Just because it is cooked on a grill, does not make it barbeque

May 23 2016

Growing up in the south, I have eaten enough barbeque to sink a battleship. So I feel I need to correct a misperception. Just because it is cooked on a grill, it does not make it barbeque.

To cook something on an open flame over direct heat is to grill. To barbeque is to cook something slowly over indirect heat, flavoring the food with smoke.

What you are served at a barbeque differs depending on the region you are visiting. In the south, it will be pulled pork. In Texas, it will be beef brisket. There is also chicken (thighs are best), ribs and most anything you can think of. But it is never hamburgers and hot dogs. That is a cook-out, not a barbeque.

Sauce, which is optional, varies by region as well. I am partial to Eastern Carolina style, which is vinegar based. Western Carolina has a bit of tomato in it, but still a lot of vinegar. South Carolina is mustard based. Kansas City style is tomato based and sweeter. Alabama even has a white barbeque sauce (mayo-based) that is great on chicken!

Now that the warmer weather is here (in the US), I hope everyone will be spending a lot more time outside and enjoying friends, family and barbeque, whatever style you enjoy.

Certified Barbeque Judge (yes, there is such a credential)
[email protected]
Richmond, VA

comments powered by Disqus