The next big thing?

UK BBQ = US Grill: US BBQ = UK ???

An oven smokerWasn't it George Bernard Shaw that said: "England and America are two countries divided by a common language"? Barbecue, abbreviated to BBQ, really goes to prove this.

What we know as Barbecue or bbq is generally referred to as grill or grillin' (g) in the US. Their BBQ is a method of cooking meats for a long time at low temperatures. It often includes smoking the meat for part of the cooking time. Times of 10 or 20 hours are not unusual in this type of cooking.

BBQ guys take their hobby seriously and hold competitions where the prize-money can be 1000's of dollars. Although on the face of it the same as hot smoking, the temperatures are usually higher.

I can see this type of cooking being 'the next big thing' in the UK. We've already seen slow-cooked meats increasing in popularity with slow-cooked pork belly featuring on virtually every menu you see nowadays! Pulled pork, a classic BBQ standard, is featuring more and more in blogs and among the celebrity chef circuit. We've also seen a move towards better quality in burger joints and vans and an increase in general in the quality of street-food. This, accompanied by a number of TV programmes featuring US BBQ joints, such as Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, makes me think that this'll be the next culinary craze... ...Oh, and also look out for the currently trendy use of brioche buns to be upstaged by buns cooked like pretzels.

I'm sure that this will also feed through to the home market - old and new suppliers will hurry to jump on the BBQ bandwagon. There'll be terms and equipment that we're not (yet) used to in the UK: Offset Smokers, Water Smokers, Oven (or box) Smokers and even Ugly Drum Smokers.

I'll write further about the options currently available in UK for both smoking, grilling and BBQ shortly.


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