Barbecue
Overview
 
Barbecue or barbeque (common spelling variant) (with abbreviations BBQ, Bar-B-Q and Barbie), used chiefly in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (called Braai
Braai
The word braaivleis is Afrikaans for "grilled meat."The word braai is Afrikaans for "barbecue" or "grill" and is a social custom in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The term originated with the Afrikaner people, but has since been adopted by South Africans of many...

in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

) is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

.

The term as a noun can refer to the meat, the cooking apparatus itself (the "Barbecue grill" or simply "Barbecue") or to a party that includes such food or such preparation methods.
Encyclopedia
Barbecue or barbeque (common spelling variant) (with abbreviations BBQ, Bar-B-Q and Barbie), used chiefly in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (called Braai
Braai
The word braaivleis is Afrikaans for "grilled meat."The word braai is Afrikaans for "barbecue" or "grill" and is a social custom in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The term originated with the Afrikaner people, but has since been adopted by South Africans of many...

in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

) is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

.

The term as a noun can refer to the meat, the cooking apparatus itself (the "Barbecue grill" or simply "Barbecue") or to a party that includes such food or such preparation methods. The term as an adjective can refer to foods cooked by this method. The term is also used as a verb for the act of cooking food in this manner.

Barbecue is usually done in an outdoor environment by cooking and smoking the meat
Smoked meat
Smoked meat is a method of preparing red meat which originates in prehistory. Its purpose is to preserve these protein-rich foods, which would otherwise spoil quickly, for long periods. There are two mechanisms for this preservation: dehydration and the antibacterial properties of absorbed smoke...

 over wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large brick or metal ovens specially designed for that purpose.

Barbecue has numerous regional variations
Regional variations of barbecue
Barbecue varies by the type of meat used, the sauce, rub, or other flavorings used, when they are added, the role smoke plays, the equipment and fuel used, cooking temperature, and cooking time....

 in many parts of the world.

Etymology

The origins of both the activity of barbecue cooking and the word itself are somewhat obscure. Most etymologists
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 believe that barbecue derives ultimately from the word barabicu found in the language of both the Timucua
Timucua
The Timucua were a Native American people who lived in Northeast and North Central Florida and southeast Georgia. They were the largest indigenous group in that area and consisted of about 35 chiefdoms, many leading thousands of people. The various groups of Timucua spoke several dialects of the...

 of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and the Taíno
Taíno people
The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. It is thought that the seafaring Taínos are relatives of the Arawak people of South America...

 people of the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, which then entered European languages in the form barbacoa
Barbacoa
Barbacoa is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people, from which the term "barbecue" derives. In contemporary Mexico it generally refers to meats or a whole sheep slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground covered with...

. The word translates as "sacred fire pit." The word describes a grill for cooking meat, consisting of a wooden platform resting on sticks.

Traditional barbacoa involves digging a hole in the ground and placing some meat (usually a whole goat
Goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

) with a pot underneath it, so that the juices can make a hearty broth. It is then covered with maguey leaves and coal and set alight. The cooking process takes a few hours.

There is ample evidence that both the word and cooking technique migrated out of the Caribbean and into other languages and cultures, with the word (barbacoa) moving from Caribbean dialects into Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, then Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

. The Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

cites the first recorded use of the word in the English language in 1697 by the British buccaneer William Dampier
William Dampier
William Dampier was an English buccaneer, sea captain, author and scientific observer...

. However, it appears 25 years earlier in the published writings of John Lederer
John Lederer
John Lederer was a 17th-century German physician and an explorer of the Appalachian Mountains. He and the members of his party became the first Europeans to crest the Blue Ridge Mountains and the first to see the Shenandoah Valley and the Allegheny Mountains beyond...

 in the proper form, barbecue, following his travels in the American southeast in 1672.

Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

's 1756 dictionary gave the following definitions:
  • "To Barbecue – a term for dressing a whole hog
    Pig
    A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig, its ancestor the wild boar, and several other wild relatives...

