May is National Barbeque Month !! So what have you done to celebrate the event?
We've judged two KCBS Barbeque Contests this month - one in Council Bluffs, Iowa and a brand new event in Middletown, Delaware this weekend. Ironically, we haven't smoked anything in our own yard yet this year!! (I'm craving a good smoked turkey though, so that may happen momentarily.)We judged at BBQ in the Bluffs in Iowa on the 8th. Unfortunately, I got really into photographing the neat squirrel statues around the park that day and didn't take any contest pictures at all! If you look carefully, you can see some of the teams arranged around the edges of the park (in the background behind the squirrels.)
I did make a conscious effort to take a few contest pics at the 1st Annual Middltown BBQ Cookoff in Middletown, Delaware this Saturday where this first time event drew 42 competition cook teams. Impressive turnout!! They also managed to field a full team of 100% certified judges!! This was really impressive for a first time effort.
Do you know the difference between grilling and barbecuing ? (By the way, you can spell barbeque with a "q" or a "c". Both are correct.)
Grilling is the act of cooking over direct heat. Grilling is generally a very quick means of cooking and must be watched carefully. This is what most of us do with steaks, shrimp, hotdogs, hamburgers and wings, as well as, lots of other delicious meats.
Barbecuing is the act of cooking over indirect heat, often referred to as low and slow. In an ideal world, you'll use wood or charcoal and smoke will definitely be a flavor factor. Many non-competition cooks do use a gas grill as they afford better temperature control unless you have invested heavily in a high quality smoker. Most meats cooked this way are seasoned with a dry rub or marinated before cooking.
Both methods serve a purpose, and whichever you prefer to do is fine as long as you are enjoying the meal.
True BBQ lovers don't let a little thing like cook damp weather deter them either, so get out there and cook !
Celebrate National BBQ Month!!!
Happy Thanksgiving, Serious Eaters! - With the Thanksgiving preparation madness winding down, and the cooking madness about to begin, I have to take a moment to reflect on the many, many things...