|Photo by Pinar Ozger at Flickriver|
But there are a couple BBQ absolutes that should never be deviated from no matter where you're at. We believe in these.
Competitive BBQ teams will tell you that it doesn't matter where you're competing in the United States, the way you cook your BBQ shouldn't change. That goes the same for restaurants. It shouldn't matter if you're in Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, or Illinois; your meat should be cooked low and slow and be juicy, tender, and flavorful. If you're not doing those things, then you've probably got some sub-par BBQ on your hands. Sauces, rubs, and the woods used are constantly changing and one of the things that makes places unique. I would never rate a BBQ joint badly because I'm not a fan of mustard sauces or vinegar based sauces. I will however, if they serve dry, tough, bland, or old meat.
At the core of each good BBQ restaurant, they'll all have the same things in common with their meats: low, slow, juicy, tender, and flavorful.
These are the things we look for and these are things that will never change.