May is National Barbecue Month. It’s unclear how May became associated with barbecue or declared National Barbecue Month, but many people nationwide embrace the observance and take this month to ensure they have everything required to grill in style.
As barbecue at its simplest form is simply cooking meat on fire, the history of barbecue is the history of human survival and evolution. As modern barbecues have advanced to include top-of-the-line grills, spicy rubs, and marinades to ensure meat is seasoned to perfection, one thing has remained the same: the sense of community and fellowship. It’s likely that early man would barbecue meat using wooden tools and enjoyed their food as a community.
As people celebrate spring and prepare for summer, National Barbecue Month is often a time that is thought of as ushering in the new season. Memorial Day weekend is held the last week of May and is often associated with barbecues. It is also considered the unofficial start to summer, making it the perfect finale for National Barbecue Month.
— McGonigle’s Market (@McGoniglesMkt) May 9, 2016
When it comes to grilling perfect barbecue, there are two distinct factors to consider. First is the equipment and tools that you use, and second is your choice of meat and how you prepare it. Those new to barbecue might feel a bit intimidated by grill masters who make their efforts seem simple and futile. While many will enjoy a burger or hot dog cooked on an open fire, there is so much more to barbecue than simply taking a piece of meat and grilling it.
Those who want to learn more about barbecue and find grilling tips can check out the California Barbecue Association (CBBQA) that has an extensive resource guide, tips, and answers to frequently asked BBQ questions for those new to this culinary art.
While barbecue is a time of fun with family and friends it’s important to remember food safety before hitting the grill. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an extensive guide regarding barbecue and food safety. Some of the topics touch on buying meat and thawing it safely. It’s important that meat is thawed completely before grilling, as this ensures an even cooking temperature and best flavor in your finished product. Also of importance is making sure food is cooked long enough when on the grill. You never want to eat undercooked or partially cooked barbecue, as that poses the greatest risk. Some find that it is best to use a food thermometer to make certain food is properly and thoroughly cooked.
Are you celebrating National Barbecue Month this May?
[Image via Alexander Raths/Shutterstock]