The National BBQ Association declares May to be National Barbecue Month – so let’s celebrate!! Where you live in the world makes a difference. Here in Texas, the idea of not eating BBQ on a daily or weekly basis is odd. The Aussie’s are famous for “throwing another shrimp on the Barbie.” I have read countless articles asking whether grilling is BBQ? I believe you can call it whatever you want as long as you’re having a good time preparing great food over a real fire!
I attended the Austin Food and Wine Festival where Chef Tim Love of Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth Texas gave the crowd their money’s worth at his grilling session. One hundred fifty grills and three hundred participants gathered together over smoking hot Weber kettle grills. He instructed us in the proper way to handle a “hot” grill. I’m sure he was hoping everyone was paying attention so they didn’t burn or maim themselves, but it was hard with so much going on. He led the session in rapid-fire fashion that I called “mob style BBQ.” He’s not only a great chef but a funny entertainer with a potty mouth. This session was called the “Grilling Station.” Is this BBQ?
The big guns of Texas BBQ were at the Festival too, manning the “Firepits.” Only the professionals were allowed to manage the fires in this area. The guests were served the amazing food cooked in many fire-crazed ways such as roasting chickens flying from dangling chains over a contraption that looked like a children’s carousel arranged around a live fire! There was a refashioned fire truck customized with a rotisserie welded on the back where they slow-roasted whole animals. The truck also had a shelf built in for grilling. Every once in a while someone would sound the horn to let everyone know that something delicious was coming off the fire. No one can miss the urgency of a fire truck horn! The festival offered cooking demos and panel discussions. “Be on Que” peaked my interest. This was a real deal discussion with Arron Franklin of Franklin’s BBQ, Tim Rattray pitman at The Granary , and Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue talking “Texas BBQ Religion”
Austin Food and Wine Alliance hosted the annual Live Fire event on April 17th. This is another illustration of food being cooked over open fires by some of the best pit men in the country. Is this BBQ?
I say “Yes!”, “Yes!” and “Yes!”
I think it’s a good idea to kick up the awareness of food cooked over fire and declaring May to be National Barbecue Month. Thank you National BBQ Association! I’m officially declaring BBQ as food cooked over live fire!! If you can’t have a grill where you live, find a decent BBQ joint, order to go and gather your family and friends for a BBQ!! Make some potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and banana pudding for sides. If you live in Texas this probably won’t work. You’re better off dragging out the old smoker, loading it up with wood, and sitting over it all night tending to the meat and heat. Of course everyone will love you tomorrow when they eat the melting slow-smoked brisket.
Yumm – life is good.
Happy Memorial Day friends. Make it one to remember!