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itself, or to a party that includes such food. The term as an adjective can refer to foods cooked by this method. The term is also used as a verb for the act of cooking food in this manner. Barbecue is usually cooked in an outdoor environment heated by the smoke of wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large brick or metal ovens specially designed for that purpose. Barbecue has numerous regional variations in many parts of the world. Notably, in the Southern United States, practitioners consider barbecue to include only indirect methods of cooking over hardwood smoke, with the more direct methods to be called "grilling". In British usage, barbecuing and grilling refer to a fast cooking process directly over high heat, while grilling also refers to cooking under a source of direct, high heat—known in the U.S. and Canada as broiling. In US English usage, however, grilling refers to a fast process over high heat, while barbecuing refers to a slow process using indirect heat and/or hot smoke (very similar to some forms of roasting). For example, in a typical U.S. home grill, food is cooked on a grate directly over hot charcoal, while in a U.S. barbecue, the coals are dispersed to the sides or at significant distance from the grate. Its South American versions are the southern Brazilian churrasco and the Argentine asado. Alternatively, an apparatus called a smoker with a separate fire box may be used. Hot smoke is drawn past the meat by convection for very slow cooking. This is essentially how barbecue is cooked in most U.S. "barbecue" restaurants, but nevertheless, many consider this to be a distinct cooking process called smoking. The slower methods of cooking break down the collagen in meat and tenderizes the tougher cuts for easier eating.

A barbecue at a street fair in New York City’s East Village known as "Ternera a la Llanera [2]" from the Colombian marshlands

A barrel - shaped barbecue on a trailer at a block party in Kansas City. Pans on the top shelf hold hamburgers and hot dogs that were grilled earlier when the coals were hot. The lower grill is now being used to cook pork ribs and "drunken chicken" slowly. Barbecue or barbeque (common slang) [1] (with abbreviations BBQ, Bar-B-Q and BarB-Que; diminutive form barbie, used chiefly in Australia & New Zealand; and called Braai in South Africa) is a method and apparatus for cooking food, often meat, with the heat and hot gases of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of charcoal and may include application of a marinade, spice rub, or basting sauce to the meat. The term as a noun can refer to the cooking apparatus

The origins of both the activity of barbecue cooking and the word itself are somewhat obscure. Most etymologists believe that


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barbecue derives ultimately from the word barbacoa found in the language of the Taíno people of the Caribbean. The word translates as "sacred fire pit" and is also spelled barbacoa.[2] The word describes a grill for cooking meat, consisting of a wooden platform resting on sticks. Traditional barbacoa involves digging a hole in the ground and placing some meat (usually a whole goat) with a pot underneath it, so that the juices can make a hearty broth. It is then covered with maguey leaves and coal and set alight. The cooking process takes a few hours. There is ample evidence that both the word and cooking technique migrated out of the Caribbean and into other languages and cultures, with the word moving from Caribbean dialects into Spanish, then French and English. The Oxford English Dictionary cites the first recorded use of the word in the English language in 1697 by the British buccaneer William Dampier. [3] While the standard modern English spelling of the word is barbecue, local variations like barbeque and truncations such as bar-b-q or bbq may also be found.[4] In the southeastern United States, the word barbecue is used predominantly as a noun referring to roast pork, while in the southwestern states, cuts of beef are often cooked. The word barbecue has attracted several inaccurate origins from folk etymology. An often-repeated claim is that the word is derived from the French language. The story goes that French visitors to the Caribbean saw a pig being cooked whole and described the method as barbe à queue, meaning "from beard to tail". The French word for barbecue is also barbecue, and the "beard to tail" explanation is regarded as false by most language experts. The only merit is that it relies on the similar sound of the words, a feature common in folk-etymology explanations.[5] Another claim states that the word BBQ came from the time when roadhouses and beer joints with pool tables advertised "Bar, Beer and Cues". According to this tale, the phrase was shortened over time to BBCue, then BBQ.[6]


Chicken wings being cooked slowly over charcoal ashes In the southern United States, barbecue initially revolved around the cooking of pork.[7] During the 19th century, pigs were a lowmaintenance food source that could be released to forage for themselves in forests and woodlands. When food or meat supplies were low, these semi-wild pigs could then be caught and eaten.[8] According to estimates, prior to the American Civil War, Southerners ate around five pounds of pork for every one pound of beef they consumed.[9] Because of the poverty of the southern United States at this time, every part of the pig was eaten immediately or saved for later (including the ears, feet, and other organs). Because of the effort to capture and cook these wild hogs, "pig slaughtering became a time for celebration, and the neighborhood would be invited to share in the largesse. These feasts are sometimes called ’pig-pickin’s.’ The traditional Southern barbecue grew out of these gatherings."[8] Each Southern locale has its own particular variety of barbecue, particularly concerning the sauce. North Carolina sauces vary by region; eastern North Carolina uses a vinegar-based sauce, the center of the state (around Lexington, NC) uses a combination of ketchup and vinegar as their base, and western North Carolina uses a heavier ketchup base. Lexington, NC boasts of being "The Barbecue Capital of the World" and they have more than one BBQ restaurant per 1,000 residents.[10] Another distinguishing characteristic of North Carolina barbecue is barbecue slaw, which has no mayonnaise, is composed of cabbage, ketchup, vinegar, and black pepper and can be served either on the side or

American South

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on a sandwich. South Carolina is the only state that includes all four recognized barbecue sauces, including mustard-based, vinegar-based, and light and heavy tomatobased.[11] Memphis barbecue is best known for tomato- and vinegar-based sauces [12]. In some Memphis establishments[12] and in Kentucky, meat is rubbed with dry seasoning (dry rubs) and smoked over hickory wood without sauce; the finished barbecue is then served with barbecue sauce on the side. The barbecue of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee is almost always pork served with a sweet tomato-based sauce. However, several regional variations exist as well. Alabama is particularly known for its distinctive white sauce, a mayonnaise- and vinegar-based sauce, originating in northern Alabama, used predominantly on chicken and pork. A popular item in North Carolina and Memphis is the pulled pork sandwich served on a bun and often topped with cole slaw. Pulled pork is prepared by shredding the pork after it is barbecued. Pit-beef prevails in Maryland and is often enjoyed at large outdoor bull roasts, which are common in the warmer months. Maryland-style pit-beef is not the product of barbecue cookery in the strictest sense, as there is no smoking of the meat involved—rather, it involves grilling the meat over a high heat. The meat is typically served rare, with a strong horseradish sauce as the preferred condiment.[13] The state of Kentucky is unusual in its barbecue cooking, in that the preferred meat is mutton. This kind of mutton barbecue is often used in communal events in Kentucky, such as political rallies, county fairs and church fund-raising events. In much of the world outside of the American South, barbecue has a close association with Texas. Many barbecue restaurants outside the United States claim to serve "Texas barbecue", regardless of the style they actually serve. Texas barbecue is often assumed to be primarily beef. This assumption, along with the inclusive term "Texas barbecue" is an oversimplification. Texas has four main styles, all with different flavors, different cooking methods, different ingredients, and different cultural origins. (cf. Barbecue in the United States) Kansas City is also considered by many to be the Barbecue Capital of the United States.


Events, and gatherings

Diagram of a propane smoker used for barbecuing The word barbecue is also used to refer to a social gathering where food is served, usually outdoors in the early afternoon. In the southern USA, outdoor gatherings are not typically called "barbecues" unless barbecue itself will actually be on the menu. The device used for cooking at a barbecue is commonly referred to as a "barbecue", "barbecue grill", or "grill". • Often referred to as "The World Series of Barbecue", The American Royal Barbecue Contest[14] is held each October in Kansas City, Missouri. This event comprises two distinct competitions held over the course of four days. The first contest is the Invitational Contest, with competing teams being required to obtain an invitation by winning other qualifying contests throughout the year. The second competition is an open contest that any team can compete in. This open contest is the largest championship barbecue competition in the world, with the 2007 event attracting 496 teams. • The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is held annually in Memphis, Tennessee, during the Memphis


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in May festival.[15] Other barbecue competitions are held in virtually every state in the United States during the warmer months, usually beginning in April and going through September. One of the best known was the Ribfest, first organized by former Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko, which attracted over 400 contestants in 1982, ballooned to 750 entries and over 10,000 attendees by 1990, and helped popularize the distinctions between different regional styles to a much wider audience.[16][17]These events feature keen competitions between teams of cooks and are divided into separate competitions for the best pork, beef and poultry barbecue and for the best barbecue sauces.

Woods to avoid include conifers. These contain resins and tars, which impart undesirable resinous and chemical flavors. If these woods are used, they should be burned in a catalytic grill, such as a rocket stove, so that the resins and tars are completely burned before coming into contact with the food. Different types of wood burn at different rates. The heat also varies by the amount of wood and controlling the rate of burn through careful venting. Wood and charcoal are sometimes combined to optimize smoke flavor and consistent burning.

Cooking with charcoal, like cooking with gas, is a more manageable approximation of cooking over a wood fire. Charcoal cooking does not impart the rich flavour of cooking over hardwoods but is cheap and easy to purchase in sizes appropriate for close proximity cooking in typical commercially available home grills. Charcoal grilling generally begins with purchasing a commercial bag of processed charcoal briquettes. An alternative to charcoal briquettes is lump charcoal. Lump charcoal is wood that has been turned into charcoal, but unlike briquettes, it has not been ground and shaped. Lump charcoal is a pure form of charcoal and is preferred by many purists who dislike artificial binders used to hold briquettes in their shape, and it also burns hotter and responds to changes in airflow much more quickly. Charcoal cannot be burned indoors because poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) is a combustion product.[18] Carbon monoxide fumes may contribute to the pink color taken on by barbecued meats after slow cooking in a smoker.[19] Many barbecue aficionados prefer charcoal over gas (propane) for the authentic flavor the coals provide. A charcoal chimney starter is an inexpensive and efficient method for quickly obtaining a good charcoal fire. A few pages of newspaper are wadded up underneath the chimney to start the fire. Other methods are to use an electric iron to heat the charcoal or to soak it with aliphatic petroleum solvent and light it in a pyramid formation. Charcoal briquettes pre-impregnated with solvent are also available. Although the use of solvents is quick and portable, it can be hazardous, and petroleum solvents can impart undesirable chemical flavors to the meat. Using denatured

Barbecuing encompasses two distinct types of cooking techniques. One type is grilling over direct heat, usually a hot fire (i.e., over 500°F) for a short time (minutes). Grilling may be done over wood or charcoal or even gas. The other technique is cooking by using indirect heat or low-level direct radiant heat at lower temperatures (usually around 240°F) and longer cooking times (hours), often with smoke.


Large beef steaks over wood The choice and combination of woods burned result in different flavors imparted to the meat. Woods commonly selected for their flavor include mesquite, hickory, maple, guava, kiawe, cherry, pecan, apple and oak.


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The Japanese-style kamado cooker utilizes lump charcoal for fuel. The kamado is made from ceramics and can be adjusted to cook for more than 30 hours on a single load of lump, the heat being retained in the ceramic walls, radiating into the food. There is no need to use water pans or replenish fuel during the cook, as is the case with steel water smokers. Furthermore, lump charcoal contains no additives or fillers as contained in charcoal briquettes. The very small amount of air needed to keep a ceramic cooker going at low temperature helps maintain a moist environment, whereas in a steel smoker, steam must be added from a water pan over the briquettes to keep the food from drying out. The kamado dates back several thousand years with roots in China and Japan.

Natural gas, propane, and electricity

Chimney starter in use alcohol ("methyl hydrate", "methylated spirit") instead of commercial petroleum-based lighter fluids avoids this problem. Once all coals are ashed over (generally 15-25 minutes, depending on starting technique), they can be spread around the perimeter of the grill with the meat placed in the center for indirect cooking, or piled together for direct cooking. Water-soaked wood chips (such as mesquite, cherry, hickory or fruit trees) can be added to the coals for flavor. As with wood barbecuing, the temperature of the grill is controlled by the amount and distribution of coal within the grill and through careful venting. For long cooking times (up to 18 hours), many cooks find success with the minion method, usually performed in a smoker. The method involves putting a small number of hot coals on top of a full chamber of unlit briquettes. The burning coals will gradually light the unlit coals. By leaving the top air vent all the way open and adjusting the lower vents, a constant temperature of 225°F can easily be achieved for up to 18 hours.

