The Different Flavors Of American BBQ Sauce

The BBQ sauce is treasured by nearly everybody in the country, but real connoisseurs will know the different regional differences between sauces. Some locals will like different combinations of sweetness, tanginess or spiciness to create the perfect coating for their slab of meat.


BBQ sauces in Texas are heavy on the spicy side. Chili powder, peppers, and cumin are the main unique components of sauces made in the Lone Star state. It is also rather light on tomato and sugar in comparison to other sauces.


Memphis is a thick brown sauce based on ketchup and molasses. These sauces tend to be rather heavy on vinegar as well. This sauce is more familiar to bottled sauces used all around the country and is used as a topping rather than being infused into the meat.


Sauces used in the Carolinas are called mustard sauces since they are based around yellow mustard. A thick base of mustard with sugar and a combination of spices is what it consists of. A small amount of tomato and black pepper may be found in some local variations.


Colorado may not be the most recognized state for its BBQ sauces, but its proximity to Texas and other BBQ-loving states has invited multiple tastes into the state. There are a lot of locally-produced sauce brands, in which many have a balanced combination of sweet and spicy. Since there is a significant Hispanic population, there is also an influence of chili-based sauces in Colorado BBQ places.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the sauce you use with your meat will depend on your own personal taste. Feel free to try local BBQ restaurants of different styles so you can experience the different spectrums of sauce flavors. Also, experiment with sauce recipes in your own house so you may discover your own combination of ingredients that can be your own family's secret sauce. There are also BBQ sauce recipes from around the world, like South America or Australia, that is worth a try.

Local to the Steamboat Colorado area? Check out Steamboat Smokehouse to fulfill those BBQ cravings!