Western Kentucky BBQ

Certain areas of western Kentucky, especially in the regions bordering the Ohio river in and around Union, Henderson and Daviess counties (Owensboro and Henderson) and also including Hopkins and Christian counties, there has developed a distinctive style of barbeque that is unique to the region. Where much of southern barbeque primarily consists of beef, chicken or pork cooked over an open flame and topped with sauces that have a thick tomato and sugar base, western Kentucky barbeque is typically somewhat different.

Western Kentucky barbeque is made most often with chicken, pork or mutton (sheep). The meat is barbequed “pit” style — slow-roasted over wood coals that serve to give the meat a perfect “smoky” flavor and tenderize it. The pork is most often chopped or pulled from Boston butts or whole shoulders. In another signature distinction, smoked meats, after cooking for many hours over the pit, are then sliced very thin and layered on sandwiches.

Then, rather than a sweet, thick tomato-based sauce, the meat is served with a thinner vinegar-based sauce (sometimes referred to as “dip”) including cayenne pepper or Worcestershire sauce with added spices in the mix. Sometimes the meat is served with no sauce at all.

Want to discover for yourself why western Kentucky is one of the tastiest BBQ regions? The International Bar-B-Q Festival in Owensboro is a must visit for barbeque lovers, or check out Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn or JJMcBrewster’s to get your western Kentucky barbeque fix year round.