Barbecue The American Tradition

Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 06:10 PM

BBQ. The word alone says America. Barbecuing is part of our heritage. Through our nation’s history many factors have played their part. There are regional differences that have played a major role in the barbeque revolution as well. The types of meat, the way they’re cooked, spices, sauces, and even side dishes have played a role in the development of the art of barbecue.  Not to be confused with grilling. Grilling is cooking fast and hot over a direct flame or direct heat. Barbeque is cooking low and slow over indirect heat. Usually smoking with wood but some people do use charcoal or a combination of both on charcoal grills or in BBQ smokers. Barbecuing is just a way to make a tough piece of meat, taste great!

The history of this national pastime started in the south where pigs were plentiful. The hog meat was separated. The “good meat” was kept for the plantation owners and their families, and the rest was given to the slaves to do with as they pleased. They were usually given the ribs and the pork shoulders, that can be tough. But cooked properly, they rendered wonderful, flavorful, delectable meals. Being hot and sultry in the south, many meals were cooked outside so as to keep the heat from cooking outside of the house. This is where the BBQ pit played a substantial role. Pits were dug and wood fires were started in the pits and the meat was slow cooked over the smoke and coals.

Today, there are 4 major regions of barbecue. North Carolina, Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City. Tomorrow we will go more into depth on the nuances of each of these regions and their contributions to our American tradition.

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