    " (attestation to Pope)
  • "Barbecue – a hog dressed whole"


While the standard modern English spelling of the word is barbecue, local variations like barbeque and truncations such as bar-b-q or bbq may also be found. In the southeastern United States, the word barbecue is used predominantly as a noun referring to roast pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

, while in the southwestern states, cuts of beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 are often cooked.

The word barbecue has attracted several inaccurate origins from folk etymology. An often-repeated claim is that the word is derived from the French language. The story goes that French visitors to the Caribbean saw a pig
Pig
A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig, its ancestor the wild boar, and several other wild relatives...

 being cooked whole and described the method as barbe à queue, meaning "from beard to tail". The French word for barbecue is also barbecue, and the "beard to tail" explanation is regarded as false by most language experts. The only merit is that it relies on the similar sound of the words, a feature common in folk-etymology explanations. Another claim states that the word BBQ came from the time when roadhouse
Roadhouse (facility)
A roadhouse is a commercial establishment typically built on a major road or highway, to service passing travellers. Its meaning varies slightly by country.-USA:...

s and beer joints with pool tables advertised "Bar, Beer and Cues". According to this tale, the phrase was shortened over time to BBCue, then BBQ.

The related term buccaneer is derived from the Arawak
Arawakan languages
Macro-Arawakan is a proposed language family of South America and the Caribbean based on the Arawakan languages. Sometimes the proposal is called Arawakan, in which case the central family is called Maipurean....

 word buccan
Buccan
A buccan is a native South American and Caribbean namefor a wooden framework or hurdle on which meat was roasted or smoked over a fire, similar to the original meaning of a barbecue....

, a wooden frame for smoking meat, hence the French word boucane and the name boucanier for hunters who used such frames to smoke meat from feral
Feral
A feral organism is one that has changed from being domesticated to being wild or untamed. In the case of plants it is a movement from cultivated to uncultivated or controlled to volunteer. The introduction of feral animals or plants to their non-native regions, like any introduced species, may...

 cattle and pigs
Razorback
Razorback is an Americanism, loosely applied to any type of feral pig or wild boar in North America. The term has also appeared in Australia, to describe said animals in that country.-Introduction to the Americas:...

 on Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

 (now Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 and the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

). English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 colonists anglicised
Anglicisation
Anglicisation, or anglicization , is the process of converting verbal or written elements of any other language into a form that is more comprehensible to an English speaker, or, more generally, of altering something such that it becomes English in form or character.The term most often refers to...

 the word boucanier to buccaneer.

Styles

In British
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

 usage, barbecuing refers to a fast cooking process directly over high heat, while grilling refers to cooking under a source of direct, high heat—known in the US and Canada as broiling. In US English usage, however, grilling refers to a fast process over high heat, while barbecuing refers to a slow process using indirect heat and/or hot smoke (very similar to some forms of roasting
Roasting
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat , and is...

). For example, in a typical U.S. home grill, food is cooked on a grate directly over hot charcoal, while in a U.S. barbecue, the coals are dispersed to the sides or at significant distance from the grate. Its South American versions are the southern Brazilian
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 churrasco
Churrasco
Churrasco is a Portuguese and Spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat more generally, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a prominent feature in the cuisines of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries...

 and the Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 asado
Asado
Asado is a term used both for a range of barbecue techniques and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and southern Brazil. In the former countries asado is also the standard word for barbecue. An asado usually consists of beef alongside various...

.

Alternatively, an apparatus called a smoker with a separate fire box may be used. Hot smoke is drawn past the meat by convection for very slow cooking. This is essentially how barbecue is cooked in most U.S. "barbecue" restaurants, but nevertheless, many consider this to be a distinct cooking process called hot smoking.

American South and Midwest

In the southern United States, barbecue initially revolved around the cooking of pork. During the 19th century, pigs were a low-maintenance food source that could be released to forage for themselves in forests and woodlands. When food or meat supplies were low, these semi-wild pigs could then be caught and eaten.

It was the Spanish
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

 who first introduced the pig into the Americas and to the American Indians. The Indians, in turn, introduced the Spanish to the concept of true slow cooking with smoke. The Spanish colonists came to South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 in the early 16th century and settled at Santa Elena. It was in that early American colony that Europeans first learned to prepare and to eat "real" barbecue. So, people were eating barbecue in South Carolina even before that name had been applied to the area by the English.

According to estimates, prior to the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Southerners ate around five pounds of pork for every one pound of beef they consumed. Because of the poverty of the southern United States at this time, every part of the pig was eaten immediately or saved for later (including the ears
Pig's ear (food)
Pig's ear, as food for human consumption, is literally the cooked ear of pig. It is found in a number of cuisines around the world.-Chinese cuisine:-General:...

, feet, and other organs). Because of the effort to capture and cook these wild hogs, pig slaughtering became a time for celebration, and the neighborhood would be invited to share in the largesse. In Cajun
Cajun
Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

 culture, these are called boucheries. These feasts are sometimes called 'pig-pickin's
Pig pickin'
A pig pickin is a type of party or gathering held primarily in the American South which involves the barbecuing of a whole hog . Females, or gilts, are used as well...

.' The traditional Southern barbecue grew out of these gatherings."

Each Southern locale has its own particular variety
Regional variations of barbecue
Barbecue varies by the type of meat used, the sauce, rub, or other flavorings used, when they are added, the role smoke plays, the equipment and fuel used, cooking temperature, and cooking time....

 of barbecue, particularly concerning the sauce. North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 sauces vary by region; eastern North Carolina uses a vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

-based sauce, the center of the state enjoys Lexington-style barbecue
Lexington Barbecue Festival
The Lexington Barbecue Festival is a one-day food festival held each October in Lexington, North Carolina, a city that calls itself the "Barbecue Capital of the World." Each year it attracts as many as 160,000 visitors to the uptown Lexington area to sample the different foods from up to 20...

 which uses a combination of ketchup
Ketchup
Ketchup is a sweet-and-tangy condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and an assortment of...

 and vinegar as their base, and western North Carolina uses a heavier ketchup base. Lexington boasts of being "The Barbecue Capital of the World" and it has more than one BBQ restaurant per 1,000 residents. Another distinguishing characteristic of Lexington barbecue is barbecue slaw
Coleslaw
Coleslaw, sometimes simply called slaw in some American dialects, is a salad consisting primarily of shredded raw cabbage. It may also include shredded carrots and other ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, apples, onions, green onions, peppers and various spices.-History:The term "coleslaw"...

, which has no mayonnaise
Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise, , often abbreviated as mayo, is a sauce. It is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Lecithin in the egg yolk is the emulsifier. Mayonnaise varies in color but is often white, cream, or pale...

, is composed of cabbage
Cabbage
Cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne of the Family Brassicaceae and is a leafy green vegetable...

, ketchup, vinegar, and black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

. Eastern North Carolina slaw contains cabbage, mayonnaise, yellow mustard,and salt with pickles and/or celery seed optional. Slaw can be served either on the side or in a sandwich. South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 is the only state that includes all four recognized barbecue sauces, including mustard
Mustard (condiment)
Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant...

-based, vinegar-based, and light and heavy tomato-based. Memphis barbecue is best known for tomato- and vinegar-based sauces. In some Memphis establishments and in Kentucky, meat is rubbed with dry seasoning (dry rubs
Spice rub
Spice rub is any mixture of ground spices that is made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before the food is cooked. The spice rub forms a coat on the food. The food can be marinated in the spice rub for some time for the flavors to incorporate into the food or it can be cooked...

) and smoked over hickory
Hickory
Trees in the genus Carya are commonly known as hickory, derived from the Powhatan language of Virginia. The genus includes 17–19 species of deciduous trees with pinnately compound leaves and big nuts...

 wood without sauce; the finished barbecue is then served with barbecue sauce on the side.

