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If I Put BBQ Sauce On A Carrot Is It Now A BBQ Carrot?

k
KTinNYC Jun 5, 2009 10:58 AM

I see so many post on the Home Cooking board where people insist on calling just about anything they make barbecue as long as they put barbecue sauce on it. Baked chicken with barbecue sauce on it is now barbecue chicken. Pork shoulder cooked in a slow cooker with barbecue sauce? Barbecue.

I know many people will call grilling barbecue but has the word devolved so much that as long as I slap barbecue sauce on it I can call it barbecue? What's wrong with calling a baked chicken a baked chicken or slow cooked pulled pork slow cooked pulled pork with barbecue sauce?

  1. g
    gordeaux Jun 5, 2009 11:31 AM

    Lol -
    You'll love this one. Just last wknd, I was invited to a barbecue. The mains were crock pot shredded pork* with bbq sauce, and steamed hot dogs. The host was telling everyone that the "pulled pork" was Carolina style (which to her meant there was not a lot of bq sauce) so they had a bottle of open pit, and a bottle of kraft bbq sauce on the table for anyone who wanted extra sauce.

    Shame on them. Shame. Not only did they not have any bbq at their bbq, they didn't even GRILL.

    The potato salad was good.

    *Don't you DARE call that pulled pork!

    41 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux
      m
      mpjmph Jun 5, 2009 11:42 AM

      oooooh. You went and hit on my BBQ pet peeve. I can deal with people confusing grilling with barbecuing. I might roll my eyes, but I can deal. But the self-proclaimed BBQ experts who don't know the difference between chopped and pulled drive me nuts. I grew up on chopped BBQ. The only pulling I care about is pulling the basket of hush puppies away from my cousin.

      1. re: mpjmph
        s
        Steve Jun 6, 2009 10:02 PM

        Not sure I understand. In Memphis all the places pull the bbq pork off the shoulder first (with tongs). It is then chopped. Pulling helps release the meat from the connective tissue. Everywhere serves chopped pork, but it is indeed pulled first.

        After all, nobody attacks a big pork shoulder with a cleaver.

        1. re: Steve
          paulj Jun 6, 2009 10:25 PM

          I've seen, on shows, industrial quality rubber gloves being use to pull the meat apart. These have enough insulation that you can handle the hot meat. Then the chopping.

          1. re: Steve
            m
            mpjmph Jun 8, 2009 06:00 AM

            The BBQ I grew up with (Eastern NC) is more finely chopped than the BBQ I've seen/eaten that was called pulled pork. The pulled pork I've been exposed to is more or less just pulled apart into smaller pieces with minimal knife work involved. Menus around here very rarely list anything more specific than BBQ, but when descriptors are used chopped is standard and pulled is rare (and usually only in places that are serving "Memphis style"). On the rare occasion that the word pulled is used the texture is very different from default Eastern NC.

            1. re: mpjmph
              alkapal Jun 8, 2009 06:12 AM

              i just looked at ed mitchell's "the pit" menu from raleigh. there is chopped and there is pulled. http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/menus/P...

              1. re: alkapal
                s
                Steve Jun 8, 2009 07:28 AM

                Yes, but my contention is that chopped pork is pulled first. If it is not chopped after it is pulled, it is on the menu as pulled pork. If it is chopped after it is pulled, it is on the menu as chopped. Which is not necessarily the same thing as shredded or finely minced pork, I have no idea how they do that. But to chop pork easily, you can't just start hacking away at a large pork shoulder.

                As paulj mentions above, large operations probably use as quick a method as possible, like rubber gloves.

                1. re: Steve
                  alkapal Jun 8, 2009 08:08 AM

                  steve, i recognize that chopped has to be pulled first. i wasn't arguing anything else. but i get your point, i think, about the fine minced stuff. maybe it's done by chopping with two cleavers in fast chinese mincing fashion for a longer time! ;-).

                  i think of pulled as being more long-ish shreds, and then chopped goes against that grain to make it even more tender. hey, i'll take it any way i can!

                  ps thanks for the tip on rockland's smoked chick! i'll have to check it out and get some.

