Carolina BBQ: Eastern vs. Western

Aug 16, 2023

What's the Beef? (Or Pork, Rather)

When it comes to barbecue, North Carolina is a state that takes its meat seriously. But within the state, there's a heated debate that has been smoldering for years: Eastern-style BBQ versus Western-style BBQ. So, what's the beef (or pork, rather) between these two styles?

Eastern-Style BBQ: The Vinegar Tang

Let's start with Eastern-style BBQ, which is known for its tangy and vinegar-based sauce. This style originated in the eastern part of the state and is all about highlighting the flavor of the meat. The sauce is thin and watery, allowing the smoky goodness of the pork to shine through. Eastern-style BBQ is typically made from the whole hog, slow-cooked and then chopped or pulled. It's a true labor of love.

Western-Style BBQ: The Tomato Twist

On the other side of the state, we have Western-style BBQ, which is characterized by its tomato-based sauce. This style is more commonly found in the Piedmont and western regions of North Carolina. The sauce is thicker and sweeter than its Eastern counterpart, with a hint of tanginess. Western-style BBQ is usually made from pork shoulder or ribs, and it's often served chopped or sliced. 

So, Which One is Better?

Now, the million-dollar question: which style is better? Well, that's a matter of personal preference. Some folks prefer the tangy kick of Eastern-style BBQ, while others enjoy the sweeter and smokier flavors of Western-style BBQ. It's like asking someone to choose between a hot dog and a hamburger – both are delicious in their own way.

The Verdict

So, whether you're a fan of Eastern-style BBQ or prefer the Western-style, one thing is for sure – North Carolina knows how to do barbecue right. The smoky flavors, the tender meat, and the mouthwatering sauces are all part of what makes North Carolina BBQ so special. To make it even better try using Wilders pork! Our Berkshire is sure to add that extra something special to your plate! So, grab a plate, dig in, and go WILD with the flavors of the Tar Heel State!

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