brushed with sauce prior to going on the grill and then brushed once again after they are cooked. Dry ribs are seasoned with any variation of herb and spice rubs, sometimes referred to as 'mops,' or with a salt rub. The barbecue sandwiches served in Memphis are typically chopped pork on a simple, plain bun and topped with Cole slaw. But this chopped pork is so popular that many residents, or even just fans of Memphis style, use the meat for a pizza topping or over nachos.
Carolina- Style - Carolina barbecue is usually pork, a tradition dating back to the pre-colonial barbecues in America. The pork is predominantly pulled, shredded, or chopped, but is at times served sliced. The meat may be rubbed with a spice mixture before it is smoked, and then mopped with a spice and vinegar mixture during Kansas City-Style - Kansas City barbecue is not distinguished primarily by its meats (which is usually smoked with a dry rub), but by the sauce that is used. Kansas City style sauce is thick and sweet with a tomato and molasses base. Surely, you've heard of the ubiquitous K.C. Masterpiece, a top-selling brand throughout the country, but you may not have heard of "Arthur Bryant's", a significantly less sweet variety, or "Gates", notably much spicier than traditional K.C. brands.
Texas-Style - Barbecue outside the United States has a strong association with Texas, many world restaurants claiming to serve "Texas-style" barbecue regardless of the style they actually serve. In truth, Texas recognizes four regional styles of barbecue with different flavors, cooking methods, ingredients, and cultural origins: East, Central, West, and Southern. East Texas style is typically slow-cooked to the point of 'falling off the bone.' East style is smoked over hickory woods, and marinated in a sweet, tomato-based sauce, served chopped instead of sliced. In Central Texas style, the beef is spice rubbed and cooked over indirect heat from pecan or oak wood. West Texas, or "cowboy-style," is cooked over direct mesquite wood. West style sometimes results in a bitter tasting meat. South Texas style is differentiated by the thick molasses mop slathered over the meat keeping it very moist and cooked in the 'barbacoa' style.
Other BBQ Styles- California has a well-known barbecue dish called 'tri-tip' beef rump, which is sometimes cut into steaks. The Santa Maria style from the central coast uses the portable 'towed' trailer seen in farmers' markets. In Hawaii, the Luau originates from barbecue cooking traditions of the native Polynesians. Many other states in America have different barbecue styles, but these are all generally influenced by the regional states nearby. Kentucky is one more state of note, as the meat of choice used is mutton.