                  1. re: Steve
                    Fritter Jun 8, 2009 09:16 AM

                    "Yes, but my contention is that chopped pork is pulled first"

                    That's not always the case and many places do chop shoulders with a cleaver. Once a shoulder is cooked you do not need to separate it from connective tissue. The whole point of the long cook time is to convert collagen into gelatin. All you need to do is seperate the bone from the meat and basically it falls right out. There is not a lot more to remove.
                    Pulled meat is pulled apart by hand or tongs into the size desired. Chopped is often just chopped up into small pieces with a cleaver. No doubt this will vary from region to region and pit to pit but one of the reasons we see chopped and minced Q more often now is because so many places are operating with what some refer to as a Cajun microwave. That's a false descriptive but it's still kinda funny. The way these systems work is very similar to a bakers oven with shelves that rotate. On the side is a door where charcoal or wood is inserted and started by gas.The unit can be run by gas, wood, charcoal or typically a combination. The benefit of this is that the system cooks in a fraction of the time that a true "pit" does and uses less wood or charcoal because of the gas start and cook option. This type of Q often lacks a nice smoke ring or a full flavor and it does not need to be cooked until it's falling apart. In the case of the pork shoulder it will get chopped or minced so it does not need to be nearly as tender. I suspect that this is what you are calling finely minced. I'll leave a link so any one interested can see what theese wizz bang BBQ "pits" look like.

                    http://www.olehickorypits.com/prod.as...

                    1. re: Fritter
                      s
                      Steve Jun 8, 2009 03:49 PM

                      Thanks for the link. Looks oh so delicious.

                      In Memphis, after you order, the person usually stands behind a shield (so the pieces don't spray all over), and works quietly for a few moments (this is the pulling part). Then it is only after a while that you hear the chopping. It is standard to pull to order, just like in a good deli, they don't slice up the corned beef in advance. In most areas, chopped or pulled to order is rare.

                      1. re: Steve
                        Fritter Jun 8, 2009 05:17 PM

                        I'm not much of a fan of the products that come out of these ovens. I try to be open to all styles in my worship at the House of Q but I have to admidt I prefer the stronger smoke flavor of a real pit BBQ and pulled over chopped. However I'm sure there are some pit masters out there that can make these ovens sing.
                        I have had chopped many times and it's been very good. I don't like the texture of the minced at all. It just seems soooo wrong.

                    2. re: Steve
                      m
                      mpjmph Jun 9, 2009 05:52 AM

                      I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, it sounds as if we are in agreement that pulled pork BBQ and chopped pork BBQ are 2 different, though closely related, forms of BBQ. My beef (pork?) is with those who call all pork BBQ on a sandwich pulled pork.

                      1. re: mpjmph
                        s
                        Steve Jun 9, 2009 08:03 AM

                        I am saying that pulled and chopped pork are pretty much the same thing, the same meat, and cooked in the same way. If a place offers both pulled and chopped, they are cooked using the same process, from the same piece of meat. Some people (me, for instance) simply prefer the meat to be chopped up into easier to eat pieces. Also, for some reason, many places that I have been to that serve pulled pork don't seem to get as much exterior crunchy parts into the mix.

                        1. re: Steve
                          johnb Jun 9, 2009 08:23 AM

                          Steve:

                          At the risk of starting another argument, what you are saying may be the case in Memphis, but in NC, AFAIK, pulled generally implies Lexington style made with only pork shoulder (butt), while chopped implies eastern style made with the whole hog. In the latter case, the meat is (of course) pulled off the bones then all chopped together, including residual fat and skin/rind, into one big pile of mixed chopped meat--serving it this way would not be possible if it were only pulled (can't "pull" the skin/rind/fat). In short, they are definitely not the same thing--they don't contain the same parts of the pig, and most importantly chopped eastern style contains stuff, skin and fat, that the Lexington does not.

