Memorial Day BBQ

Friday, May 17th, 2019
types of memorial day BBQ and snacks

With Memorial Day just around the corner, you are probably considering what you want to do to make good use of your extra day off. Memorial Day weekend has become a time to usher in Summer and enjoy hanging out with friends, barbequing. It is important to remember that Memorial Day’s true purpose is to commemorate those that have fallen in the line of duty. All Americans are encouraged to take a break from their festivities at 3:00 p.m. local time to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance.

Now to get into barbequing. Depending on where you live or where you grew up, you probably have your favorite style of barbeque or method of barbequing. There are three things that really change depending on what region you hail from; type of meat used, what goes into the sauce and the type of wood used for the smoky flavor. Maybe this year you want to change it up and try something new?

North Carolina:

One must start with Eastern North Carolina when they are talking about BBQ. It’s where it all started, and their sauce is considered the Mother of All Sauces. They use Hickory to cook on and smoke up whole hogs basted in a cider vinegar glaze that is often mixed with cayenne, black pepper, crushed red pepper, hot sauce and salt. The pork is melt-in-your-mouth good and served up chopped.

Western North Carolina does their own spin on things by using just the pork shoulder. They call their sauce, “Lexington Dip” or “Piedmont-Style”. It is tomato-based, generally it’s the Eastern NC style with Ketchup added. They’ll serve you up your pork on a bun.

South Carolina:

Most of South Carolina uses a similar sauce to Western NC, but they also prefer to smoke a whole hog.

When you head down to the Southern part of the state, the German immigrants of the area left a long tern affect on BBQ…Mustard! They use a sauce made from mustard, then thinned with vinegar. Many spices are added, giving it a nice zingy flavor.


In Central Texas, you’ll find beef brisket, pork ribs and spicy sausages being smoked on oak. The meat will either be dry rubbed or topped with a “mop sauce” – a thin glaze of beef stock, vinegar, and/or Worcestershire, salt, pepper and garlic, that is literally mopped on the meat as it cooks. Brisket can be served sliced or chopped with a side of onions, pickles and slices of white bread. You are likely to have a couple of tomato-based house sauces to dip your meat in, if you so choose.

If you head down to South Texas, you’ll mostly find the meat cooked on mesquite which gives it a very distinct flavor.

Kansas City:

KC likes their sauce thick and sweet. They slather it on beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken and sausage. They are best known for their “Burnt Ends”, which are fatty nubs of brisket that are smoked until they are deep, dark and tasty. They smoke it all on hickory and make their sauce from ketchup and molasses. They’ll add in other things like liquid smoke, Worcestershire, brown sugar, vinegar and soy sauce into their sauce.

St. Louis:

St. Louis style spareribs are grilled, rather than smoked and slathered with a very sweet, slightly acidic, sticky, tomato-based barbeque sauce. St. Louis is said to consume more barbeque sauce per capita than any other city in the nation.


Memphis mostly smokes on hickory, but some use fruit woods. Pork ribs and pulled pork are the signature dishes for the area. You’ll find pulled pork served “wet” – smoked with a sauce and ribs served “dry” – smoked with a dry rub. In the dry process, the ribs are coated with a rub made from ingredients such as garlic, paprika, onions, and cumin. They are cooked in the smoker until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. You’ll probably get a thin, tomato-based sauce on the side. Memphis takes its BBQ seriously and has the annual Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest.


In Alabama, they’ll smoke on whatever wood is handy, from hickory to oak to pecan. You’ll be served a chopped meat sandwich with a choice of pork or chicken. They do a white barbeque sauce made from mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper and sometimes horseradish.

Western Kentucky:

Those from Western Kentucky do their own thing and smoke mutton on hickory. Their sauce has a black Worcestershire base. You’ll also find Burgoo: A hearty stew filled with roasted meats, most notably mutton.

You have lots of choices for your barbeque this year. Will you try something new? Don’t forget to pick up some snacks and wine to go with it. We have pistachios, popcorn and sweets to keep everyone satisfied until the meat is ready. Don’t forget to pause at 3:00 p.m. local time for a National Moment of Remembrance.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.