BBQ Nation: Memphis Barbecue

Food and Travel,Recipes,Regional Food
April 26, 2012

Memphis style BBQ steals the spotlight this May with its spiced ribs rubbed and doused with southern seasonings.


In the Southern Barbecue Belt, Memphis is a mecca to pig-roasting enthusiasts, and the secret, as they say, is in the sauce—or the lack thereof. Many Memphis purists prefer their ribs “dry” with only a spice rub, composed mainly of paprika, garlic, onion and chili powder, among other seasonings. Others want them “wet,” doused with a sweetly tart meld of tomatoes, vinegar and typically molasses.

Whether “wet” or “dry,” the whole city celebrates Memphis-style ribs during a month-long celebration of music, culture and food known as Memphis in May. The crème de la crème of the city’s famous porcine devotees will gather May 17-19 for the Barbecue Cooking Contest. To those about to grill, we salute you.

Here’s a taste of what you’ll be missing if you can’t make it in person.


Memphis Rendezvous Ribs

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs has been a fixture in Memphis since 1948. While the real recipe is closely guarded, here’s a close approximation by Meathead Goldwyn.


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