                          Of course there are innumerable variations in and qualifications to the above, and yes Lexington style can certainly be chopped as well, and often is.

                          1. re: johnb
                            Naco Jun 9, 2009 08:33 AM

                            No. Lexington style is generally served sliced or minced; the latter is really just chopped bbq, but "minced" is the local lingo. Every Lexington style joint I've ever eaten at has offered sliced or minced; I've never seen "pulled" as an option there or anywhere else in North Carolina. Eastern style is always chopped, since sliced is obviously not an option. It's also not common for eastern style to have things like fat/skin/etc. in it- most places favor a clean chop. Pete Jones is the only place that jumps out at me as prominently featuring cracklins and other such assorted bits.

                            1. re: Naco
                              Fritter Jun 9, 2009 09:04 AM

                              I've had pulled at more than one place in Asheville NC but I have no idea if that area is some exception to the norm for NC.

                              1. re: Fritter
                                Naco Jun 9, 2009 09:12 AM

                                Asheville's basically a tourist town and has a lot of people from out of state, in addition to never exactly having been a hotbed of bbq itself. "Pulled pork" simply isn't part of the lexicon for NC natives.

                                1. re: Naco
                                  Fritter Jun 9, 2009 09:23 AM

                                  I'm starting to think a Bourbon tour through KY followed up with a Q tour of NC would be a great road trip.
                                  FWIW here's a link to one I've been to. A mix of chopped, pulled and sliced.
                                  I never would have guessed that the river district in Asheville was a tourist meca but I will say the Q at 12 bones was mighty good.

                                  http://www.12bones.com/

                              2. re: Naco
                                johnb Jun 9, 2009 09:21 AM

                                Well, Pete Jones Skylight BBQ is generally considered the archetype of eastern NC BBQ. And as to "pulled pork," it may be true that most Lexington style places don't use that term, but like it or not the term is widely used anyway (do a google) in referring to that type of q, including from Lexington, to distinguish non-chopped (e.g. sliced) from chopped. Obviously, all q is first pulled before doing whatever comes afterward. I was mainly trying to respond to Steve and his contention that pulled and chopped are the same thing.

                                You are correct, tho, in noting that Asheville isn't exactly a BBQ hotbed (tho dismissing it as a "tourist town" isn't fair/correct either). One of the greatest tragedies of life for me is that Western NC just doesn't offer much in the way of decent q. There is a place in A'ville called 12 Bones that supposedly has good ribs, but I haven't been there myself.

                                1. re: johnb
                                  Naco Jun 9, 2009 09:33 AM

                                  "Pete Jones Skylight BBQ is generally considered the archetype of eastern NC BBQ"

                                  By who? Wilber's, Jack Cobb's, B's, and Bum's are all very well thought of here, and they do not put cracklins in their bbq. Pete Jones is the only one that does, end of story. As far as chopped bbq goes, Pete's is as good an example as I could think of to make my point, since they chop the bbq right in front of you.

                                  I am not disputing that "pulled pork" is widely used. What I'm saying is that, insofar as North Carolina bbq goes, it's a descriptor used by outsiders, often incorrectly, as we see on here with people opining about the difference between pulled and chopped bbq. I don't get the fixation on what is just one part(and an incidental part at that) of the cooking/prep process. The method by which the meat is removed from the bone is completely irrelevant to the final flavor and mouthfeel if the meat undergoes further prep work, as it does in North Carolina.

                                  1. re: Naco
                                    johnb Jun 9, 2009 09:41 AM

                                    "By who?"

                                    By just about everybody. He's the one that won all the awards, such as James Beard.

                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/140029

                                    1. re: johnb
                                      Naco Jun 9, 2009 09:45 AM

                                      Yes, they've won awards. They are still the only place around that does cracklins. It's just a fact. They're the odd man out on that one. You were asserting that eastern style bbq contains cracklins and extra bits as a general rule, and that's wrong. It's unusual to find that kind of thing. If I'm wrong, please let me know which specific bbq joints add cracklins. I live ten minutes from Pete Jones, so I could go check them out and give everyone a nice report.

