Barbecuing refers to the process of slow cooking meat at low temperatures for a long time, either over charcoal or over wood. It is often confused with grilling, which is a very similar process, but uses higher heat and shorter cooking times.
Unlike barbecuing, grilling can also be used to cook fish, fruit, and vegetables. Lots of people around the world love barbecue today, but they may not know where it comes from. If you have been wondering who invented the barbecue, here’s some information to tell you more about it.
In America, barbecue or barbeque take your pick probably originated during cattle drives in the West, when cowboys ate mostly undesirable, tough cuts of meat, including brisket and other stringy cuts. Five to seven hours of cooking was required to make these meats tender enough to cook.
Goat, venison, beef, and pork ribs and pork butt were also popular barbecuing meats. Anything that was tough to start out with would be soft and tender by the time the barbecuing process was over, making it an American cowboy favorite. However, barbecue did not come from America initially. No one really knows who invented the barbecue first.
There is a Taino tribe word – barbacoa – that means a smoking apparatus for meat. This could be the origin of the term. The French term – barbe a queue – means whiskers to tail, and could refer to the kinds of meat that can be cooked in a barbecue. The origins of this term and this variety of cooking are shrouded in mystery. However, just about everyone can agree on one thing. Barbecue is delicious.
The invention of the charcoal briquette in the late nineteenth century made a big difference in barbecuing. Charcoal briquettes make it much easier to hold a consistent temperature for barbecue cooking.
Henry Ford expanded on this idea and produced a type of briquette that could be made from sawdust and scrap wood, which was immediately put into production by E.G. Kingsford. Kingsford is probably still one of the most popular brands of charcoal around. Many people use it in their barbecuing and their grilling.
We may not know who invented the barbecue, but this method of cooking is one that is going to stick around. Everyone loves delicious slow cooked meats made in a real, old-fashioned charcoal barbecue. If you have not tried barbecuing, maybe you should! It does not matter who invented it, as long as we know the results are this good.
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