AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Barbecue History And Culture

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

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.

Related articles

Published On: 2/14/2019 Last Modified: 4/14/2021


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...
Meatup in Memphis

Meatup in Memphis

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review


Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

 

Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

Click here to order.