                                    2. re: Naco
                                      Fritter Jun 9, 2009 09:45 AM

                                      "The method by which the meat is removed from the bone is completely irrelevant to the final flavor and mouthfeel"

                                      Heh? You actually think that pulled has the same texture as chopped?
                                      Oiye. Talk about opining. Try to remember not every one is from NC and not every one does things the same way and that includes your fellow Tarheels.

                                      1. re: Fritter
                                        Naco Jun 9, 2009 09:51 AM

                                        "You actually think that pulled has the same texture as chopped? "

                                        No. What I said was, "The method by which the meat is removed from the bone is completely irrelevant to the final flavor and mouthfeel ***if the meat undergoes further prep work, as it does in North Carolina***."

                                        Emphasis added, since you didn't get it the first time.

                                        1. re: Naco
                                          Fritter Jun 9, 2009 09:55 AM

                                          So what exactly is that uber technical term you are using? I never heard of "mouthfeel" before.
                                          That's different than texture? What further "prepwork" does pulled meat go through?
                                          Again try to remember we are not all in your area of NC. Steve was talking about Memphis which can be a lot different than KY or Texas. Not even the folks from Western Vs Eastern NC seem to agree.
                                          So while it may seem like pointless opining to you my friend others might actually enjoy learning about the regional differences in what one single word like "Pulled" can mean.

                                          1. re: Fritter
                                            Naco Jun 9, 2009 10:06 AM

                                            Mouthfeel is, more or less, a synonym of texture.

                                            As far as what further prepwork pulled meat goes through, that would be chopping/mincing or slicing where NC barbecue is concerned. If you go to Pete Jones, they do it right in front of the counter, as I mentioned before.

                                            1. re: Naco
                                              BobB Jun 12, 2009 01:00 PM

                                              I think there's a bit more to mouthfeel than simple texture, in the sense of soft, hard, grainy, crunchy. It's more a combination of texture, consistency, fat content and, in slow-cooked meats like the pork we're talking about here, the gently dissolved cartilage, which adds (to further abuse an overworked term) an unctuous quality.

                                              I would also point out that mouthfeel is frequently used in descriptions of wine, where one can argue that texture alone is irrelevant since all wines are liquids.

                                              1. re: BobB
                                                Naco Jun 12, 2009 01:05 PM

                                                I agree, and that's why I added that "more or less" caveat. I do feel like the physical, textural component is more important with regard to eastern NC barbeque, as that's an area where you'll find a fair amount of variance.

                              3. re: Steve
                                Fritter Jun 9, 2009 08:30 AM

                                "many places that I have been to that serve pulled pork don't seem to get as much exterior crunchy parts into the mix"

                                My experience has been the exact opposite. Even if they do have bark when they chop it up you no longer have the same texture because the pieces are so small. Since many of the places in my area that chop are using the gas fired ovens I noted above instead of authentic pits they just can not get a nice smoke ring or bark.
                                I'm sure there are places that use the same cooking process for both where people can have a strong preference for pulled Vs Chopped but if it's the same meat then the bark should be the same on both except for the size of the pieces and the texture.

                                1. re: Fritter
                                  Caralien Jun 9, 2009 09:40 AM

                                  Fritter--I agree with you.

                                  Pulled pork is exactly that--pulled apart. Pulled off the bone, generally with gloved hands. Not chopped. No knives needed (2 forks may be used to get finer strands and/or to keep the fingers from getting burnt). Even the bark is ripped apart in this manner and there are texture and flavor differences in each bite. Chopped (ie 2 cleavers mincing it up to nearly a hash consistency), has an even texture and consistent flavour. We prefer it pulled.

                                  1. re: Caralien
                                    s
                                    Steve Jun 10, 2009 09:04 AM

                                    I think this is a great discusssion and everybody has something important to add. I have not had bbq in North Carolina, or Texas for that matter, much to my chagrin, and I look forward to overindulging myself one day.

