Skip Nav
Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen Says Cacio e Pepe Conquers All, and Her Recipe Proves It
Food Video
Cotton Candy Is the Sweetest Way to Upgrade Your S'mores
Food Video
Elsa's Frozen Margaritas Are Perfect to Share With Olaf in Summer

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
What Is Memphis Style Barbecue?
Gift Guide For 9-Year-Olds
7 Beer Pairings For Your Summer Barbecue
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls
US State Foods
Tips For Saving BBQ Calories
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Recipe
Kid-Friendly Crock-Pot Breakfast Recipes
McDonald's Deep-Fried Apple Pie Recipe | Video
Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese
From Our Partners
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds