“Let’s do a barbecue” has often become another way for Americans to say, “Let’s party.” Whether the fired-up grill is in celebration of the 4th of July or in preparation for the big game at a tailgate party, we do love a BBQ.
So what exactly is BBQ? It is traditionally defined as cooking meat for a long period of time at a low temperature over an indirect wood fire. The origin of BBQ is most commonly credited to indigenous Caribbean peoples. When the Spanish explorers arrived in the West Indies, they found the indigenous people preserving meat by drying it in the sun. In an effort to combat bugs and spoilage they built smoky fires around the meat and put it on racks (the first BBQ accessories!) over the fires – and barbacoa, as they called it – was born.
This concept came to what is now the United States via the Spaniards. They also introduced pigs to the wild, which provided an abundant protein source to the locals. Americans’ love for pulled pork came from this time period. The widely loved BBQ recipe got its name because the pig shoulder meat is actually pulled apart by hand and served on buns with a thin vinegar-based sauce.
Every region of the U.S. provides different specialties. In Texas, we find beef – and lots of it. The Carolinas are partial to pork, whether it’s the whole hog or just the tender meat from the shoulder. Kansas City loves their ribs both beef and pork. Meanwhile, the folks in western Kentucky are unique in their love of smoked mutton.
Except for the extreme purists, who insist barbecue means smoke with the meat never coming in direct contact with a heating element, the average American uses the words barbecue and grilling interchangeably. Genuine smoking of food can take as long as 18 hours.
A BBQ rotisserie for a real “smoker” generally needs less heat and yields a juicier, self-basting meat. Rotisserie grilling, on the other hand, can be done even on a charcoal grill with the proper accessory. The coals need to be pushed around the edges, though, so there is no direct heat. When using a gas grill, the burners need to be kept on very low heat and a drip pan is recommended to avoid flare ups.
Nowadays, our BBQs are full year-round with meat, juicy Portobello mushrooms and even fruit. There is no limit to the things that can be grilled, smoked, heated and baked on a grill, so explore your options!
Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed SEO 2.0 researcher. For award-winning grilling accessories and tools, he recommends BBQ Innovations. These experts offer the Rib-O-Lator rotisserie attachment, a mouth-watering variety of sauces, unique smoky wood chips and more, promising to bring big flavor to barbecues of all kinds.