Food & Drink | November 23, 2020 6:00 am

Exploring the Tasty World of Georgia-Style Barbecue

Investigating an underrated (and delicious) regional style

Smoked meat
From the kitchen at Southern Style Barbecue on St. Simons Island.
Southern Style Barbecue

When regional barbecue styles come up in conversation, there are a few places that tend to come up first. Texas is one; North and South Carolina are two others. But while Georgia is known as a hotbed for great music and a thriving creative community, its own take on barbecue isn’t as well-known as that of its neighboring states.

Maybe it’s time for that to change. A new report at Eater by Mike Jordan delves into the world of Georgia-style barbecue and makes a convincing case for this as a style people should get to know better.

Jordan’s article observes that Georgia-style barbecue is best found outside of Atlanta. Among the interviewees is pitmaster Harrison Sapp of Southern Soul Barbecue. Sapp argues that Georgia-style barbecue is more about regional tastes than a specific style of preparation.

“[Sapp] believes Georgia barbecue is more about what locals want, rather than strict standards for smoking and sauce-making,” Jordan writes. “But Sapp does think pork is at the top of the Georgia barbecue food pyramid.”

Another interviewee, Matt Coggin of D.B.A. Barbecue, notes two characteristics of barbecue that seem popular among Georgian diners: sweet sauce and a lot of smoke. Jordan also points out that sides are considered essential to many in the barbecue world, to the point where they can be considered a part of this regional style.

The whole article makes for a fascinating read; it’s also very hard to read it without immediately craving a plate of delicious barbecue, slow-cooked and with a perfect amount of sauce.