Skip Nav
Get the Dish
Dig In to This Funfetti Cheese Ball
Oscars
Wow Partygoers With Award-Worthy Oscars Cookies
Food News
The 1 Ingredient That Makes the McCafé Shamrock Drinks Different Than the Shake

What Is South Carolina Barbecue?

A Smoky Tour of Regional Barbecue: South Carolina

We've traveled through the heartland to examine iconic regional barbecue styles, but the birthplace of this nation's smoky tradition lies in South Carolina. In a marriage of the perfect meat with the perfect cooking process, Spanish explorers and their European pigs traveled here in the 17th century and happened upon the American Indians and their slow cooking method with smoke. Long before the region gained the name it boasts today, people were enjoying tender pork thanks to this merging of cultural traditions.

The barbecue developed in South Carolina is not unlike that of its Northern counterpart — with one key difference. Like North Carolinian barbecue, the smoked meat on the coast (the "Pee Dee" region) uses the whole hog with a spicy, vinegary sauce applied during cooking. And in the western part of the state along the Savannah River, the sauce integrates ketchup while the meat of choice is the moister, fattier shoulder. But travel to the Midlands, and you'll come across Carolina gold: a mustard-based sauce traced to early German settlers in the 18th century. South Carolina is perhaps best known for this contribution to barbecue culture, as no other state has adopted mustard sauces with the same fervor.

Take the tour of America's other iconic barbecue regions:

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Spaghetti With Garlic, Olive Oil, and Chili Flakes
Wedding Cake Ideas
Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Recipe
How to Make Spaghetti Squash
Peppermint Bark Recipe
Cheese Ball Recipe

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds