South Carolina is arguably the birthplace of barbecue in the United States. It’s a state with a rich and diverse barbecue (BBQ) culture. From the tangy mustard-based sauce of the Midlands to the vinegar-pepper sauce of the Lowcountry, South Carolina has something for every BBQ lover. Whether you prefer pork, beef, or chicken, you’ll find a recipe that suits your taste buds in this list of the top 10 must-try BBQ recipes in South Carolina.

1. Whole Hog with Rodney Scott’s Sauce

Pitmaster Rodney Scott leaning against a table in his BBQ restaurant in Charleston SC Rodney Scott is a James Beard award-winning pitmaster who runs Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston. He specializes in whole hog BBQ, which is cooked over hardwood coals for 12 hours and basted with a vinegar-pepper sauce. The sauce is made with apple cider vinegar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt. The result is a tender and juicy pork with a spicy kick. See Rodney Scott’s sauce recipe.


2. Pork Hash and Rice

Hash, rice, and beans in separate bowls at Buxton Hall BBQ in Asheville. Pork hash and rice is a classic South Carolina side dish that is often served with BBQ. It’s a thick stew made with pork, onions, potatoes, and spices, cooked until the meat is falling apart. It’s usually served over white rice, but you can also eat it with bread or crackers. Pork hash and rice is a great way to use up leftover BBQ or any cuts of pork that are too tough to smoke. You can find the recipe for pork hash and rice. See the Hash recipe


3. The Southern Belly Sandwich

Southern Belly sandwich with chips and salad The Southern Belly is a BBQ joint in Columbia that serves creative and delicious pork sandwiches with various toppings and sauces. One of their signature sandwiches is the Rebel Yell, which has pulled pork, bacon, pimento cheese, pickles, and mustard sauce on a toasted bun. The sandwich is hearty, cheesy, and satisfying.

4. Brisket with Lewis Barbecue Sauce

Lewis Barbecue Sauce- the Original Red Lewis Barbecue is another Texas-style BBQ joint in Charleston that serves house-smoked brisket, ribs, sausage, and turkey. The brisket is rubbed with salt and pepper and smoked for 14 hours over oak wood. The sauce is a tomato-based sauce with vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, and spices. The sauce adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the smoky and tender brisket.

5. Ribs with Henry’s Smokehouse Rub

Pulle Pork Sandwich at Henrys Smokehouse in Greenville, SC

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  Henry’s Smokehouse is a small roadside restaurant in Greenville that serves smoked meats and other barbecue fares. Their ribs are rubbed with a simple but flavorful blend of salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. The ribs are smoked for about 4 hours over hickory wood until they are tender and juicy. The rub adds a nice crust and color to the ribs without overpowering their natural flavor.

6. Chicken Wings with Home Team BBQ Alabama White Sauce

HOME TEAM BBQ - WEST ASHLEY, Charleston Home Team BBQ is a chain of restaurants in South Carolina that serves traditional and innovative BBQ dishes. Their chicken wings are smoked for about an hour and then grilled over high heat until they are crispy and charred. The wings are tossed with a creamy and tangy Alabama white sauce, which is made with mayonnaise, vinegar, horseradish, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. The sauce adds a nice contrast to the smoky and spicy wings.

7. Pulled Pork with Bessinger’s Mustard Sauce

Maurice's Southern Gold Mustard BBQ Sauce Recipe

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  Bessinger’s Barbecue is one of the oldest and most famous BBQ restaurants in South Carolina. It’s run by the Bessinger family, who claim to have invented the mustard-based sauce that is characteristic of South Carolina BBQ. Their pulled pork is cooked for about 12 hours over oak wood and then shredded by hand. The sauce is made with yellow mustard, vinegar, sugar, butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and spices. The sauce adds a bright and sweet flavor to the succulent pork.

8. Smoked Turkey with Swig & Swine’s White BBQ Sauce

SWIG & SWINE, Charleston - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews Swig & Swine is a modern BBQ restaurant in Charleston that serves a variety of smoked meats and sides. Their smoked turkey is brined for 24 hours and then smoked for about 4 hours over pecan wood. The turkey is moist and flavorful, with a hint of nuttiness from the wood. The white BBQ sauce is made with mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, horseradish, garlic, salt, and pepper. The sauce adds a creamy and tangy flavor to the turkey, and also goes well with other meats and salads. You can find the recipe for Swig & Swine’s white BBQ sauce.

9. Smoked Sausage with Melvin’s Barbecue Sauce

Melvin's Southern Red BBQ Sauce Melvin’s Barbecue is another legendary BBQ restaurant in South Carolina that is run by the Bessinger family. Their smoked sausage is made with pork, beef, and spices, and smoked for about 2 hours over hickory wood. The sausage is juicy and flavorful, with a nice snap from the casing. The barbecue sauce is similar to Bessinger’s mustard sauce, but with some ketchup added for a richer and thicker consistency. The sauce adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the sausage, and also goes well with other meats and sides. You can find the recipe for Melvin’s barbecue sauce.

10. Smoked Chicken with Sticky Fingers Carolina Classic Sauce

Sticky Fingers restaurant at Myrtle Beach Sticky Fingers is a chain of restaurants in South Carolina that serves ribs, wings, and other BBQ dishes. Their smoked chicken is marinated in a brine of water, salt, sugar, garlic, onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns for 24 hours and then smoked for about 3 hours over hickory wood. The chicken is tender and juicy, with a nice smoky flavor. The Carolina classic sauce is a vinegar-based sauce with ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. The sauce adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the chicken, and also goes well with other meats and sides.   These are some of the best BBQ recipes in South Carolina that you should try at least once in your life. They showcase the diversity and deliciousness of the South Carolina BBQ culture, which has been influenced by different regions, traditions, and techniques. Whether you make them at home or visit one of the restaurants that serve them, you’ll be in for a treat.  

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