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May29–June 4

National BBQ Week – May 29-June 4, 2023

Every year we get to celebrate National BBQ Week on May 29 to June 4. The day’s main aim is to encourage more people to become BBQ masters as they spend time outdoors and enjoy a meal with their loved ones. This popular American tradition has been given a British twist across BBQ outlets and homes in the U.K.

History of National BBQ Week

The word ‘barbecue’ is said to have come from the Caribbean word ‘Barabicu,’ a structure made of sticks used for cooking by the indigenous people of the Caribbean who were called Taino. Food was prepared over an indirect flame and placed to the side or above the fire. It resulted in a charred and smokey flavor. The Spanish explorers who encountered this native cooking style around the 16th century adapted it and called it ‘Barbacoa.’ Traveling north to the U.S., the Spanish brought the technique along with them. Eventually, the cooking method made its way to different colonies and later to different parts of the globe.

It became so popular that in 1755, the word ‘barbecue’ was entered into The Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson. It was a convenient way to quickly and cheaply feed large groups of people at social events such as political parties and weddings. By the 19th century, it was a staple cooking method in the U.S., especially in Southern states with pork being the meat of choice.

In the U.K., barbecuing is a fast cooking process done directly over high heat. Popular foods to throw on the BBQ include beef burgers, steaks, pork sausages, lamb, chicken, and salmon. Vegetables and plant-based alternatives have also found their way onto the British backyard BBQ. Whether it be on gas or charcoal-powered cooking source, it’s the quality of the meat and produce that makes for a delectable BBQ.

Even more than a method of cooking, BBQ is also a social event. It brings people together for a celebration of food and friendship. That’s something everyone can warm up to.

National BBQ Week timeline

25th Century B.C.
The Stonehenge Builders Eat BBQ

Archeologist Oliver Craig finds barbecue-style roasting at Durrington Walls.

May 27, 1769
There’s a Lengthy BBQ

U.S. President George Washington writes in his journal about attending a three-day barbecue.

The Briquettes Used for BBQ

Henry Ford turns wood scraps from cars into charcoal lighters to use in barbecuing outdoors.

August 18, 2013
There’s a Huge BBQ Attendance

It is recorded that 45,252 people are at the barbecue event organized by Estado de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey.

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