Like many southern varieties of barbecue, Memphis-style barbecue is mostly made using pork, usually ribs and shoulders, though many restaurants will still serve beef and chicken. Memphis-style barbecue is slow cooked in a pit and ribs can be prepared either "dry" or "wet". "Dry" ribs are covered with a dry rub consisting of salt and various spices before cooking, and are normally eaten without sauce. "Wet" ribs are brushed with sauce before, during, and after cooking.
Memphis-style barbecue has become well-known due to the The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest held each May, which has been listed in Guinness World Records as the largest pork barbecue contest in the world. The event is regularly covered by national and international televisions networks such as The Food Network and the BBC and attracts over 100,000 visitors. Many of Memphis' barbecue restaurants have become nationally known and can overnight their products anywhere in the country due to the proximity of FedEx's Memphis Superhub.