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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:42 PM   #16
Gnaws on Pigs
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 05-22-10
Location: Smoky Mountains, NC

It's all good, (well most of it anyway.) BBQ is such a regional thing. In some areas, anything cooked on a grill is "bbq'd." Here where I live, the word BBQ is used in a very narrow sense. If you say "bbq" it is understood by everybody at all times that you mean specifically smoked, pulled pork. Nothing else is "bbq." That's not a slight or insult to anything else, we eat all the other stuff and enjoy it too; we just call it something else, like "ribs" or "brisket" or whatever. And "BBQ" is never a verb, it is a specific noun. As far as integrity, everything is always in a constant state of flux. You'll have people from the Carolina Coastal Plain swear that somebody a couple counties away is destroying the integrity of bbq by putting anything at all into the vinegar that they pour on the meat, and get fighting mad about it. I'm sure that's the same in Texas, Memphis, KC, California, or anywhere else with a tradition of bbq. No two people even from the same region, county, or holler have the same taste buds, so things are bound to change, and that's not always a bad thing. As long as it's meat cooked over live coals and it tastes good to the people who cook and eat it, that's what really matters. It's good that there are enough people out there keeping the old traditions alive that people have a chance to taste the "real thing" of their region and see what bbq has been and can be. Whether you cook it in a cinderblock pit, or in a state-of-the-art smoker with electronic computerized gizmos controlling the temp to the half-degree, there's room for all of it. In the end, if it tastes good, it'll last. If it doesn't, it won't. People here will still be gathering and smoking pigs over hickory coals in the middle of what used to be I-40 centuries after Hormel and their canned meat by-products have disappeared from the earth and herds of wild cattle graze amongst the ruins of Raleigh and Charlotte.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:50 PM   #17
Transplanted Texan
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Join Date: 04-01-12
Location: Brooklyn, NY

I think a lot of folks (especially up here in the northeast) use "barbecue" interchangeably with grilling. That may be a source of the issue, too.

A bunch of Brooklyn hipsters light up Home Depot's cheapest hunk of steel and immediately assume that they are a fire-god.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:43 PM   #18
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 02-17-10
Location: San Antonio, TX

I do believe BBQ has a "tradition and integrity" and those things do get damaged whenever people pour sauced drenched with liquid smoke over cooked meat and call it BBQ. Lots of people don't make the time to smoke their own meats or they don't think they can learn how or can't wrap their mind around building a tending a fire. Until they do these things people will take shortcuts and never fully appreciate what it truly means to "BBQ" a piece of meat.

Lots of people here use an ATC, is this a "violation" of BBQ? I suppose it all depends.. Chit.. I use bubba kegs, am I a violator?!
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:41 PM   #19
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Location: Lowell, MA

Originally Posted by Transplanted Texan View Post
I think a lot of folks (especially up here in the northeast) use "barbecue" interchangeably with grilling. That may be a source of the issue, too.

I agree 100%! Barbecue was an event, as in: "we are going to uncle so and so's Saturday for a barbecue.". I think that evolved into anything cooked on a grill is BBQ. Growing up that was what I was exposed to, it's all I knew. So you can imagine how my mind was blown the first time I tried the "real thing".
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #20
Grain Belt
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Join Date: 11-11-09
Location: Northern MN

Great topic. I see the original poster is living in Louisiana. I am up here in the BBQ wasteland of the north but I have sure learned a lot from southern boys and some pretty good southern folks moved up to Chicago/Detroit around WWII and brought some good pit cooking up. Then a a buoy maker in Chicago got the idea for the Weber kettle in the 50's. I learned to smoke some pretty good Q'd turkey's from old timers in the 70's who cooked on kettles. I am as far from real southern cooking as it gets except for the great point that GTR brings up. I put all kinds of research, thought, and prep into my kettle cooks and I think I bring a pretty good meal to the table from all indications from those that have sampled. Am I the real deal? I don't know but my six hour St. Louis spares from this weekend with homemade sauce were pretty damn good.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:28 PM   #21
is one Smokin' Farker

Join Date: 12-15-12
Location: Sydney NSW

Why even attempt to put any boundaries upon what a BBQ is or should be. It an be exeedingly simple or have great complexity. But I am strongly of the view that there is no place for well known precidence. Many of the Brethren are exceedingly innovative and I love it.
if you want to rely on the past please read the Calf Path - a favourite of mine.
The Calf Path

One day through the primeval wood
A calf walked home as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled,
And I infer the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.
The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell—wether sheep
Pursued the trail o'er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell—wethers always do.
And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged and turned and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because 'twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed — do not laugh -
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.
This forest path became a lane
That bent and turned and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare.
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.
Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed this zigzag calf about
And o'er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way.
And lost one hundred years a day,
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.
A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move;
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf.
Ah, many things this tale might teach —
But I am not ordained to preach
When you stop horsing around it is time to fire up the BBQ & Smoker
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:02 PM   #22
somebody shut me the fark up.

Join Date: 06-26-09
Location: sAn leAnDRo, CA

Originally Posted by gtr View Post
One thing I wanna mention is something I haven't really seen addressed directly, which is, regional styles aside, it seems to me the integrity comes in when we look at how much thought and effort goes into preparing food. Not that cooking has to be a difficult task, but is the primary motivation serving the best possible food. Is it being prepared with pride or not?

