What Are The 4 Prominent BBQ Styles In The United States?

bbq pit trailers

You're looking at bbq pit trailers and you're ready to show off your love of barbecue to new and old customers alike. Before you start prepping your rubs and firing up your offset vertical smoker, you need to know about the four main regional styles that characterize barbecue in the United States: Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis, and Texas.


The Carolinas are one of America's oldest forms of barbecue and for good reason. They're known for their delicious slow-roasted pork, but this category is further split into two areas: Lexington-style and Eastern-style. 

Lexington-style pork relies on a sauce made from a ketchup and vinegar-based blend to complete a roasted pork shoulder. Meanwhile, the Eastern-style is open to using any part of the pig as long as it's topped with a mayonnaise-based sauce. In groups of families and friends where the two sides clash, the party might even partake in a picking party to satiate both sides of the argument. Guests can simply take off which parts they like before mopping it in the sauce of their choosing. 

Kansas City

Kansas City-style barbecue is dominated by tomato and molasses-based sauces. Unlike the Carolina options, Kansas City-style is known for the wide range of meats that are put in the smoker, including pork, beef, and even lamb. They dry-rub the meat before putting it into the bbq pit smoker and serve it fresh with thick and sweet table sauces on the side. Just don't forget the french fries when you dig into your barbecue. 


Memphis barbecue targets wet and dry ribs for your eating pleasure. Of course, the wet rubs are doused in a delicious sauce before it's put in the smoker while dry rubs are rubbed with spices and seasonings. Both options are cooked low-and-slow for barbecue that practically melts in your mouth. Just keep the sauce on the side.

Memphis-style barbecue is also known for pulling the pork and making them into sandwiches. On top of that, you may see Memphis-lovers put this pork on just about anything from salads to pizza -- even spaghetti. 


Like the Carolinas, Texas is categorized into multiple regions, but this time it's broken down into four areas: East Texas, Central Texas, West Texas, and South Texas. However, the most popular barbecue option for Texas is undoubtedly the South Texas barbacoa, where the head of the cow is cooked in bbq pit trailers, but it was originally cooked underground. 

The first step to breaking in any new bbq pit trailers is picking which style of barbecue you want to create. With your custom smoker grills, you'll be able to cook just about anything.