There is a lot more to barbeque than just throwing a slab of meat on the grill and calling it a day. Although no one is quite sure of the origin of the term barbeque, it was not invented originally in America but this country began using the technique in the late 1800's during western cattle drives. This cooking procedure involves slow-cooking meat at a very low temperature for hours over charcoal or wood. In old western times, the cowboys ate cuts of meat that were very tough like brisket, pork ribs, pork butt and venison. In order to make these meats tender and enjoyable, they had to be cooked using the barbeque method.
In the South, barbeque revolved around cooking pork. In Cajun culture, they would celebrate the slaughtering of a pig in gatherings called boucheries, which became a huge influence on traditional Southern BBQ feasts.
Barbeque varies throughout every state, sometimes it even varies by region just like in North Carolina, where the sauce varies from the center to its end. In eastern North Carolina, the sauce is vinegar based, and the western sauce is ketchup based. The center uses a Lexington-style BBQ sauce, which has a mixture of vinegar and ketchup. This region is also referred to as “The BBQ Capital of the World”.
South Carolina uses four different styles of sauce: mustard base, vinegar base, light tomato base and heavy tomato. Memphis is known for their tomato and vinegar mixed sauces while Kentucky packs on a dry rub.
Get out there and celebrate throughout the entire month. We have found a list of events to check out throughout the country.
Here is our list of National BBQ Events and Festivals:
Huntsville, Alabama - May 4-5, 2012
This two day festival is filled with pork that is accompanied by a lot of fun and games. All proceeds go to EarlyWorks Children's Museum and educational programs for children in the area. Come out and celebrate while donating to a good cause.
Brew, Blues & Bar-B-Q
Lansing, Kansas - May 4-5, 2012
At this event, 42 teams will compete and be judged in four different categories as local Blues bands take the stage.
North Platte Honky Tonk BBQ Festival
North Platte, Nebraska - May 4-5, 2012
BBQ enthusiasts, this is the event for you. Live music and great food all for the low price of FREE. On Friday night, enjoy carnival rides and a concert by Texas artist Shayne Rogers. The competition will be held from 8am to 2pm on Saturday.
Smoke on the Lake BBQ Festival
Acworth, Georgia - May 11-12, 2012
At Cauble Park, this two day event will kick off with a starlight concert on Friday night. The following day, competitors from all over the southeast will compete in both amateur and professional divisions for the winning title.
Arizona Barbeque Festival
Scottsdale, Arizona - May 19, 2012
This 3rd Annual Barbeque fest has added a second day to their event and also has a new location. Go to Salt River Fields in Scottsdale and enjoy the state’s biggest barbeque extravaganza. This combined competition and BBQ-soiree will have teams competing for a grand prize of $40,000. Many vendors will be supplying succulent, smoked meat dishes.