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A glossary of barbecue terms


PULLED PORK Typically made from pork shoulder, the meat is cooked long and slow, tenderizing it and allowing it to be shredded. Methods and ingredients vary by region (see barbecue styles below).

BOSTON BUTT A cut of pork from the front leg shoulder, named for the barrels, or “butts,” in which the meat was stored around New England before and during the American Revolution.

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BRISKET A cut of beef from the front of the animal, above the shank and below the chuck. Cooking methods and flavoring can differ greatly. “A friend says, ‘With other foods, there’s a right way and a wrong way. With brisket, there’s only my way,’ ” says Stephanie Pierson, author of “The Brisket Book: A Love Story With Recipes.”

BURNT ENDS Originating in Kansas City, Mo., where they were often given away for free, these tough, fatty bits of brisket are typically charred on at least one side and often put back for additional smoking.

BARBECUE STYLES While there are many sub-genres of barbecue, the four most common styles are Kansas City, Texas, Memphis, and Carolina. Kansas City is known for its tomato-based sauce, spread over slow-cooked pork and beef, and giving birth to burnt ends. Texas comprises a variety of in-state styles using beef and pork, cooked patiently. Memphis is known for smoked pork, particularly ribs and sandwiches, and an emphasis on the smoking process, whereas Carolina also uses pork, often shredded, spiced, and combined with vinegar. Virginia, the occasionally mentioned fifth barbecue region, draws on methods used in Memphis and the Carolinas. GLENN YODER

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