Battle of the Barbecue Sauces: Which Region Has The Best Sauce

Regional BBQ sauce in shopping cart

You have heard the saying that “variety is the spice of life.” This is certainly true when it comes to the many varieties of barbecue sauces that are abundant in the U.S. Many states are proud of their unique sauces, even bragging about how theirs is the best. I guarantee you this…if the meat itself doesn’t taste good, then no amount of sauce is going to make up for it. The sauce will only enhance the taste of well-cooked meat.

The majority of grilled meat typically has a dry rub and a sauce that is most likely to be a tomato or vinegar base. It depends on what region you reside as to your preference.


For example, Memphis is well known for their barbecue. They start off with a dry rub consisting of a mix of paprika, salt, onion powder, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper. Their ribs are then topped with a sauce mixture of brown sugar, chili powder, finely ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, cayenne pepper, prepared mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and canola oil.

South Carolina

South Carolina slow cooks their barbecue. Their grilled meats are topped with a dry rub consisting of white and brown sugars, ground cumin, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. The sauce is made by first heating distilled white vinegar and cider vinegar, and then adding sugar, hot red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper.


Texas loves their brisket and their typical rub consists of a mix of paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, chili powder and dried parsley. Their sauce preference contains tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard, margarine, Tabasco sauce, garlic cloves, chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste, along with chopped and de-seeded jalapeno peppers.

Kansas City

Kansas City likes to prepare ribs when they barbecue. Their rub is made with brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, onion powder, cayenne, garlic powder and chili powder. To grace their ribs, they use a heavy tomato sauce prepared by boiling oil in a saucepan and frying garlic until its brown. Then they add ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, garlic and cayenne.


Alabama does things a little differently. Their rub is nothing outside the norm; however, they traditionally have a white sauce that consists of mayonnaise, salt, black pepper, white vinegar, lemon juice and sugar.

Steamin’ Steve’s

We here at Steamin’ Steve’s kick our barbecue sauces up a few notches from the rest. We use only the finest ingredients that truly enhance your meats. Regionally we would best be described as a unique fusion blend of Memphis and Kansas City styled sauce, with a splash of our hometown of Alcoa, TN. Head over to our online store and check our products out for yourself.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

2018 International Flavor Awards Winner - Steamin' Steve's Hot