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BBQ History And Culture

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BBQ. Barbecue. Barbeque. Bar B Que. No matter how you spell it, it is a phenomenon that has a fanatic following in all areas of the country and around the world. Barbecue is basic to cooking. Meat sizzling over open flame or slowly cooked in smoke. In this section you will learn where it all began and how people in different regions practice this ancient art. 

homer simpson barbecue

What Is Barbecue?

By:

Meathead

Barbecue is a hotly debated topic. Read here about a new definition of BBQ that is distinct from its legal definition. This new definition includes explanations of grilling, smoking and other terms, as well as a brief history of barbecue around the world
graphic of asian barbecue

The Invention of Barbecue

By:

Meathead

How did barbecue originate? There are many mythical stories of neanderthals coming upon burnt animals after a forest fire. Here is a similar explanation of the ancient Chinese discovery of barbecue told in an engaging, fanciful, and humorous tale in 1822 by English essayist Charles Lamb.
a family barbecue in the '50s

Barbecue History: Outdoor Cooking Through The Ages

By:

Meathead

Barbecue was not invented in America. Here is the true story of where barbecue came from and how it evolved, including the evolution of BBQ cooks, cookers, restaurants, and foods. You may be surprised to learn that the history of barbecue goes further back than China and even further back than homo sapiens.
Barbecue Competition

The History Of Barbecue Competitions

By:

Meathead

Barbecue competitions have become big business with prizes ranging up to $100,000 and some getting national television coverage. Here is the fascinating story of how these contests started in Hawaii "For Men Only," and how they became a popular sport with more than 500 annual events.
Clint eating a rib

Adventures Of An American Barbecue Judge

By:

Clint Cantwell

If you're a BBQ team interested in finding ways to better your scores, judging contests is a great way to see the other side of the turn-in table. I had the chance to judge four of the country's most prestigious contests and here is a breakdown of my experiences testing some of the best and worst competition BBQ.
georgia bbq sauce

Barbecue Sauce History

By:

Meathead

How was barbecue sauce invented? By whom? When? Learn the fascinating history of how BBQ sauce evolved from Chinese sweet and sour sauce. You'll find out about the first written mentions of barbecue sauce (in the 1800s), the first written recipes, and the evolution of today's best loved commercial bottled BBQ sauces.
meat in the aquarium smoker

The Story Of Chicago Barbecue And Guide To Chicago BBQ Restaurants

By:

Meathead

Chicago's barbecue heritage migrated from southern blacks of the Mississippi Delta, their unique Aquarium pit design. Rib tips and hot links are specialties.
lbj at the BBQ buffet

Barbecue Diplomacy at LBJ’s Texas White House

By:

Meathead

President Lyndon Johnson loved barbecue and with his chef, the self-proclaimed "Barbecue King" Walter Jetton, LBJ invented barbecue diplomacy. Read the historical tales, see the photos, and get some recipes from LBJ's West Texas barbecues that featured whole animals cooked over open pits and plenty of greasy palms.
Magazine cover with Louis Armstrong

Struttin With Some Barbecue With Louis Armstrong

By:

Meathead

In 1927 Louis Armstrong made his first recording of the iconic tune 'Struttin' with Some Barbecue'. Surprisingly, it is not about food.
Diner Cheeseburger

The History Of The Hamburger

By:

Meathead

Here's the fascinating story of how the hamburger became our national dish.
Superdawg posster

Top Dogs: Rating Chicago’s Best Dog Houses

By:

Meathead

Who makes the best hot dogs in Chicago? Here's one expert's faves.
Porkin' Across America logo

Porkin’ Across America

By:

Meathead

The humor magazine/website, The Onion, has done it again. They've nailed a spoof of the travel food show with an eight part series called "Porkin' Across America."
catalonian flag

Catalan Food Fight

By:

Dave Joachim

In northeast Spain, Catalonia is a land of culinary riches and the heart of the Mediterranean diet. For centuries, Catalans have fought to maintain its unique cultural identity. Every spring Catalans celebrate the local vegetable, calcots, with a neighborhood BBQ. Read more about this venerable Catalan tradition.
David Letterman

David Letterman’s Top Ten Barbecue Lists

By:

Meathead

David Letterman knows a thing or two about barbecues.
Bus tuned into a pigmobile

Starting A Catering Business

By:

Meathead

Everybody tells you your food is so good you ought to start a catering business. Should you? What is involved?
a hot dog cartoon

Frankophilia: The Hot Dog Creation Myth

By:

Meathead

Who invented hot dogs? The bun? When were they first sold? And who named them hot dogs. We answer your questions and dispel the myths.

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Published On: 2/14/2019 Last Modified: 7/16/2022

 

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