                                    The pork served pulled I have been exposed to had little to no bark, cracklins, whatever, and I find more difficult to eat. But I'd love to hear about any place that serves pulled pork for a Chowhound to love.

                                    1. re: Steve
                                      Bob W Jun 10, 2009 11:09 AM

                                      Steve - the Weenie Beenie in Shirlington serves a pretty respectable facsimile of an Eastern NC barbecue (chopped pork; vinegar-based sauce with flecks of red pepper) sandwich, complete with little packets of Texas Pete hot sauce.

                                      1. re: Bob W
                                        s
                                        Steve Jun 10, 2009 02:37 PM

                                        Thanks, Bob, the Weenie Beanie is indeed a great place to stop. But I did a taste comparison recently, and this was the result:

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5901...

                                        Get a tray at your local H-T and let me know what you think.....

                                        1. re: Steve
                                          Bob W Jun 10, 2009 08:19 PM

                                          H-T is my regular market, i need to give their cue a try. they are from NC so it should be pretty good at least.

                                          1. re: Bob W
                                            alkapal Jun 11, 2009 05:43 AM

                                            bob, see this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564496

                                            note: the "brookwood farm" e. carolina style pork is now in a little white tub in the MEAT section, near the other "tub bbqs" and hot dogs. it is a better per ounce price than in the clear-topped "clamshell' type package in the sushi-deli-prepared sandwich area. in that section, they still carry the other bbq styles -- including w. carolina style chicken and kansas city style.

                                            ps. after reading through the thread again, i see that you posted that you had tried the Q there at h-t and liked it, per the thread. time to get some more! ;-).

                                      2. re: Steve
                                        Caralien Jun 10, 2009 01:31 PM

                                        For starters, I'd recommend "Hog Heaven: A Guide to South Carolina Barbecue" (published 1979). From our travels, most of the places still exist, even if under different ownership after 30 years; the reviews remain on par with what we've had. When we're near Charleston, we usually get Momma Brown's (adequate amount of bark, few cracklins). Sweatman's is scheduled for our next trip.

                                        "Holy Smoke" is a good guide to/history of bbq, particularly NC styles.

                                        We simply try bbq everywhere we go. If there's a painted pig sign--even if we're not hungry--we turn.

                                        -----
                                        Bub Sweatman's
                                        1313 Gemini Dr, Holly Hill, SC

                                        Momma Brown's Barbeque
                                        1471 Ben Sawyer Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

                                        1. re: Caralien
                                          Bob W Jun 10, 2009 01:47 PM

                                          SC has great barbecue -- but it's overshadowed by two things. 1. NC barbecue. 2. The notoriety of Maurice Bessinger.

                                          I have to give ol' Maurice credit for one thing, though. While he probably doesn't even produce the best barbecue in the Bessinger family (his brothers all run barbecue joints in the Charleston area), he put a location right off I-95.

                                          1. re: Bob W
                                            Caralien Jun 10, 2009 02:19 PM

                                            I didn't care for Maurice's bbq (or the rest of his blather), although I have to admit I did like the hash. Melvin's is better, although Momma Brown's beats both of them (and Bessinger's).

                                          2. re: Caralien
                                            Fritter Jun 10, 2009 05:50 PM

                                            "If there's a painted pig sign--even if we're not hungry--we turn"

                                            Now there's a road trip rule I can live with.

                                          3. re: Steve
                                            Caralien Jun 13, 2009 01:41 PM

                                            Steve--2 photos from today's lunch at Grub Hut; the pulled brisket and pulled pork both had bark

                                             
                                             
                        2. re: gordeaux
                          Sam Fujisaka Jun 5, 2009 11:44 AM

                          Never break bread with them again; talk to them only if they're wearing hair shirts.