We all strive for efficiency in varying degrees with our cooking process, but I'm guessing that most of us here draw a line where sacrificing quality comes into play. I'm thinking that where that line is drawn - quality vs. efficiency - is where a lot of us determine where the integrity is.
There is no doubt that there is this equation any time one of cooks, when you start looking at restaurants, this is one of the questions you have to ask. How far are you willing to go, to make BBQ that is sold out of your place. But, no matter what choice you make in how you cook, how you then market said food, and how you choose to position it as BBQ still comes into play. In truth, if I was to get into a restaurant that sold baby backs that were steamed then grilled, I think my opinion would be that I could not call them BBQ in my mind. But, I sure wouldn't hesitate to call them wood-fired ribs, assuming I was finishing them over a wood fire.

It gets a little more complicated when you look at a Southern Pride or Frederick smoker, that uses gas or electric for heat and wood for flavor. A lot of folks won't call that BBQ. But, what then, is it. If it is smoked with wood smoke, generated from burning wood, it is smoked. Given the above, I would call it BBQ.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:46 PM   #23
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Join Date: 01-08-13
Location: michigan

Q'ing is in the blood . either you have it or you don't . It is one thing that you can't hand to some one .
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:19 AM   #24
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Join Date: 07-02-10
Location: lake grove, new york

Great poem JohnHB
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:58 AM   #25
Lake Dogs
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Join Date: 07-14-09
Location: Lake Sinclair, GA

Originally Posted by landarc View Post
It gets a little more complicated when you look at a Southern Pride or Frederick smoker, that uses gas or electric for heat and wood for flavor. A lot of folks won't call that BBQ. But, what then, is it. If it is smoked with wood smoke, generated from burning wood, it is smoked. Given the above, I would call it BBQ.
And I think most bbq snobs, even those of us that really like to adhere to tradition or the spirit of it as best we can, would agree this is still BBQ, but we'd probably say "restaurant BBQ", because it's tough for a restaurant to keep up with health code and the wood involved to have, use, keep a good old fashioned pit.

JohnHB, for some of us who grew up in the deep south, BBQ is part of our heritage. For us, grilling was never associated with BBQ; we grew up knowing there is a huge difference. BBQ to us, if not restaurant BBQ, was produced using a pit of one type or another, and the hogs or hog parts (1/2 hogs, whole shoulders, hams [what most now call fresh or green ham, because we called a cured ham a "cured ham"], etc.) were cooked fairly low and slow, usually over some combination of hickory, pecan, and oak.
Because of the scale of the endeavor, more often than not it was some type of party. We'd often call it a "pig pickin'".

I compete occasionally. I have a competition partner who enjoys competing too. I prefer to compete in MBN competitions because it embraces the heritage I described above. My friend enjoys KCBS/FBA competitions, because frankly he enjoys eating brisket. Nothing wrong with that; different preferences...

Going back to "restaurant BBQ" talked about briefly above; when I try to think back and recall the BBQ restaurants we'd eat at when I was a kid, I dont ever recall them having/serving either chicken or brisket. Mind you, I'm from the deep south; where if it's called BBQ it's PORK; pulled pork, and that's what BBQ restaurants served. If they served anything else, it was ribs. Fries, cole slaw, beans. That was about it. Sweet Tea, or beer.
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Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:21 AM   #26
Babbling Farker
Join Date: 06-29-11
Location: Greeneville TN

Regional thing. Did they have barbecue sauce at Salem?
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:46 AM   #27
somebody shut me the fark up.

Join Date: 07-15-09
Location: Memphis, TN...Formerly of Decatur, AL

Originally Posted by captndan View Post
Regional thing. Did they have barbecue sauce at Salem?
Dunno about that, but their fires were made for hot and fast...
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:27 AM   #28
somebody shut me the fark up.
Join Date: 12-28-07
Location: annville ky

I cook the way I want too cook and piss on everyone else, I don't force anyone to eat what I cook But when I'm getting paid too cook ,I will cook how they want it and my intergity goes out the door
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #29
somebody shut me the fark up.
Join Date: 12-28-07
Location: annville ky

BTW I'm getting contary sice I turn 62 must be aage thing
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:34 AM   #30
Got Wood.
Join Date: 06-20-12
Location: Wilton, CT

The United States, and the Americas in general have a long tradition of cooking outside. I lean toward BBQ stemming from the word barbacoa and it is surely most closely related to our traditional low and slow cooks.

"Having a Barbacue" has popularly included any sort of outdoor cooking, including actually serving a clam bake, for the better part of 50 years. Aussie's have long hated the term "throw another shrimp on the barbie" as well.

We've certainly experienced a renaissance of low and slow cooking over the last 15 years both in the kitchen and outside. I won't judge the process of anyone who's taken the time and energy to consistently turn out a good product. I also don't know that I feel people avoid reasonable innovation are doing any more important work than people who dress up as the pilgrims. Remember, even the stick burner was a revolutionary change at one point. Do what makes you happy and some people will find enjoyment in it!

My dad and I make lasagna. Every time either of us make it we are showered in compliments. But, the only opinion we actually care about is eachothers. We judge them harder than anyone is paying attention. We all share cooks on here for a similar reason - a lot of people we feed don't understand.

A movement like the one we are experiencing will have purists and revolutionaries.. With good product I think they both have room to be appreciated. For now, the fact remains, most people can invite friends over for a bbq ... serve them electric grilled hot dogs on a picnic table and all is well with their world.
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