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Barbeque Grills Are Smoking Hot

Mar 18, 2008
Meat has always been an important food source and grilling has gone from a matter of survival to a cooking art. Just as the art of grilling meat has evolved, so has the BBQ grill. Once a relatively simple backyard appliance, the BBQ grill has become a smoking hot, gas powered outdoor kitchen.

From the caves first occupied by primitive humans to the patios of the rich and famous, the smell of meat on the grill is like no other. We all know that early man eat meat in order to survive and cooking had to be a very primitive activity. Like a novice BBQ chef, early humans must have had their share of cooking failures. Given how the art of outdoor cooking has evolved, someone must have learned how to do it right.

The rotisserie predates the BBQ grill. The concept of the spit, as it is often called, has a long history. The spit provided a convenient way to cook a piece of meat, evenly and thoroughly. No more than two upright sticks and a skewer, the spit would be turned every so often to keep the meat from burning. The big advantage of the spit method was that a large spit could be constructed for roasting an entire animal.

Near the end of the nineteenth century, a patent was issued for the first charcoal briquette. Charcoal proved to be a ready and portable fuel source during an age when centralized supplies of natural gas were not yet available to everyone. The briquette became the foundation for what was to become a national pastime.

Cooking and eating have been activities that promote gatherings of friends, neighbors, and family. Food is social and the growth of suburbia and the middle class spurred a new phenomenon. No longer confined to city apartments, suburbanites had a yard that allowed all kinds of outdoor activities. The yard gave way to patios and decks complete with patio and outdoor furniture. Suddenly the backyard, weather permitting, became a gathering place beyond the kitchen table.

During the economic boom of the post war nineteen forties, the middle class was a rapidly expanding demographic. The forty hour work week and good wages gave folks more free time and discretionary income. Television had not yet taken over as a major entertainment source and neighbors spent more time socializing. The backyard BBQ became a national pastime as more Americans abandoned the confines of the kitchen.

Unless you were rich enough to have a large brick BBQ, or talented enough to construct your own, there was a standard. The average backyard BBQ consisted of a steel pan that held the hot charcoal and a heavy wire grill used as a cooking surface. Most of the grills were adjustable through a fairly simple lever system.

As time passed, the simple backyard BBQ became more sophisticated. For a little more dough, you could purchase a BBQ grill with a rotisserie. Some manufacturers even offered rotisseries that could be retrofitted to an existing grill. The spit was connected to an electric motor that would turn the spit at a uniform speed.

Since then, the backyard BBQ grill has moved from using charcoal briquettes as a fuel source to propane. Using propane meant that less time was needed to start cooking and the flame height and temperature could be precisely controlled. Propane also allowed designers to turn the backyard BBQ grill into a true outdoor kitchen. Many BBQ grills have one or more side burners that operate like a stove. All of the cooking preparation could be done outdoors.

New air pollution rules enacted in many parts of the country have greatly restricted the use of charcoal and lighter fluid. Compared to charcoal, propane burns much cleaner, emitting far fewer hydrocarbons. Many newer BBQ grills are made from rust resistant stainless steel or are coated in baked on enamel like the famous Weber Kettle.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a staff writer for the quality online store FineWebStores.com.
Shop for BBQ Grills and Outdoor Furniture. Please visit FineWebStores.com today.
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