                          So, how were the "pulled pork" and steamed dogs? I would probably been just fine with the crock pot pork, but maybe not with the bottled sauces.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                            g
                            gordeaux Jun 5, 2009 12:15 PM

                            >>So, how were the "pulled pork" and steamed dogs? <<

                            The potato salad was good. ;-)

                        3. m
                          MakingSense Jun 5, 2009 11:46 AM

                          Who are you to say that they can't call it "barbeque"?
                          That's judgmental. Not supposed to do that any more. Hurts their self-esteem.

                          1. kchurchill5 Jun 5, 2009 12:14 PM

                            I think it is the difference between knowing the difference and understanding what the majority of the average eating person calls and what they consider BBQ.

                            I cater and people ask for BBQ. The majority do not want a long slow cooked BBQ'd meat they want BBQ chicken for the event or BBQ pork sandwiches or BBQ'd baked beans. Our society has attributed the term BBQ to the sauce which we put on many of our foods.

                            I went out to lunch today at had a BBQ chicken sandwich. I was just a chicken breast dipped in BBQ, some melted cheese and toppings. But it was called BBQ.

                            I know what true BBQ is. I am making a long slow roasted brisket on Sunday in my smoker. And it will go all day. A whole day finally off. I don't do it often because of time, but I know what true BBQ is. But if I make some wings quick in the crock or oven or stove top with BBQ sauce I still call them BBQ wings. And most people I would serve would also call them BBQ wings. What else would I call them. So when I make my pulled pork in the crock pot ... it is not BBQ'd pulled pork traditionally. But it is pork, it is pulled and it is BBQ'd. And the majority of Non-Foodies would never know the difference and they would more than likely refer to it as BBQ pulled pork.

                            So is this a traditional questions or a realistic question? What is a true BBQ ... yes I think we all know the answer to that, it is pretty basic. Now what is called BBQ, well ask society ... not foodies, not cooks, but ask the average person who orders BBQ every day and eats it world wide every day of the year. There is a big difference between the two.

                            And although I understand your appreciation of the word BBQ, I also understand what the average NON FOODIE eats and considers BBQ. Unless they go to a true BBQ joint, they are apt to get a "fake BBQ," according to you, however, they probably still enjoyed it, still thought it was BBQ and never knew the difference.

                            So next time I cook my chicken in the oven (cuz it is raining out), slap some sauce on it and the entire table calls it BBQ chicken ... what would you like me to call it? Or better yet ... what would the majority of the average consumers call it? I highly doubt that they would refer to it as baked chicken with a BBQ glaze ... they would call it BBQ chicken.

                            Grant it, we all now the difference, but sometimes we have to real. In a hurry, short on time, yes, BBQ in the oven, BBQ in the crock, even BBQ on the grill pan. Sorry but I still call it BBQ. But I understand your post, I just don't think it is realistic is all. People generalize a name to a overall area many times. People want spaghetti, but it may not be spaghetti, but it has noodles and sauce. Mashed potatoes ... if they are mashed they are considered mashed, but are they smashed or skin or or off or smashed or roasted not boiled.

                            Does anyone really care. It is more a public perception vs what we know. I know the difference, but I also know what the average person thinks so yes when I make something with BBQ, I call it BBQ, if I am making true BBQ, I will let them know that. Do I care NOT really. It all turns out good and guests are happy and I am happy. All that matters.

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: kchurchill5
                              m
                              MakingSense Jun 5, 2009 12:30 PM

                              So what happens when no one really cares any more?
                              When 99% of the people become used to eating pork cooked in the crock pot with bottled commercial sauce poured over it and calling it "pulled pork" BBQ, that becomes the new normal.
                              When they finally eat the real thing, they don't think it "tastes right" because it doesn't taste like what they're used to eating and calling "pulled pork" BBQ.
                              To them, it's not "pulled pork" BBQ. They might not think it's as good as what they're used to.
                              They say things like, "I can make better than this at home..."
                              The old ways die....