A typical propane barbecue grill in an urban backyard Grilling with natural gas, propane, or electricity is a step further removed from cooking over a wood fire. Despite this, and the higher cost of a gas grill over a charcoal grill, many people continue to prefer cooking over a gas or electric flame. Gas grills are easy to light. The heat is easy to control via knob-controlled gas valves on the burners, so the outcome is very


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predictable. Gas grills give very consistent results, although some charcoal and wood purists argue that it lacks the flavors available only from cooking with charcoal. Advocates of gas grills claim that gas cooking lets you "taste the meat, not the heat" because it is claimed that charcoal grills may deposit traces of coal tar on the food. Many grills are equipped with thermometers, further simplifying the barbecuing experience. However, propane and natural gas produce a "wet" heat (combustion byproducts include water vapor) that can change the texture of foods cooked over such fuels.[20] Added wood smoke flavor can be imparted on gas grills using water-soaked wood chips placed in an inexpensive smoker box (a perforated metal box), or simply a perforated foil pouch, under the grilling grate and over the heat. It takes some experience in order to keep the chips smoking consistently without catching fire; some high-end gas grills include a built-in smoker box with a dedicated burner to simplify the task. Using such smokers on quick-grilled foods (steaks, chops, burgers) nearly duplicates the effects of wood and charcoal grills, and they can actually make grilling some longer-cooked foods, such as ribs, easier, since the "wet" heat makes it easier to prevent the meat from drying out. Gas and electric grills are significantly more expensive due to their added complexity. They are also considered much cleaner, as they do not result in ashes, which must be disposed of, and also in terms of air pollution. Proper maintenance may further help reduce pollution. The useful life of a gas or electric grill may be extended by obtaining replacement gas grill parts when the original parts wear out. Most barbecues that are used for commercial purposes now use gas or electricity for the reasons above.

the braising, and the second is that it also allows for glazing the meat with sauce and finishing it directly over the fire after the braising, which results in a soft textured product that falls right off the bone. [21]

Solar power
There have been a number of designs for barbecues that use solar power as a means of cooking food. The device usually involves the use of a curved mirror acting as a parabolic reflector, which focuses the rays of the sun on to a point where the food is to be heated.[22][23]


Chicken, pork and corn cooked in a barbeque smoker Smoking can be done with wood or charcoal, although many common commercial smokers use a gas, such as propane, to heat up a box of wet wood chips enough to cause smoke. The heat from the propane fire helps cook the meat while the smoke adds its unique and delicious flavor. The distinction between smoking and grilling is the heat level and the intensity of the radiant heat; indeed, smoking is often referred to as "low and slow". Additionally, during grilling, the meat is exposed to the open air for the majority of the time. During smoking, the BBQ lid or smoker door is closed, making a thick dense cloud of smoke to envelop the meat. The smoke must be able to move freely around the meat and out of the top of the apparatus quickly; otherwise, foul-tasting creosote will build up on the meat, giving it a bitter flavor. Smoked meats such as pork exhibit what is known as a smoke ring: a thin pink layer just under the surface which is the result of the smoke interacting with the water in the meat.

It is possible to braise meats and vegetables in a pot on top of a grill. A gas or electric grill would be the best choices for what is known as barbecue-braising, or combining grilling directly on the surface and braising in a pot. To braise, put a pot on top of the grill, cover it, and let it simmer for a few hours. There are two advantages to barbecue-braising: the first is that this method now allows for browning the meat directly on the grill before


