Meat vs Sauce

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TJ Jackson
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2004/02/09 11:03:12 (permalink)

Meat vs Sauce

I've learned a lot from these forums about BBQ, having not known before I came here that there were all these different regional styles and such, but some questions remain that I'd like to ask.

One such question is about meat versus sauce.

It seems clear to me that each region has their own style of sauce, but I have found that I really only like the rather thick, tomato-based spicey/smokey/sweet style. Based on the reading I have done here, that I'd really like the smoked meats done in the Carolina and Georgia, but would not like the thin/vinegar-based and/or mustard based sauces that dominate this region.

That said, do any of these places offer the option to get the smoked/bbq'ed meats without the sauce applied? Further, do any of these places offer their customers a choice of sauces, including the thick tomato-based sauces I personally prefer?

Keep in mind that I am asking this here in order to better educate myself and to avoid any social fauz pas, and I realize that I am askign a very general question where the answer might be yes at one place and 'heck no' at another ;-)
#1

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    Maynerd
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/02/09 12:11:00 (permalink)
    I don't know about that area of the country but It's no big deal in Texas to order BBQ with out sauce or get it "on the side". I prefer to get mine on the side and apply as much or as little as I desire that particular day. Most sauces here are of the vinegar base which I prefer.
    I also usually ask for more "char", the dark edge of the BBQ then they normally give at a regular serving.

    You're the customer, don't be shy in asking what you want!
    #2
    scbuzz
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/02/09 12:21:40 (permalink)
    There is a BBQ joint in Columbia SC named Lil Pigs and they serve BBQ several ways. One is already chopped pork in a ketchupy-tomatoey sauce, another is chopped pork in a peppery-vinegar sauce and the third is that they place two big BBQ'ed shoulders under a warming light and you can go up and pull your own meat off these tender and delicious chunks of pork. Then you can choose the kind of sauce you want to put on them !!! Excellent eating !
    #3
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/02/11 14:16:46 (permalink)
    When I was in Austin, Bushie took me to a great BBQ place out in the woods. I got the combo plate with sauce on the side. I am glad I did it that way. The BBQ was great without the sauce.

    When I grill over charcoal, I always use a sweet sauce but good smoked ribs and pork like I got in Texas did not need it.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #4
    RibDog
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/02/11 14:30:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    I've learned a lot from these forums about BBQ, having not known before I came here that there were all these different regional styles and such, but some questions remain that I'd like to ask.

    One such question is about meat versus sauce.

    It seems clear to me that each region has their own style of sauce, but I have found that I really only like the rather thick, tomato-based spicey/smokey/sweet style. Based on the reading I have done here, that I'd really like the smoked meats done in the Carolina and Georgia, but would not like the thin/vinegar-based and/or mustard based sauces that dominate this region.

    That said, do any of these places offer the option to get the smoked/bbq'ed meats without the sauce applied? Further, do any of these places offer their customers a choice of sauces, including the thick tomato-based sauces I personally prefer?

    Keep in mind that I am asking this here in order to better educate myself and to avoid any social fauz pas, and I realize that I am askign a very general question where the answer might be yes at one place and 'heck no' at another ;-)


    The answer to your question is dependent on the restaurant you go to when you refer to the vinegar based sauce. The reason is that some restaurants will chop the the pork and add the vinegar based sauce in the kitchen. So it is not always to easy to ask for some that is non-sauced.

    When it comes to tomato-based sauce que, it should be very easy to ask for sauce on the side.

    But either way, you will learn that it pays to ask the waiter or waitress how the que is prepared and if sauce is applied in the kitchen. If you do it nicely, you should not lose too many body parts.

    John
    #5
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/02/11 15:19:17 (permalink)
    Thanks for all the input thus far, and keep it coming.....

    I am imagining that in most places, it would be a critical/serious faux pas to actually bring one's own sauce....ie if you want to use your own sauce, get a carryout :-)
    #6
    RibDog
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/02/12 09:02:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    Thanks for all the input thus far, and keep it coming.....

    I am imagining that in most places, it would be a critical/serious faux pas to actually bring one's own sauce....ie if you want to use your own sauce, get a carryout :-)


    I agree with your thoughts on this, TJ.

