Barbecue (also barbeque, BBQ, bar-B-Q and barbie) is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry, and occasionally fish with the hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, compressed wood pellets, or hot coals of charcoal. In the USA to grill is to cook in this manner quickly, while barbecue is typically a much slower method utilizing less heat than grilling, attended to over an extended period of several hours. In Australia to barbeque (most common spelling in Australia) is to quickly cook food on a heated metal plate.Barbecue is usually done in an outdoor environment by cooking and smoking the meat over wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large brick or metal ovens specially designed for that purpose.
The word “barbecue” is no match for a spelling bee. It can be written as “Barbeque,” “Barbicue,” “Barbique,” “Bar-B-Cue,” “Bar-B-Que,” “Bar-B-Q,” “BBQ,” “Cue,” and “Q.” The spelling changes depending on where you are from, what your preference is and how you grew up spelling it. But either way, all of the above are correct spellings.
It has been suggested that both the word and cooking technique migrated out of the Caribbean and into other languages and cultures, with the word (barbacoa) moving from Caribbean dialects into Spanish, then Portuguese, French, and English.
In British usage, barbecuing refers to a fast cooking process directly over high heat, while grilling refers to cooking under a source of direct, high heat—known in the US 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.
Even before the US Civil War, barbecue was a popular meal choice. It was originally used to describe the smoking of whole pigs or steers over open fires. People would gather from miles away just to taste the delicious barbecued meat. Not long after that, the trend spread to various areas of the United States and different ways to cook barbecue, along with different sauces, were developed.
According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, there are over 2.5 billion barbecues held every year in the United States. That takes a lot of sauce! A little known fact about barbecue grilling is that ninety percent of grillers use barbecue sauce to add zest to their meat and poultry. Can you guess which flavor of sauce is the most popular? The most popular flavors of barbecue sauce are hickory, followed by mesquite, honey, and then spicy-hot.
The most popular foods for cooking on the grill are, in order: burgers, steak, hot dogs and then chicken. The side dishes most commonly prepared on the grill are, in order, corn, potatoes, and other vegetables
Pineapples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, plums, mangos, pears, and papayas taste great grilled. Cut the fruit in half, remove the cores (or pits) and grill with the skin side up before turning over. Grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in fruit, creating a softer texture, richer flavor, and more concentrated aroma. Unlike vegetables, which are less delicate, fruit should be grilled over indirect heat to prevent overcooking.
I found some very good Vegetarian recipes for Barbeque on the BBC Good Food website here and some irresistible experiments here . And this one from Tarla Dalal is tried and tested recipe, a masterpiece and default preparation.
And finally, did you know that the National Barbecue Association in the USA designates each May annually to celebrate and promote all things BBQ with “MAY IS NATIONAL BARBECUE MONTH !”