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a variant spelling but not in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (barbecue). [2] The Great American Barbecue and Grilling Manual by Smoky Hale. Abacus Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-936171-03-0. [3] In his New Voyage Round the World, Dampier writes: And lay there all night, upon our Borbecu’s, or frames of Sticks, raised about 3 foot from the Ground. [4] The Marrow of the Bone of Contention: A Barbecue Journal by Jake Adam York. storySouth, winter 2003. Accessed 1-26-06. [5] World Wide Words - Barbecue [6] Barebecue, BBQ by Cliff Lowe, from Accessed 1-26-06. [7] A History of Barbeque [8] ^ The History of Barbecue in the South from the American Studies website of the University of Virginia. Accessed 1-26-06. [9] Eating, Drinking and Visiting in the Old South by Joe Gray Taylor. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982. Page 27. [10] 2 [11] South Carolina Barbeque Association [12] ^ Memphis Style Barbecue [13] [1] [14] American Royal Barbeque Competition [15] Memphis in May Festival [16] Mixing Business with Pleasure [17] Tommy Ray’s [18] Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, and Charcoal [19] Texas barbeque [20] Propane is 81.8% carbon and the balance hydrogen, yielding approximately 1.6 grams of water vapor for each gram of propane burned. Charcoal also produces some water vapor when burned, since some residual water (5%) and hydrogen from the starch binder are present in charcoal, but this is a minor product. See How is a charcoal briquette made? [21] A New Way to Grill: Barbecue-Braising Fine Cooking Article [22] Newspaper article on solar barbecue [23] US patent for solar barbecue granted in 1992 [24] "Greening up’ your backyard barbecue". decor/articles/2007/07/06/ 20070706hom_greengrill.html. Retrieved on 16 June 2008.

Other uses
The term barbecue is also used to designate a flavor added to foodstuffs, the most prominent of which are potato chips. This term usually implies a strong smoky flavor and often denotes a flavor reminiscent of barbecue sauce.

Issues about indoor air quality and health
It is believed that the air quality in the event area is associated with the cooking material used[24] and the activities are even healthhazardous in some situations, [25] such as barbecuing fresh meat.[26][27][28] Therefore, the Maryland Department of the Environment in the United States regulates the facilities installed in households under Maryland’s Air Quality Regulations, Code of Maryland Regulations COMAR 26.11.02 [29]. Lee et al. has provided a review on the issues relating to indoor air quality in restaurants.[30]

See also
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Asado Braaivleis Barbecue in the United States Basting Benzopyrene Bulgogi Burnt ends Charbroil Churrasco Fire pot Galbi Grilling Heterocyclic compound Kansas City-style barbecue Lexington Barbecue Festival Marination Regional variations of barbecue Rocket stove St. Louis-style barbecue Satay Shashlik Tailgate party Yakiniku

[1] The spelling barbeque is given in Merriam-Webster OnLine (barbeque) as


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[25] Pocono Mountains Media Group. of the American Dietetic Association "Barbecue grills are health hazard in (Elsevier) 107 (8): 1356–1362. several ways". doi:10.1016/j.jada.2007.05.011. [29] Maryland Department of the pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070409/ Environment. "Air Quality General NEWS01/704090318. Retrieved on 16 Permit to Construct Charbroiler and Pit June 2008. Barbcue Fact Sheet". [26] Rikke, Egeberg et al. (2008). "Meat consumption, N-acetyl transferase 1 and AirManagementPermits/ 2 polymorphism and risk of breast AQcharbroiler.asp. Retrieved on 16 June cancer in Danish postmenopausal 2008. women". Lippincott Williams & Wilkins [30] Lee, S.C. et al. (2001). "Indoor air quality 17 (1): 39–47. at restaurants with different styles of cooking in metropolitan Hong Kong". ejcp/ The Science of the Total Environment abstract.00008469-200802000-00007.htm;jsessionid=LVhdRsGQyKrQnJlG8NM9vnRCgz9tdH9BQ29yC (Elsevier) 279 (1): 181–193. doi:10.1016/ Retrieved on 16 June. S0048-9697(01)00765-3. [27] Tang, Deliang et al. (2007). "Grilled Meat Consumption and PhIP-DNA Adducts in Prostate Carcinogenesis". Cancer • National Barbecue Association Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention • Barbecue Food Safety (US Dept. of 16: 803–808. doi:10.1158/ Agriculture) 1055-9965.EPI-06-0973. PMID • The Internet BBQ FAQ 17416774. • History of BBQ from the South Carolina [28] Keating, G . et al. (2007). "Development BBQ Association of a Meat Frequency Questionnaire for Use in Diet and Cancer Studies". Journal

External links

Retrieved from "" Categories: American cuisine, Australian culture, Barbecue, Cooking techniques, Cuisine of the Southern United States, Culture of St. Louis, Missouri, Fireplaces, Meals, Texas culture This page was last modified on 16 May 2009, at 03:18 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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