A Brief History of the World (of Barbecue)
Since the dawn of civilization, some 10,000 or so years ago, the art of “outdoor cooking” changed very little from its primitive beginnings. It wasn’t until the mid 1950’s, when Weber introduced their “bowl and lid” style barbecue pit, that a new industry was born. This simple invention allowed the average consumer significant control over the cooking process, and ushered in a myriad of charcoal-burning cookers over the remaining half century.
The next, equally radical industry “shift”, was the introduction of propane and natural gas fueled grills for household use, to compete with the traditional charcoal-burners. Consumers quickly discovered the new units eliminated “cold spots”, burned cleaner and more efficiently, were easier to maintain, and lasted far longer than their charcoal-burning counterparts.
Barbecue Chips and Pellets
More recently the growth in “flavored” wood chips, and wood pellets, used to smoke foods, have followed a similar, dramatic trend. The traditional favorites, Hickory flavored barbecue and Mesquite barbecue, have expanded to include many new aromatic woods such as, Apple barbecue flavor, Cherry barbecue flavor, Pecan barbecue flavor, Mulberry barbecue flavor and Orange barbecue flavor…even Oak charcoal from whiskey distilleries, Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, and other natural, aromatic herbal combinations have joined the family of “flavored” woods. When burned, each releases its own, unique aromatic smoke, to flavor the food while cooking.
For an interesting article on BBQ check this TIME Magizine article.