If you're throwing a party, and want to serve BBQ, then why not make it fun and serve three regional styles? If you're investing in event catering, then you won't have to worry about the different cooking techniques yourself, you can just enjoy the food. Your guests will love it because most people don't get the chance to taste these styles of BBQ unless they travel.
Midlands, South Carolina
In the eastern section of South Carolina, the sauce used for BBQ is a vinegar and pepper concoction. This is not the case in the central part of the state. Here is where you will find a spicy, mustard based sauce. This is attributed to German immigrants influencing the traditional BBQ with their love of mustard. The mustard is so prevalent that it has earned the area the name the mustard belt.
The BBQ is usually served with white rice, which may seem strange to many people, but remember that South Carolina has historically been a main producer of rice.
This style of BBQ is unique in that it is made using mutton. Most styles use either pork or beef, but not this famous Kentucky style. There's an interesting historical reason for why mutton became so popular in this region. The tariff of 1816 placed a hefty duty on imported wool, so people began to raise sheep for wool. When the sheep became older and were no longer useful for producing wool, they were used for mutton. The local people didn't care for the tough mutton, so they turned to BBQ to slow cook it and make more tender.
Kentucky style BBQ is served with "dip", which is the local term for BBQ sauce. It is a sweet vinegar mixture that is mopped over the mutton during the cook time, and also served with the finished BBQ alongside slices of white bread.
Kansas City, Missouri
Unlike other areas, Kansas City BBQ can be made from many different types of meat. Beef, chicken, pork, and mutton are all used. This is because of the cities long history of stockyards. Animals from all over the country were brought to Kansas City, and therefore the local chefs had access to them.
Another interesting thing about Kansas City style BBQ is that it is very saucy. When you picture thick, red, sweet BBQ sauce covering a meal, then you've got a good idea of what Kansas City style is. The sauce is a rich, sweet, tomato and molasses mixture. The BBQ is typically served with french fries.
A particular favorite of the locals is a specialty called "burnt ends". This is made from brisket. After the brisket has been smoked, the area called the "point" is trimmed off the brisket and cooked again in more BBQ sauce. They have an intense, smoky flavor and are often served with baked beans or eggs.