Barbecuing, or Barbequing, refers to a dry heat cooking process which is used to cook meat and other ingredients over burning charcoal, smoke and fire, electricity or even a gas powered barbecue apparatus. Very much similar to grilling, barbecued recipes for beef, pork, poultry and seafood are hugely popular in the American cuisine.
Origin of Barbecuing
Although the word Barbecue was first recorded in the Oxford dictionary in the 17th century, the roots of barbecuing can be traced back to the origin of grilling as a cooking method, which took place thousands of years ago. Originally, barbecuing was carried out by placing food over heat and smoke from burning wood or charcoal, but with the help of new technology, electric and gas powered barbecues have been invented, which can be used indoors as well. Barbecued dishes have existed in different variations across different cuisines of the world, but are extremely popular in the American cuisine. Southern American cuisine practices pit barbecuing, a process in which a pit is dug to cook the barbecued dishes. Pork is a very popular barbecued item.
The Process of Barbecuing
Traditionally, barbecuing is done outdoors, as there is smoke and fire involved in the cooking process. The meat is either marinated, rubbed or basted with flavoring ingredients and is placed on a wire mesh, very similar to grilling. Barbecuing requires the meat to be cooked on low heat from the burning charcoal or other sources of heat. Barbecued recipes are popular as party or picnic food. Barbecuing is slower than the grilling process, as the intensity of heat is generally lower than grilling. Various sized barbecue grills are available in the market for both home and commercial purposes. Large brick and metal ovens are used for mass preparation of barbecued dishes.
Popular Dishes prepared through Barbecuing
Whole goats and pigs were traditionally cooked over hot smoke coming from burning wood or charcoal. Western cuisine is famous for barbecued recipes such as barbecued steaks, pork chops, chicken wings and prawns, whereas kebabs are more popular in Asia. Most types of meats are suitable for barbecuing, and certain vegetables such as potatoes can also be cooked on the barbecue. Due to the slow cooking process, tough cuts of meat containing high amount of connective tissue are also suitable for barbecuing as the tissue gradually breaks down into collagen, which makes the meat tender and flavorful. Barbecued dishes are highly popular in the American cuisine.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Barbecuing
Barbecuing is very inexpensive in case of charcoal barbecues, but the disadvantage is that they are quite messy and tough to clean. In case of gas and electric barbecues, the advantage is that they are much easier to clean and easy to operate, but they are quite expensive.
Techniques Similar to Barbecuing
Grilling is a method that is synonymous to barbecuing, with the only difference being that Barbecued dishes are cooked on lower heat, and for a longer duration of time than grilled foods.
- Barbecuing is also known as Barbeque, Bar-B-cue, BBQ or just Q.
- Barbecued dishes are a favorite with beer in America.