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Tuesday, May 25 2010
 With Memorial Day around the corner, most Americans are thinking camping, barbequing, long weekends, and time to spend with the family. Barbequing seems to hold its fair share of space in American minds as is evidenced by all of the many cooking shows on cable TV that feature the culinary mastery of cooking meat to tender perfection over hot coals or a propane flame.

The history of American barbecue runs deep through cultural diversity and social norms of the Civil War era, and even prior to that. In fact, barbeque in American history is almost as old as American history itself. Barbeque today remains as unique as the region in where it is prepared.

In the South, meat usually consists of mutton and/or beef cooked in the slow cooking method. They have a range of Barbeque sauces that go from fire hot to smoky sweet.

Central South barbeque meat remains to be pork and pork ribs, but the meat is pulled rather than cut up. Slow cooked and hand shredded, they are typically covered with copious amounts of sauce. Ribs are either slathered up with sauce or rubbed with a mix of spices before pit cooking, and the sauce is usually sweet with a hint of pepper and molasses.

The East Coast has its own origins with barbeque, with pork being the meat used and vinegar sauces to go with it. Side dishes are commonly coleslaw and hushpuppies, a cornmeal ball. The vinegar sauces also have many variations, with some being tomato based and some being mustard based.

Whatever your barbeque style preference, you can be sure to get great results by following these tips: 
• First tip: keep your grill clean. Use a wire brush designed for cleaning grills and don't forget to clean the inside of the lid and all surrounding parts. This prevents your meat from tasting like old grease. 
• Boil ribs prior to grilling. If you do not boil ribs before grilling, you will end up overcooking them, leaving them dried out or burned. You can boil your ribs up to two days in advance. 
• If you find smoke flavor too intense for your lighter meats, baste them regularly. Smoke cannot penetrate water, and the frequent basting will reduce the amount of smoke flavor. 
• Start the fire early! Get the coals going at least 45 minutes prior to cooking. 
• Practice good meat handling habits. Don't use the same cutting board for veggies and meat.

Now when you barbeque this coming Memorial Day, you will be armed with a little more information than you had before, and hopefully some of these tips will provide you with a delicious and memorable experience.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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