Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Barbecue

About Barbecue

Every spring, North Americans (particularly the Southern United States) gear up their grill, stock up on the meat and prepare for those mouth-watering barbecues.

But how much do we really know about the art of barbecuing?
Barbecue or barbeque or BBQ… is a style of food, a cooking method, and a name for a meal or gathering at which this style of food is cooked and served!
From those familiar pastime origins to some surprising tips and tactics, here’s a list that will provide you with all the information you need to wow your friends at the next neighborhood barbecue!

1) Did you know… “Smoking” was used as far as 6000 years ago in order to make meats safe to eat and store. The meat was exposed to smoke and low heat in order to prevent bacteria and enzymes from growing.
Because humankind has no doubt been cooking meat since the discovery of fire, it would really be impossible to point to any one person or culture that “invented” the barbecue method of cooking.

2) Barbecues originated in pig-pickin’s… feasts that were common in the Southern United States prior to the Civil War. The whole pigs were cooked and eaten by the crowd.

3) In the southeastern United States, the word barbecue is used predominantly referring to roast pork… while in the southwestern states, cuts of beef are most often cooked.

4) Did you know… What most North Americans partake in today isn’t actually barbecuing. Barbecuing is cooking at temperatures around the boiling point of water (180-220F) for a longer time period, in order to make the meat tender while preserving its natural juices. Today, the method most commonly used is in fact broiling: cooking at 475-700F in much less time.

5) The origin of the word barbecue is unclear. Some believe it came from the American-Indian word barbacoa for a wood on which foods were cooked. The barbacoa was a grating of green wood upon which strips of meat were placed to cook or to dry over a slow fire. Still, others say it came from the french words “de barbe à queue,” meaning “whiskers to tail.”

6) Barbecue is usually cooked in an outdoor environment… heated by the smoke of wood or charcoal. The most commonly selected woods for their flavor include mesquite, hickory, maple, cherry, pecan, apple and oak.
You should avoid conifers because they contain resins and tars, which will give your meats undesirable resinous and chemical flavors.. Typical examples of conifers include pines, cedars, firs, cypresses, junipers, kauri, larches, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews.

7) Brisket, a favorite for Texas BBQ, is the extremely hard cut of meat taken from a cow’s chest. Cooking time takes one to two hours per pound to barbecue. That’s an average 12 hours on the grill for a basic 8-pound piece!

8) The gathering of people around a barbecue, whether at home or at a larger more public occasion, is generally experienced with pleasure and harmonious companionship… and a certain feeling of harmony with other people and nature. U.S. presidents were known to be big fans of the laid-back pastime we call a Barbecue. George Washington’s diaries abound with references to barbecues… including one that lasted for 3 days. It is said that when Abraham Lincoln’s parents were married… their wedding feast was a barbecue.
Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, hosted the first barbecue at the White House that featured Texas-style barbecued ribs.

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9) A funny fact… According to the Barbecue Industry Association, half of all marshmallows eaten in the U.S. have been toasted over a grill.

10) The first commercial charcoal briquet factory was designed by Thomas Edison and built by Henry Ford in 1921.

11) For an easy way to check how much propane you have left, bring your bathroom scale outside and weigh the gas tank.

12) To add a smokey flavor to your gas-grill-cooked foods or foods cooked inside the house, use “liquid smoke.” It’s a condensation of actual smoke, so this product can be easily added to your barbecue marinade or sauce.

13) Kansas City, Missouri and Lexington, North Carolina both claim to be the barbecue capitals of the world. Meanwhile, Memphis, Tennessee, stakes a claim to being the PORK barbecue capital.

14) The most popular foods for cooking on the grill are, in this order: burgers (85 percent), steak (80 percent), hot dogs (79 percent) and chicken (73 percent).

15) May 16th and July 4th are both National Barbecue Day.

16) The most popular barbecue utensils are long-handled tongs (77 percent), followed by forks (64 percent), long handled spatulas (59 percent), and then grill cleaning brushes (63 percent).

17) Competition barbecuing is one of the hottest hobbies in the country with hundreds of cook-offs held throughout all 50 states. The largest and most famous are Memphis in May and The American Royal in Kansas City.

18) Another funny fact… In Australia, a barbecue is commonly referred to as a barbie. The famous statement “I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you,” which appeared in Australian tourism advertisements, is often used to refer to the country.

There, you have it… now you’re set to impress!

Some Things You Probably Didn't Know About Barbecue
Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Barbecue

BBQ Recipes:

Barbecued Chicken Thighs

Barbecued Whole Chicken

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