    John
    #7
    emsmom
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/04/13 16:01:25 (permalink)
    I always order mine with sauce on the side, even when I order barbecue chicken. A lot of the places we go to now also offer about
    4 or 5 squeeze bottles of different types of sauce. That way you can try the different ones to see what you prefer and you can control how much is added to your meat.
    #8
    fcbaldwin
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/04/14 08:40:48 (permalink)
    One of the great joys of barbecue (pork, beef, chicken, or any other meat for that matter like venison or lamb) is that, if you generally enjoy the slow, smokey cooking methods used for BBQ, then you generally enjoy trying all the varieties. I've been around barbecue all of my life, and every time I think I've hit on what I believe to be my favorite, I start to second guess my decision. But that's the fun of it. Just anticipating having a different type of barbecue gets my taste buds all excited. So, with the different kinds of sauces, and the many different sides available in all of their permutations (cole slaw?), I have to say that I like it all, and what is now my favorite might be replaced by some other next month or next year. With sauces, it's kinda like fine wine: just about every barbecue operation has its own proprietary sauce. I love trying the house sauce and if I like it I ask if they will sell me some to take with me. Many places are thrilled to accomodate.

    Frank
    #9
    RibDog
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/04/14 09:31:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    When I was in Austin, Bushie took me to a great BBQ place out in the woods. I got the combo plate with sauce on the side. I am glad I did it that way. The BBQ was great without the sauce.

    When I grill over charcoal, I always use a sweet sauce but good smoked ribs and pork like I got in Texas did not need it.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    And in my opinion, that if the bbq is good without the sauce, then you found yourself a keeper. I always put my que on the table without sauce on it and ask the guests to try some without sauce first. It is amazing how many guests then do not use any sauce at all.

    John
    #10
    DLnWPBrown
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/04/19 23:15:14 (permalink)
    I like a good smoked meat where the sauce regardless of type ( vinegar or tomato based ) accents the flavor, not masking it or covering it up. This is one reason we like both Eastern NC and Lexington NC types of Q.

    Dennis
    #11
    carlton pierre
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/23 05:35:26 (permalink)
    When I make my own BBQ, I seldom, if ever, add sauce. I amnot good at making it and don't care much for the ones you buyin the store. But when I eat at a restaurant, I always ty the sauce. I especially like some white sauce I had in AL a some time ago @ Big Bob Gibson's.

    carl reitz
    #12
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/23 13:22:39 (permalink)
    I used to compete in a local Dallas area Chilli/ barbecue cookoff.

    The barbecue was Brisket and Pork ribs. No sauce wass allowed for judging purposes. as they said "this is a Barbecue compettion not a Sauce competition".
    #13
    tiki
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/23 14:49:21 (permalink)
    My rule pf thumb is that good bbq can stand on its own without sauce---poor bbq can be saved by a great sauce so that it is eatable-bad bbq with avg to boring sauce----nothing helps! I enjoy good sauce but ive had plenty good bbq where the sauce does nothing for or even hurts the meat---always taste it first! I wouldnt trust a place that doesnt have the confidence in its que to serve it au-naturale! Ive got a buddy that thinks he just pour on that mouth searing--way too hot sauce and noone will know how bad that meat really is!!! WRONG!
    #14
    seafarer john
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/23 15:11:37 (permalink)
    I asked Mr Butler of "The Butler's BBQ" in St Pete why he always put a container of thick red sweet sauce in with his eastern North Carolina style BBQ take out ,and this is what he told me. "Too many of my customers want that kind of sauce, the kind that comes in a bottle at the supermarket, even though it ruins my BBQ, and I've got to keep my customers happy just to stay in business".

    I've got no problem with a thin vinegar based sauce being added to BBQ in the kitchen, although I'd prefer to have it on the side so I can taste the BBQ without it. What I can't stand is to get a BBQ pork drowned in one of those thick red sweet sauces.

    People who cook and serve BBQ should know that it is all about the meat and the sauce is just a condiment that should be used judiciously and preferably on the side.

    I suspect that a lot of inferior poorly cooked BBQ is served drowned in red sauce just to hide the fact of the poor quality of the BBQ. The chili dogs I love so much are pretty much of a nothing hot dog, but the chili is what the sandwich is all about so the dog doesn't matter so much. But BBQ has to be all about the meat.

    Cheers, John

    #15
    mayor al
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/23 16:53:39 (permalink)
    That's my major beef (no pun)with the finely chopped BBQ that has sauce mixed in with it. You lose a lot of the meat flavor that way.
    I prefer my BBQ with the sauce on the side. EMSMOM caught a good point with the way many places are putting several different types of sauce on the table to allow the customer to choose. I like to dip the meat at times but more often want it plain, especially if it is the crispy outside meat. I love the smokie edges.
    #16
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/23 21:07:36 (permalink)
    Oddly enough, if you order a bbq anything here in all but a select few places, it will already be sauced.

