Cavemen started cooking meat with fire nearly 2 million years ago, and people have been barbecuing ever since. Slow cooking food outdoors—using charcoal, wood, or gas—is a favorite activity for many people to share with family and friends.
In honor of National Barbecue Month, keep reading to learn all about BBQ and ideas for a perfect Memorial Day cookout.
Origins of BBQ
Barbecue has been around for a loooong time. The word “barbecue” dates back centuries, coming from the language of the Taino, a Caribbean Indian tribe that grilled meat on a raised wooden grate and called it “barbacoa.” In fact, the first reported appearance of the word “barbecue” in print is from a Spanish explorer’s account of the then West Indies in 1526.
What Can Be Barbecued?
When you think of barbecue, pork usually comes to mind, like baby back ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. However, other foods such as beef, chicken, lamb and tofu can be barbecued as well. Fruits and vegetables can also be grilled, resulting in a delicious, healthy addition to any summer meal.
Different Types of BBQ
Whether you like your BBQ sweet or spicy, there’s a combination of seasonings and sauces out there to get your mouth watering.
There are four main regional types of BBQ in the U.S.:
- Carolinas: Carolina BBQ, where pork is rubbed with spices and smoked, is the oldest form of American BBQ. North Carolina uses a vinegar and ketchup-based sauce, whereas South Carolina is known for its tangy sauce made from mustard, one of the state’s cash crops.
- Kansas City: This style of BBQ includes coating with a spicy rub before putting it into the BBQ pit smoker, then serving it with a sweet tomato and molasses-based sauce on the side.
- Memphis: Memphis BBQ includes wet and dry options, which are either rubbed with a tomato-based mixture during cooking or just seasoned with spices. Both are cooked by a pitmaster low-and-slow over hickory smoke for finger-licking, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
- Texas: The Lone Star State has several of its own distinct styles of BBQ, but one of the most popular is the South Texas barbacoa. This type of BBQ originally involved cooking meat in an underground coal pit. Now, the meat is cooked in a BBQ pit trailer using oak or pecan wood for 12 hours or longer, for a hearty smoky flavor.
Looking to try out some new homemade barbecue sauce recipes? Pick one of these for your next cookout.
Anything on the Side?
Barbecue may be the main event of your summer cookouts, but you’ll need some sides, too. Traditional side dishes for an all-American BBQ include:
- Mac & Cheese
- Baked Beans
- Hush Puppies
- Green Beans
- Potato Salad
Don’t forget the sweet tea to wash it all down!
From all your friends at USE Credit Union, we wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day, and a wonderful summer ahead.
This content is provided for general information purposes only. It is the reader’s responsibility to determine the ingredient safety, and safety of the preparation instructions. USE Credit Union in no way provides any warranty, express or implied, towards the content of recipes or the outcomes from consumption.