If you can’t stand the heat, then heck, just embrace it. This May, celebrate National Barbecue Month in style and enjoy the culinary art that embraces the spirit of friends, family, and fun in the sun. With techniques including smoking, roasting, baking, braising and grilling, barbecuing offers endless possibilities to fire up your favorite dish and satisfy all as you kick off summer.
National Barbecue Month - History
United States embraces barbecuing
Barbecues become one of the main forms of public celebration — especially on July 4.
Barbecue gets defined
Samuel Johnson's 1756 dictionary gave the following definition: "Barbecue – a hog dressed whole."
Barbecue gets printed
Gonzalo Fernández De Oviedo y Valdés, a Spanish explorer, was the first to use the word "barbecoa" in print in Spain.
The beginning of time - now
Barbecue has no official birthday
No one is really sure when barbequing was first invented. It has evolved over time to become the more social event now common, however its origins are unknown.
National Barbecue Month Activities
1. Play tag
Barbecuing is an all-inclusive activity. Need a break? Just grab the nearest observer, and tag out for breather and take your turn making a dent in the dinner spread.
2. Try different dishes
The traditional food typically associated with barbecuing is meat, but feel free to experiment with an assortment of vegetables and even desserts. Fried pineapple? Yes please!
3. Ask about new recipes
Like any other cooking technique, everyone has their own unique style of barbecuing. Allow yourself to be open to new ideas and methods, and you will almost certainly stumble upon a new favorite dish.
5 Sizzling Facts About Barbecuing
1. Barbecuing can last a very, very long time
Depending on what is getting cooked, barbecuing times can vary a great deal. Some slow barbecuing techniques can take as many as 18 hours or longer.
2. Barbecues can be enormous
The longest barbecue measured 8,000 meters in Bayambang, Pangasinan, Philippines in 2014.
3. Barbecue style is regional
Barbecue varies by region, with the four main styles named after their place of origin: Memphis, North Carolina, Kansas City, and Texas.
4. “Barbecue” applies to other foods
It doesn't just mean grilled meats. The term barbecue is also used to designate a flavor added to food items — think potato chips.
5. It can be "barbeque" or "barbecue"
There are few words in the English language that have more variations of spelling than barbecue. Some barbecue joints spell it with a French influence, as "barbeque." Technically speaking however, in English, it is officially spelled “barbecue”.
Why We Love National Barbecue Month
A. It makes cooking an event
Unlike inside parties, where you might hear “get out of my kitchen," barbecuing invites guests to participate in the cooking event. Onlookers gather to show their approval and admiration, and chefs get the pleasure of cooking with an audience.
B. Barbecuing has flair
Barbecuing flirts with each of the five senses — enticing hunger through this seduction. Just thinking of the smell conjures memories of the whole scene: the sun on your neck, classic rock in your ears, and delicious pulled pork on your taste buds.
C. It embraces the elements
While warm sun and a cool breeze are ideal conditions, barbecuing knows no limitations. No matter the weather, fire up the grill, and enjoy the great outdoors.