5 Things You Didn’t Know About BBQ
Ah, barbecue! Just saying the word conjures up visions of Dad (or Mom) lovingly tending the grill with a silly apron on and tongs in hand. Whether it’s burgers and dogs, ribs, brisket, or even veggies, most of us can’t get enough. Especially when the weather is beautiful. But, apparently there’s a lot we don’t yet know about our beloved cooking method. Let’s explore with 5 things you didn’t know about BBQ below!
1. It’s Got History
Barbecue has been around for a really long time! In fact, Israeli scientists from the University of Haifa discovered evidence that early humans were cooking barbecue over 200,000 years ago. In 2009, researchers found a 4 foot cooking pit filled with mammoth ribs dating back to 29,000 B.C. Animals cooked included ancestors of cattle, deer, and boars. And, it was likely the women tending the “grill” while the men were out hunting.
2. Presidents Can’t Get Enough
It’s true. Many of our United States presidents were big fans of barbecue. In fact, in 1963, the first Presidential barbecue at the White House was hosted by the 36th president of the U.S., Lyndon B. Johnson, as his first state dinner. The meal featured Texas-style barbecue ribs, cole slaw, beans, and of course plenty of beer.
Interestingly, George Washington also makes several references to his love of BBQ in his diaries, including one journal that lasted three days! And, the parents of Abraham Lincoln hosted a barbecue as their wedding feast.
3. The Competition is Stiff
Held throughout all 50 states, competition barbecuing is one of the hottest hobbies in the country. Memphis, Tennessee and Kansas City, Missouri are notoriously home to giant tournaments. Interestingly, both claim to be the Barbecue Capital of America. However, as far as the rules are concerned, judges in the Kansas City Barbecue Society must be at least 16 years old and are not allowed to lick their fingers during judging. No fun!
Fun Fact: The first barbecue competition took place in 1959 Hawaii and was only open to men.
4. There’s More to Ribs Than You Think
Did you know that there are actually four different types of pork ribs? Yep, you read that right. There’s spare ribs, St. Louis style, country-style, and baby-back ribs. Here’s a quick breakdown of each type:
- Spare Ribs – The most common pork type that comes from the underbelly of the pig. This cut is often used to make bacon, pancetta, or other cured pork products.
- St. Louis-Style – Similar to spare ribs but without the breastbone. Louis-style ribs are rectangular in shape and a have slightly less meat than baby back ribs.
- Country-Style – Cut from the shoulder, this style contains the highest meat-to-bone ratio.
- Baby-Back Ribs – Have the least amount of fat. Interestingly, back back ribs got their name because they are shorter than spare ribs.
Fun Fact: The current record for eating a full rack of baby back ribs (5.24 pounds) is 8 minutes, according to Major League Eating.
5. It’s in the Courts
In 1914, a man named Henry M. Williams was fired from his job at the Cotton Mills Company in Columbia, South Carolina for taking two days off work to cook barbecue. As a result, he took his case all the way to the Supreme Court and he won! Apparently, the jury felt that was a completely reasonable excuse to skip work.
Craving BBQ? Call Chad’s
It’s one thing to read and know about BBQ, but it’s way more fun to eat it. At Chad’s BBQ, we have a variety of authentic, smoked barbecue dishes and homemade sides to match. Whether you’re in the mood for honey-jalapeno ribs or Alabama chicken, visit us in Edgewater, MD today.