The history of BBQ on the East Coast starts with Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. They differ in regional styles and methods of cooking. The barbecue sauces used differ as well, giving you a variety of different flavors. So, if you plan on hosting a picnic, buffet, or casual wedding, ordering regional barbecue foods is sure to please your guests.

Let’s delve into the history of BBQ on the East Coast so you can get a better idea as to what you should order for a special event.

History of Eastern BBQ

North Carolina

In North Carolina, the pig is traditionally smoked on a wood fire and the meat is chopped finely, combining dark and light meats. It can be cooked on a gas or electric barbecue grill and is served with a hot pepper vinegar sauce. On the western side of North Carolina, the pork shoulder is often cooked and served with a tomato vinegar sauce for a dip called Piedmont BBQ Sauce. It is often used with pulled pork sandwiches or shredded pork.

South Carolina

South Carolina, located near the mustard growing belt, has many German immigrants. They are known for mustard-based sauces served with their cooked pork. This sauce is known as Carolina Gold. Their types of BBQ meats are often served at all-you-can-eat buffets. They serve vinegar and pepper and tomato-based sauces too.


BBQ in Georgia is described as the best of all southern barbecue put on one plate. Most chefs say it is really about the type of food the local residents want to eat. They cook pork butt and brisket, pulled pork, barbecued ribs, and chicken. They like sweeter sauces with sugar. Charcoal grilling is popular, giving the meats a smoked flavor. Many venues serve smoked beef, turkey, and ham combos. Georgia is often an overlooked state for BBQ along the East Coast.


Maryland is known for serving pit beef. It is lean roast beef barbecued over charcoal and sliced for a tasty sandwich. It is grilled directly over charcoal on the grill. Sandwich meat is often served rare with horseradish, onions, and mayonnaise. Some restaurants serve the beef with a tomato-based BBQ sauce.

Piedmont BBQ Sauce

Piedmont BBQ Sauce, served in North Carolina, is a thin tomato-based sauce with vinegar and red pepper flakes. It is added to pulled pork or pulled pork sandwiches. Below is a recipe you can make at home. It tastes good on chicken, pork, and beef.

Sugar-Free Piedmont Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pour all ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. When it shows signs of bubbling, lower the heat and stir for eight to 10 minutes. Cool for one hour and use on BBQ meats or store in the refrigerator for one week.

Are you thinking of ordering BBQ food for your next business or club meeting, fundraiser, or potluck? Barbecued food is delicious all year round, and luckily you find a flux of tasty BBQ dishes with East Coast charm at Bullwinkle’s Top Hat Bistro!