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Best BBQ Joints

Jun 26 Best BBQ

The History of BBQ in the Carolinas

Barbecue in the Carolinas is more than just food; it is a cultural institution. Barbecue joints, often family-run and passed down through generations, serve as community hubs where people gather to enjoy good food and good company.  Annual barbecue festivals and competitions, such as the Lexington Barbecue Festival in North Carolina, celebrate this culinary tradition and attract enthusiasts from far and wide.

South Carolina BBQ vs North Carolina BBQ

Carolina barbecue is characterized by its regional variations, primarily divided into Eastern and Western (or Piedmont) styles in North Carolina, and the distinct mustard-based style of South Carolina.


In Eastern North Carolina, whole hog barbecue is the tradition. The entire pig is slow-cooked over hardwood coals, often for up to 24 hours, until the meat is tender and infused with smoky flavor. The meat is then chopped or pulled and dressed with a vinegar-based sauce, which is tangy and slightly spicy. This style is known for its simplicity, focusing on the pure flavor of the pork and the tang of the vinegar sauce.

Western North Carolina barbecue, also known as Lexington or Piedmont style, typically uses only pork shoulder, which is cooked in a similar slow and low fashion. The sauce in this region is a blend of vinegar and tomato, creating a slightly sweeter and more complex flavor profile compared to the Eastern style. Lexington-style barbecue is often served with red slaw, a cabbage slaw dressed in the same vinegar-tomato sauce used on the meat.

South Carolina boasts several styles of barbecue, but it is most famous for its mustard-based sauce, often referred to as “Carolina Gold.” This sauce, made with mustard, vinegar, sugar, and spices, reflects the influence of German immigrants who settled in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. South Carolina also has vinegar-pepper and tomato-based sauces, but the mustard variety is a unique hallmark of the state.

Best BBQ Joints in Charlotte & Surround

Regardless of the type of BBQ you prefer, you can find it in one of the many BBQ joints we have in Charlotte and its surround communities.  Here is a list of my favorites, if you know of one that is not on my list, I would love to hear about it:

Midwood SmokeHouse – Huntersville & Charlotte

Bobbee O’s BBQ – Charlotte

Tex-A-Lina BBQ Company – Denver

The Smoke Pit – Salisbury

Sweet Lew’s BBQ – Charlotte

Ray Nathan’s BBQ – Gastonia

City BBQ – Huntersville & Charlotte

Oh My Soul – Charlotte

Big Tiny BBQ – Mooresville

Johnny Roger’s BBQ – Concord

The Dixie Pig – Rock Hill


BBQ for the 4th of July

BBQ is a cherished tradition for the 4th of July, especially in Charlotte & Surround!  BBQ  aligns perfectly with the spirit of the holiday so if you can’t cook it, no problem, all the BBQ joints above deliver!

PS: Message me, if you’d like a list of all my favorite spots in and around the Charlotte Market or if you’re a local business owner who’d like to be featured!

Picture of Janice Beltran

Janice Beltran

I had the pleasure of spending 20 years serving my country in the U.S. Army. For the last 7 years I have been serving you as your preferred Realtor in the Charlotte Region. I love helping people achieve their dream of home ownership!


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