foods and cuisines

Barbecue in South Carolina | Fall-off-the-bone ribs, smoky pulled pork, and juicy chicken

barbecue in south carolina

South Carolina is home to several distinct styles of barbecue characterized by different cuts of meat, types of barbecue sauce and preparation. It is particularly well known for the heavy emphasis on pork and the popularity of a mustard-based barbecue sauce in the central part of the state.

South Carolina’s Contributions to Barbecue

There are those who argue that South Carolina is the Birthplace of Barbecue. It’s an interesting and plausible argument worth a read to make up your own mind.

Food Historian Robert Moss once wrote the following:

What we can confidently boast, though, is that the Palmetto State has one of the country’s oldest and most vibrant barbecue traditions.In fact, the form of whole-hog cooking practiced in the Pee Dee region is the closest approximation to the way barbecue was cooked back in the colonial and antebellum days.”

South Carolina Barbecue Recipe


  • 2 cups yellow mustard
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • A few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper, to taste


  • Combine the mustard, vinegar and honey in a small saucepan and whisk to mix. Bring to a simmer over medium and cook for 3 minutes, then let cool to room temperature for serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve over sliced or chopped smoked chicken, pulled or grilled pork, grilled salmon and other seafood, and even whole roasted cauliflower. Sauce keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

What is South Carolina style BBQ?

When it comes to meat, South Carolina BBQ is whole-hog country. That means slow-cooking a 125-pound pig for 12 hours or longer in a cinder block pit over a fresh bed of hot coals until the meat simply falls apart. Whole-hog barbecue is the oldest form of barbecue.

What does Carolina style BBQ taste like?

What does Carolina barbecue sauce taste like? Carolina barbeque sauce is thick and tangy with a very subtle sweetness. While Midwest and southwest style barbeque sauces contain a good amount of sugar and are sweet in taste, Carolina barbeque sauces contains very little sugar which results in a sour, tangier flavor.

What goes with Carolina barbecue?

Enjoy SC Barbecue with a Side of Hash.
Southern Salads: Potato Salad.
Find Mac and Cheese Heaven at These SC Restaurants.
Greens, Glorious Greens: Dig in to a Plateful of SC Goodness.

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