Finger Licking Barbecue

Finger Licking Barbecue

What smells so good? Have you ever been outside walking in the neighborhood and smelled something that made you want to drop by a strangers' house and ask for a handout? The smell was probably someone barbecuing steak, chicken, or hamburgers. The smell is so tantalizing that you find yourself staying near the house just so you can smell the food. 

Have you ever wondered how we started barbecuing. Personally, I think a cave woman was carrying a load of meat too big for her and dropped a piece in the fire. Her cave husband had brought half a dinosaur home for dinner and was taking a nap while he waited for dinner. Unfortunately, the piece that fell in the fire was his favorite dino part. Don't ask! Afraid to tell him what happened, she brushed off the burned meat and put it before him. He was ecstatic and praised her for her perfect preparation. Her accident turned into his pleasure and eventually hers. 

Barbecue refers to a particular method of cooking meat with equipment and a flaming or smoking heat source such as coal, gas or wood. Many people confuse barbecuing with grilling, and while that is understandable, there are some distinct differences. Barbecue takes a lot longer than grilling does. And most often always with barbecue, the heat is applied to the food in an indirect manner. Barbecue is also commonly referred to as barbeque or BBQ. And in the Land Down Under, aka Australia, the word barbecue is shortened to the slang ‘barbie.' 

In different parts of the country, the word barbecue means different things. For one, barbecue can refer to the equipment that is used to slowly cook the food in question. Barbecue can also be an event where friends and family gather to enjoy food cooked outdoors. And, barbecue is the name for a flavor, as in barbecue sauce or barbecue chips. Also, in the Southern United States, the word barbecue is used to describe a dish of slowly smoked, pulled pork that is often served with a tangy, spicy barbecue sauce. 

If you're new to the world of barbecue, it helps to know more about the cooking methods that are commonly used. The first is wood. Many traditionalists love cooking meat over wood, because the type of wood used can impart a certain flavor to the meat being cooked. Many people combine wood with coal to gain more control over the temperature and cooking speed. 

Speaking of coal, it's another main method of barbecue cooking. You will need a charcoal cooker and a bag of charcoal. Charcoal comes in briquette form, or raw, unshaped form. Many people use lighter fluid to inflame their charcoal. Once the charcoal has been lit and the briquettes or pieces are ashed, the food is added to the top portion of the cooker. The heat level on a charcoal barbecue is controlled via careful venting and placement of burning charcoal. Some barbecue that uses charcoal takes many hours and requires special equipment, and is commonly referred to as smoking. 

Another method of barbecue is via gas or propane grilling. This is certainly the quickest, easiest, and most efficient way. However, many people simply don't consider anything cooked with gas or propane barbecue. One way to add a smoky wood flavor to any food cooked on a gas or propane grill is with the use of water soaked wood chips placed in a foil packet or special smoker box. 

Barbecue means many things to many people. However, no matter what you think of when you hear the word barbecue, delicious food is always involved!

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