The barbecue of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 is almost always pork served with a sweet tomato-based sauce. However, several regional variations exist as well. Alabama is particularly known for its distinctive white sauce, a mayonnaise- and vinegar-based sauce, originating in northern Alabama, used predominantly on chicken and pork. A popular item in North Carolina and Memphis is the pulled pork
Pulled pork
Pulled pork is a form of barbecue in which pork, usually shoulder cut or mixed cuts, is cooked using a low-heat, long-cook method. With these extended times at low temperatures, the meat becomes tender enough that its weakened connective tissue allows the meat to be "pulled", or easily broken into...

 sandwich served on a bun and often topped with coleslaw
Coleslaw
Coleslaw, sometimes simply called slaw in some American dialects, is a salad consisting primarily of shredded raw cabbage. It may also include shredded carrots and other ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, apples, onions, green onions, peppers and various spices.-History:The term "coleslaw"...

. Pulled pork is prepared by shredding the pork after it has been barbecued.

Kansas City-style barbecue
Kansas City-style barbecue
Kansas City barbecue refers to the specific style of slow smoked meat that evolved from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City barbecue is slow smoked over a variety of woods and then covered with a thick tomato and molasses based sauce.The Kansas City...

 is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish), a variety attributable to Kansas City's history as a center for meat packing in the US. Hickory is the primary wood used for smoking in KC, while the sauces are typically tomato based with sweet, spicy and tangy flavor profiles. Burnt ends
Burnt ends
Burnt ends are flavorful pieces of meat cut from the point half of a smoked brisket. A traditional part of Kansas City Barbecue, burnt ends are considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking. Either the entire brisket is cooked whole, then the point end removed and cooked further, or the point and...

, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are popular in many Kansas City-area barbecue restaurants.

Pit-beef prevails in Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and is often enjoyed at large outdoor steer roasts, which are common in the warmer months. Maryland-style pit-beef is not the product of barbecue cookery in the strictest sense, as there is no smoking of the meat involved; rather, it involves grilling the meat over a high heat. The meat is typically served rare, with a strong horseradish
Horseradish
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to south eastern Europe and the Arab World , but is popular around the world today...

 sauce as the preferred condiment.

The state of Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, particularly Western Kentucky, is unusual in its barbecue cooking, in that the preferred meat is mutton. This kind of mutton barbecue is often used in communal events in Kentucky, such as political rallies, county fairs and church fund-raising events.

In much of the world outside of the American South, barbecue has a close association with Texas. Many barbecue restaurants outside the United States claim to serve "Texas barbecue", regardless of the style they actually serve. Texas barbecue is often assumed to be primarily beef. This assumption, along with the inclusive term "Texas barbecue", is an oversimplification. Texas has four main styles, all with different flavors, different cooking methods, different ingredients, and different cultural origins. (cf. Barbecue in the United States
Barbecue in the United States
In the United States as in most developed countries, barbecue refers to a technique of cooking that involves cooking meat for long periods of time at low temperatures over a wood fire; often this is called pit barbecue, and the facility for cooking it is the barbecue pit...

) In the June 2008 issue of Texas Monthly Magazine Snow's BBQ in Lexington
Lexington, Texas
Lexington is a town in Lee County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,178 at the 2000 census. Lexington, a trading town, is about northeast of Austin.-Geography:Lexington is located at ....

 was rated as the best BBQ in the state of Texas. This ranking was reinforced when New Yorker Magazine also claimed that Snow's BBQ was "The Best Texas BBQ in the World".