    If you buy "beef bbq" at the supermarket, it is steeped in sauce.

    At least, that's how it is in this area. Ergo, I have grown up thinking bbq is about the sauce, not the meat.

    #17
    verysleepy
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/26 10:40:30 (permalink)
    TJ- where in the country are you? We here in NYC have such bad barbeque- but, I would still prefer my bbq without sauce. Maybe a tiny bit of dipping sauce. I am looking forward to Dinosaur's first appearance here in NY. Has anyone out there tried Daisy Mae's?

    In regard to NC bbq- having just come back from there a few weeks ago- I have to say, that I was a bit skeptical about their vinegar sauce (not liking vinegar.) I got over it, though I never asked for sauce on my pork sandwiches. A few places had incorporated it into the chop. It made the total taste of the sandwich yummy. I did however request a "coarse chop" in most of the good places, and was accomodated. Therefore, not much of the "sauce" was incorporated.

    Hope this helps.

    #18
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/26 13:05:22 (permalink)
    verysleepy - Cincinnati, Ohio

    You can always click on the name of the poster to get to their profle, which includes a location.
    #19
    verysleepy
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/26 13:26:58 (permalink)
    Thanks TJ

    I see you are in Cincinnati, and I remember having some wonderful ribs there once... at the Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse. Are they still around?

    #20
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/26 13:48:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tommy2dogs

    I used to compete in a local Dallas area Chilli/ barbecue cookoff.

    The barbecue was Brisket and Pork ribs. No sauce was allowed for judging purposes. as they said "this is a Barbecue compettion not a Sauce competition".

    I know. For a number of year, I had the privilage of being a judge at the Houston BBQ cookoff at the rodeo. Same thing -- no sauce.

    My take on it was the no-sauce rule keeps contestants from masking bad bbq (and, yes there is such a thing) ... meanwhile, I always thought that it would be better to have the sauce presented along with, becuase in the end, the dry rub, the marinade, the wood, etc. all worked in concert with the eventual sauce.

    Still today, I prefer to get the meat seperate from the sauce so I can appraise the cooking and then see how it works with the chef's sauce.

    As far as from-the-bottle sauce is concerned, I keep a supply of two at home ... the red sauce from The Goode Company in Houston for beef and the herbal brow n sauce from Interstate in Memphis for pork.
    #21
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/26 22:58:43 (permalink)
    Hey there verysleepy
    quote:
    Originally posted by verysleepy

    I remember having some wonderful ribs... at the Montgomery Inn...Are they still around?


    Yep.

    One of the top grossing restaurants in the country, and always packed. Very, very popular in Cincinnati.
    #22
    max4951
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/31 08:05:19 (permalink)
    There is a market in Wimberly TX that makes some of the best BBQ I have ever run onto anywhere. Some of you'll at Austin will have to help me out with the name, but as I remember it they have been cooking it there since back in the 1800's. I've heard that they will pack and ship nationally. This meat is so good that it'll make you want to slap anyone even looking at sauce. Anybody down that way has an address, please post, as it is well worth going to some trouble for.
    As for the second best I have run into, it was at a beer joint on Teel St.in Houston (just off Clinton Drive). On Fri.and Sat. night back in the 70's an old guy showed us what Heaven has in store for us reguarding ribs.And he did all that on a rusted 55gal drum pit. Living proof that good BBQ is where you find it, but you usually don't find it in the fancy joints with the big advertising budgets. Good BBQ is like good Cajun food- it sometimes hangs out in places you gotta wonder if you're gonna hafta fight your way out of, but still worth the trip.
    #23
    RPERRY
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    RE: Meat vs Sauce 2004/10/31 11:20:55 (permalink)
    My $.02 on barbecue is that it should be cooked without sauce. Real barbecue is all about the smokey flavor of the meat. (no smokey flavor means it shouldn't be called barbecue) In my opinion, sauce is just an attempt to hide bad barbecue. Don't get me wrong, I love good sauce, when used on the side as a compliment to the meat.

    One exception that is good SOMETIMES, is a light sauce glaze on ribs. Sometimes it can be quite good - if it is light and not overpowering to the main event - THE RIBS.

    #24
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