Barbecue on the Cajun Coast.

The Siren Song of Barbecue in the Summer

The smell of steaks sizzling on an open grill is a Siren song few can refuse.

It’s a summer staple built right into our DNA. Cooking with fire, which evolved into the modern barbecue, allowed early man to char his catch before digesting his protein.

Things have changed a bit since the early hominids’ version of cooking took hold.

In the U.S., there are several styles of barbecue that vary regionally. While there are 4 main styles, there are dozens of variations. Chefs cook their meat low and slow and usually use some kind of wood as their fuel, but the similarities end there.

Memphis: Usually uses a dry rub that includes garlic, paprika and other spices. Meat, usually pork ribs, is cooked in a big pit. If Memphis-style barbecue is served “wet,” it’s typically served with a tangy tomato-based sauce.

Kansas City: A wide variety of meats are cooked slow and low in a pit. The sauce is typically a thick, sweet molasses and tomato based mix. All meats are equally celebrated in Kansas City-style cooking.

Carolina: Meat, typically pork, is slow roasted over fire pits and sauces vary from a pepper vinegar style in coastal areas to thicker tomato-based varieties in the Appalachians as well as the signature blend of sweet and tangy mustard, vinegar, brown sugar and spices.

Texas: The secret to Texas barbecue isn’t a specific sauce or technique – it’s all about the meat which is smoked. Flavors vary wildly depending on which part of the state you’re visiting.

Think you’re a master of the grill?

You can prove it when you match up with barbecue teams from across the state at the 5th annual Bayou BBQ Bash will take place July 22 – 23. It takes place rain or shine, under the U.S. 90 bridge in downtown Morgan City.

The event, held at the corner of Second and Greenwood streets, is a BCA Sanctioned State Championship BBQ Competition. In addition to the competitive teams, locals can get in on the action.  There will also be a Corporate Cooking Team Throw-Down Challenge for bragging rights as the best corporate company cooking team in St. Mary Parish and a local competition to name the top St. Mary Parish BBQ Team that anyone can enter.

The teams are competing for a minimum of $4,000 in prize money and a 10 karat gold ring – designed by Klutts Jewelers and valued at $1,400 – that will be awarded to the grand champion.

Also, on July 23, there will be barbecue competitions for children. Known as the Cannata’s Kids Q, children compete in two divisions: 13 – 17 years old will cook chicken legs and 12 years & under will cook pork chops.

For printable forms:

BBQ Bash Team Form

BBQ Bash Kids Q

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The Siren Song of Barbecue in the Summer