Events and gatherings

The word barbecue is also used to refer to a social gathering where food is served, usually outdoors in the late afternoon or evening. In the southern USA, outdoor gatherings are not typically called "barbecues" unless barbecue itself will actually be on the menu, instead generally favoring the word "cookouts". The device used for cooking at a barbecue is commonly referred to as a "barbecue", "barbecue grill", or "grill". In North Carolina, however, "barbecue" is a noun primarily referring to the food and never used by native North Carolinians to describe the act of cooking or the device on which the meat is cooked.
  • Often referred to as "The World Series of Barbecue", The American Royal Barbecue Contest
    Kansas City-style barbecue
    Kansas City barbecue refers to the specific style of slow smoked meat that evolved from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City barbecue is slow smoked over a variety of woods and then covered with a thick tomato and molasses based sauce.The Kansas City...

     is held each October in Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

    . This event comprises two distinct competitions held over the course of four days. The first contest is the Invitational Contest, with competing teams being required to obtain an invitation by winning other qualifying contests throughout the year. The second competition is an open contest that any team can compete in. This open contest is the largest championship barbecue competition in the world, with the 2007 event attracting 496 teams.

  • The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is held annually in Memphis, Tennessee
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

    , during the Memphis in May
    Memphis in May
    Memphis in May is a month long festival held in Memphis, Tennessee. The festival itself is split into four main events: The Beale Street Music Festival, the kick-off event which showcases a mix of local and national music acts, International Week, a group of events dedicated to the country that is...

     festival. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the world's largest pork barbecue contest.


Other barbecue competitions are held in virtually every state in the United States during the warmer months, usually beginning in April and going through September. One of the best known was the Ribfest, first organized by former Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko
Mike Royko
Michael "Mike" Royko was a newspaper columnist in Chicago, who won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for commentary...

, which attracted over 400 contestants in 1982, ballooned to 750 entries and over 10,000 attendees by 1990, and helped popularize the distinctions between different regional styles to a much wider audience. These events feature keen competitions between teams of cooks and are divided into separate competitions for the best pork, beef and poultry barbecue and for the best barbecue sauces.

Techniques

Barbecuing encompasses four or five distinct types of cooking techniques. The original technique is cooking using smoke at lower temperatures (usually around 240–270 °F or 115–125 °C) and significantly longer cooking times (several hours), known as smoking. Another technique is baking, utilizing a masonry oven or any other type of baking oven, which uses convection to cook meats and starches with moderate temperatures for an average cooking time (about an hour plus a few extra minutes). Yet another technique is braising, which combines direct dry heat charbroiling on a ribbed surface with a broth-filled pot for moist heat, cooking at various speeds throughout the duration (starting fast, slowing down, then speeding up again, lasting for a few hours). Finally, grilling is done over direct dry heat, usually over a hot fire (i.e., over 500 °F (260 °C) or 260 °C) for a short time (minutes). Grilling may be done over wood, charcoal, gas (natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 or propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

), or electricity.

Smoking

Smoking can be done with wood or charcoal, although many common commercial smokers use a gas, such as propane, to heat up a box of wet wood chips enough to cause smoke. The heat from the propane fire helps cook the meat while the smoke adds its unique flavor. The distinction between smoking and grilling is the heat level and the intensity of the radiant heat; indeed, smoking is often referred to as "low and slow". Additionally, during grilling, the meat is exposed to the open air for the majority of the time. During smoking, the BBQ lid or smoker door is closed, causing a thick, dense cloud of smoke to envelop the meat. The smoke must be able to move freely around the meat and out of the top of the apparatus quickly; otherwise, foul-tasting creosote will build up on the meat, giving it a bitter flavor. Smoked meats such as pork exhibit what is known as a smoke ring: a thin pink layer just under the surface which is the result of the nitric oxide
Nitric oxide
Nitric oxide, also known as nitrogen monoxide, is a diatomic molecule with chemical formula NO. It is a free radical and is an important intermediate in the chemical industry...

 in the smoke interacting with the myoglobin
Myoglobin
Myoglobin is an iron- and oxygen-binding protein found in the muscle tissue of vertebrates in general and in almost all mammals. It is related to hemoglobin, which is the iron- and oxygen-binding protein in blood, specifically in the red blood cells. The only time myoglobin is found in the...

 in the meat.

