It’s always one of those evenings with your family members, friends and dear ones, that barbecue makes its existence known. Low tunes filling up the air and you're out there barbequing those juicy whole chickens or turkeys simply seems exotic. I wonder what's the other way to make your moment all the more complete than to go for a barbecue cooking method?
A Chunk Of History
Barbeque is said and believed to be the oldest method of cooking practised by our ancestors Homo Erectus, when they started using fire to cook the hunted animals about 1.8 million years ago. The word Barbecue traces its origin from the word ‘Barbacoa’ which is a part of the language used by the Taino Indian Tribe in the Caribbean. It is used to describe a wooden elevated rack on which the meat or the food item is slowly smoked at low temperatures till fully cooked.
Long before the English showed up, the Caribbean tribe was founded by the Spanish explorers who took the word Barbacoa back with them and for a while it continued to be understood as the structure used in cooking. It was gradually that the term began to be used as a process of cooking food as well as the cooked food itself in the European texts.
In the nineteenth century, barbecue began to take an important place in church picnics and politics and turned out to be an inexpensive method of swaying votes in favor of a political party, as politicians started providing barbecue, lemonade and a bit of whisky to lure the voters towards themselves.
Slowly and gradually, barbequing started playing an important part in almost all the cultures known to mankind and became staples of American culture. Today, this word has developed several spellings such as Barbeque, Barbecue, BBQ, Barbie or Braai. Whatever, the case maybe, it has undoubtedly invaded the culinary world that acts like a doting mother to this amazing cooking technique!
Barbecue and its drooly sauce are an inseparable element and one cannot help but notice the sheer bond they portray in almost every item they’re put into. Primarily, there are four basic types of BBQ sauce that originated from South Carolina.
The different geographical areas have their own set of sauces that are distinct from each other due to different barbecue styles popular in that region. By and large, the Tomato- based sauce is the most common. The tomato in here is usually the tomato ketchup that is mixed with other ingredients for giving the final touch-up to the dish.
Vinegar-based sauces lean more towards the spicy side of the taste and are thinner than the tomato-based sauce in its consistency. These sauces are considered best for hog barbecue, which is very much prevalent in Carolina. They are not completely devoid of ketchup but invariably carry more of a vinegary taste with them.
Another traditional barbecue sauce is the Mustard-based sauce. This too possesses a thin consistency and is spicy like its Vinegar-based (sauce) cousin. They are usually applied in pork and hog barbecue and are used at the end of cooking.
Alabama White Barbecue Sauce, which is known as the Mayonnaise-based sauce is yet another variety of BBQ sauces available and used across countries. It is a blend of mayonnaise along with lemon, vinegar and other flavorings and seasonings that are primarily used in smoked chicken dishes.
Currently, there are a vast number of sauces available and used by restaurants, each giving a lush, new taste to the barbecue concerned.
The BBQ Techniques!
While there are several methods of barbecuing and creating those mouth-tingling magical concoctions, none can take the place of some basic methods that can always ratchet up your dish to the next level!
Barbecuing is one such method that serves the purpose rightly. It requires low temperature and long cooking hours to be precise. The meat becomes so tender through this process that it falls off the bone on a mere touch and that’s what makes people go crazy for them.
Smoking is another such method that’s been in use from quite a long time. Well, you might say about smoking being injurious to health and all those disclaimers saying so- they say rightly but my dearies we’re not talking about those fumy smoke that can make you teary-eyed and leave whooping for the whole day, but the talk here is of that one barbecuing technique that provides a lush, exotic and luscious taste to your grilled foods!
Smoking means cooking something through smoke slowly and on a low flame. It requires high quality meat as well as sheer patience as simply throwing the meat over hot coals would not give you the desired results. The smoke has to penetrate the meat and this can take several hours or even days!
It is rightly said that a good food requires more than just a good recipe. Over the years people have realised these and have come up with another technique which is called Grilling. This method is all about cooking the food quickly, for just a few minutes or for less than an hour. Grilling is generally used for tenderest meats like chicken, strip steak, flavorful vegetables and the list goes on.
Invariably, all these cooking styles serve different purposes and stand out from each other mainly by the cooking time and temperature. Knowing this difference can really help you create magical dishes that people will munch right away!
Some Delectable facts!
As much as one gets appetizing taste through barbecuing, more are the delectable facts related to this method of cooking. Some of them are:-
The National Barbecue day is celebrated on July 13th.
The world’s largest barbecue consisted of around 45,000 people and the event was held in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Amazingly enough you can actually measure the barbecue heat by keeping your hands above the grill and counting the number of seconds before the urge is to shove the hands away.
The first commercial BBQ sauce was made in Georgia’s Atlanta (US).
The sauce generally has red-brown to dark-brown color.
Well, if one goes on, then there’s no end to this tale since, barbecuing is not just a food, but has become a way of life, covering a multitude of cultures and people.
Today, barbeque is practised over campfires, open pits, and indoor fireplaces across all nations. No matter which country it originated and developed, it went on to invade the whole of the globe with its incomparable taste, and has made an unmissable and irreplaceable place in our lives that will continue for generations that follows.