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National Barbecue Week

A Brief History Of National Barbecue Week

Gif Image Source: Giphy and Disney

National Barbecue Week in the United State is May 27-June 2 and in the UK June 3-9th. This holiday was established to promote cooking outdoors and encourage consumers to try new recipes.

The word barbecue was placed in the Samuel Johnson's The Dictionary of English Language in 1755. Barbecuing fed large groups of people and families quickly and cheaply. It became a staple cooking method in the 19th century. Pork was the meat used most often.

Pork was cooked over high heat and today on gas or charcoal grills. Grilled barbecue foods are pork, steaks burgers, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish and vegetables. The colonial influence came to the US when Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century. There found people cooking meats over an open flame in a fire pit. .

Black slaves helped develop the barbecue culture in the United States. Barbecue is known as part of the history of slavery. African Americans brought their recipes and cooking skills to the US and prepared the food, cooked it ,and served it. After they were freed they had marketable skills to work as chefs, train other workers and open barbecue restaurants.

Indigenous people and American Indians developed many dishes related to the barbecue culture. Native American cooked meat in a pit or trench and often cooked the whole animal at a high temperature. Other cultures duplicated this method of cooking barbecued meat, poultry and fish.

Chicken Wings on The Grill Photo Source: Wix Media

The Barbecue Belt and Cold War

The southern part of the US known as the Barbecue Belt has strong traditions. Pork was the primary meat used because pigs were cheap and easy to raise. Many states and regions in the United States have their own method of cooking meats and special barbecue sauces. Barbecuing became popular in the 20th century due to smokers, gas grills and charcoal grills.

The Cold War provided a market for the practice of barbecuing in the United States. It was a symbol of individualism and exceptional skill. This was adapted by urban middle class and was associated with home ownership. The barbecue boon of the 1950s spread to most countries.

Grilling Outdoors Photo Source Unsplash Media

The US has four major regions for barbecue North Carolina, Kanas City, Memphis, and Texas. These regions have vinegar-based sauces, tomato, mustard and mayonnaise too. Many barbecue stands were developed after the Civil War throughout the South. Some of the chefs taught other workers to cook and they opened barbecue restaurants or were hired as cooks.

How to Celebrate National Barbecue Week

  • Try some new barbecue recipes look for them online, borrow a cookbook from your local library, or buy a cookbook from the local bookstore

  • Throw a potluck or barbecue for friends and family or organize one for work or your local club. You can have each person bring a specific recipe or item for the barbecue.

  • Try an international or regional US barbecue recipe that you have never cooked before. There are many different styles and flavors.

  • Try healthy barbecue recipes using lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish and vegetables. The term barbecue has expanded to include many healthy barbecue recipes.

  • Take a local cooking class in person or online on barbecuing meat, poultry or fish.

Websites With Barbecue Recipes For Grilling

Photo Source: Wix Media

Healthier Barbecue Recipes

Barbecued Chicken: Gif Image: Giphy

Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs With Barbecue Sauce

Tomato Based Barbecue Sauce:

Photo Source: Foodista/Shoshana Lewy

You will need a skillet or grill pan for the chicken, small pot for sauce, measuring spoons, measuring cups, a spoon to stir the sauce, large serving spoon to serve the chicken.

4 boneless chicken thighs without hormones and antibiotics

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1/2 cup of tomato sauce

1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat the grill to medium high. In a grill pan put one tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil and four pieces of boneless chicken thighs or breasts. In a small sauce pan on the grill over medium heat add the tomato sauces, oil, lemon juice, paprika, chili powder, and black pepper. Mix well and heat for about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over chicken and coat both sides. before cooking. Grill the chicken with the sauce about 20 to 30 minutes. Watch it carefully to keep it from burning. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Albama White Barbecue Sauce: Photo Source:

Foodista/Amy Jeanroy

Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

You will need a measuring spoon, measuring cup, small bowl or container with lid, a whisk or spoon to mix the ingredients.

This is a chilled white barbecue sauce from Alabama that began in 1925 when a railroad worker smoked pork and chicken. He created a special sauce that went well with chicken and pork. This sauce adds moisture to chicken and fish when cooking. It can be used as topping for beef, lamb, and pork too.

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, or vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, paprika, and black pepper. Stir well using a whisk. Chill in the refrigerator. This can be used to cook meat, chicken or fish or as a topping after the food is cooked.

Grilled Swordfish with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

You will need a sauté or frying pan, measuring spoon, cups, knife, spatula, and container to mix the sauce.

1 pound or less of fresh sword fish

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil

1/2 cup of Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable broth

In the pan add one tablespoon oil, swordfish and lemon juice coat both sides of the fish. In a bowl mix the ingredients for the white sauce. Mix well and chill until using. Pour over the fish and coat both sides. Heat the grill to medium high and roast on the grill or in oven for about 10-15 minutes add vegetable broth if needed and roast fish for another five minutes. Serve with potato or rice.

Barbecue in Winchester Photo Source: Flicker/ Aimee Nives


The Evolution of American Barbecue, July 3, 2023, Smithsonian Magazine, July 18, 2023

History of the Barbecue, by Alexander Lee, History Today, August 2019

The History of BBQ America's Favorite Cookout, November 7, 2023, by Radu Balas, ChefD

Barbecue The Black and Indigenous Roots of An American Tradition by Vidya Rao, Today, June 2021

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