Baking

The masonry oven
Masonry oven
A masonry oven, colloquially known as a brick oven or stone oven, is an oven consisting of a baking chamber made of fireproof brick, concrete, stone, or clay. Though traditionally wood-fired, coal-fired ovens were common in the 19th century, modern masonry ovens are often fired with natural gas or...

 is similar to a smoke pit in that it allows for an open flame, but cooks much faster, and uses convection to cook. Barbecue-baking can also be done in traditional stove-ovens. It can be used to cook not only meats, but breads and other starches, and even various casserole
Casserole
A casserole, from the French for "saucepan", is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word casserole is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan...

s and desserts. It uses both direct and indirect heat to surround the food with hot air to cook, and can be basted much the same as grilled foods. In some cases, the grill can also function like a bakery oven by putting a drip pan below the cooking surface rack of a barbecue grill, as well as a baking sheet pan on top, combining two techniques simultaneously, or one right after the other, cooking twice, with a duration slightly longer than grilling.

Meat can also be baked in a pit in the ground, with hot coals and stones surrounding meat wrapped in wet burlap, wet leaves or aluminum foil.

Braising

It is possible to braise meats and vegetables in a pot on top of a grill. A gas or electric charbroil grill would be the best choices for what is known as barbecue-braising, or combining dry heat charbroil-grilling directly on a ribbed surface and braising in a broth-filled pot for moist heat. To braise, put a pot on top of the grill, cover it, and let it simmer for a few hours. There are two advantages to barbecue-braising: the first is that this method now allows for browning the meat directly on the grill before the braising, and the second is that it also allows for glazing the meat with sauce and finishing it directly over the fire after the braising, effectively cooking the meat three times, which results in a soft textured product that falls right off the bone. This method of barbecue has a varying duration (depending on whether a slow cooker
Slow cooker
A slow cooker, also known as a Crock-Pot or Slo-Cooker , is a countertop electrical cooking appliance that is used for simmering, which requires maintaining a relatively low temperature compared to other cooking methods for many hours, allowing unattended cooking...

 or pressure cooker is used), and is generally slower than regular grilling or baking, but faster than pit-smoking.

Other uses

The term barbecue is also used to designate a flavor added to foodstuffs, the most prominent of which are potato chips. This term usually implies a strong smoky flavor and often denotes a flavor reminiscent of barbecue sauce
Barbecue sauce
Barbecue sauce is a flavoring sauce or condiment ranging from watery to very thick consistency. As the name implies, it was created as an accompaniment to barbecued foods. While it can be applied to any food, it usually tops meat after cooking or during barbecuing, grilling, or baking...

.

See also

  • Barbecue cover
  • Barrel barbecue
    Barrel barbecue
    A barrel barbecue is a type of barbecue made from a 55-gallon barrel. Vents are cut into the top and bottom for airflow control. A lid is used to retain heat. A chimney is not needed because the length of the barrel acts as its own chimney and provides a draft. Short horseshoe-like legs are...

  • Burnt ends
    Burnt ends
    Burnt ends are flavorful pieces of meat cut from the point half of a smoked brisket. A traditional part of Kansas City Barbecue, burnt ends are considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking. Either the entire brisket is cooked whole, then the point end removed and cooked further, or the point and...

  • Fire pot
    Fire pot
    A fire pot is a container, usually earthenware, for carrying fire. Fire pots have been used since prehistoric times to transport fire from one place to another, for warmth while on the move, for cooking, in religious ceremonies and even as weapons of war....

  • Jamaican jerk
    Jamaican jerk spice
    Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage,...

  • Ribfest
    Ribfest
    A ribfest , sometimes called a rib cook-off is a type of food festival that occurs throughout the United States and Canada...

  • Smoked meat
    Smoked meat
    Smoked meat is a method of preparing red meat which originates in prehistory. Its purpose is to preserve these protein-rich foods, which would otherwise spoil quickly, for long periods. There are two mechanisms for this preservation: dehydration and the antibacterial properties of absorbed smoke...



External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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