                              1. re: MakingSense
                                Caralien Jun 5, 2009 03:10 PM

                                I know I don't make real bbq--I leave that to my in-laws and the other pit masters we try to sample during road trips. Mine is slow-roasted pork in the oven (up to 28 hours). Yes--even that isn't real because there's no smoke or fire, and I'm not tending to it every 45 minutes. Made only during the cooler months, of which there are many in this part of the country.

                                This may be out of place, but I don't really care what 99% of people consider this or that, or what's considered "normal". I used to think that bbq was disgusting, as it was the jarred sauce atop some slop. Or what I've tried as "award winning and served at the Inauguration" Q served in a certain stretch of our travels which my husband and I find disgusting. But then there's the real stuff not slathered in sauce on the plate--tomato, mustard, or vinagre--which is divine. A side of sauce can always be requested. Grilled food can be incredible even if I use (aack!)--the dreaded briquettes.

                                If someone wants to call it bbq but it's grilling, I'll bite my tongue, have a taste, and go from there. Sometimes the potato salad is the best item, but who am I to criticise a well-meaning host? Be a good guest and thank them for their effort and friendship, and have a good time.

                                And the old ways don't die. This site is one of many which prove that it doesn't matter if convenience foods are standard in many households, there will remain people who will make food from scratch and follow traditions, even if they're modifying them for their own lives (I'm guilty of taking to work containers filled with rice, sliced mushrooms, broken asparagus, and raw scallops to cook in the microwave for lunch; I cut corners making fries by nuking the potato before cutting it into wedges, drizzling with olive oil, rosemary, fresh pepper and sea salt before tossing it under the broiler for a few minutes--to me, that's convenient, but it's certainly not the old way of doing things). My crock pot is on right now making stock from last night's roasted chicken; it's not on the stove, and has been running for awhile with no one tending to it.

                                I must be lightening up a bit now that I'm in my mid-30's.

                                Cheers!

                                1. re: Caralien
                                  c
                                  cimui Jun 5, 2009 10:45 PM

                                  Well written and thoughtful, Caralien. Thanks.

                              2. re: kchurchill5
                                k
                                KTinNYC Jun 5, 2009 01:18 PM

                                "Grant it, we all now the difference"(sic). Obviously we don't all know the difference, as you say yourself most of your clients don't know the difference. So the fact that we continue to dumb down the language, words will become meaningless.

                                "So next time I cook my chicken in the oven (cuz it is raining out), slap some sauce on it and the entire table calls it BBQ chicken ... what would you like me to call it?" I'd like you to call it baked chicken. Let's takes this one step further, if you are really stressed for time and you throw a chicken breast into the microwave and put BBQ sauce on because you cooked it slow enough to make it taste like it was poached will you still still call it barbecue?

                                1. re: KTinNYC
                                  paulj Jun 5, 2009 01:56 PM

                                  Words don't become meaningless, but they do change in their use and meaning.

                                  Did BBQ and 'pulled pork' mean the same thing in Minnesota 50 years ago as they did in South Carolina? Eastern NC BBQ purists don't even recognize the pork cooked in the western part of the state as BBQ, much less the brisket cooked in Texas. BBQ supposedly comes from barbacoa, which referred to meat cooked on a wood platform well above a fire, or in other contexts, to meat cooked in a pit. What does that have in common with the ribs produced in a slainless steel BBQ pit on 18 wheels?

                                  I don't there was ever a time and place where BBQ was used in a pure, static, and traditional sense.

                                  1. re: paulj
                                    Naco Jun 6, 2009 10:04 AM

                                    It's not true that people in eastern NC don't recognize Lexington style as being barbeque. People in North Carolina tend to prefer the style belonging to the area they grew up in, but having lived my whole life here, most of the more extreme commentary I take to be ironic in nature.

                                    1. re: Naco
                                      lynnlato Jun 8, 2009 03:26 AM

                                      Yea, it's not that they don't recognize the other - it's that eastern style folks turn their nose up at tomato based sauce and western style folks dislike the vinegar based saucues. Then you get into the whole hog stuff. Creamy cole slaw vs. vinegar-based slaw.

                                      I've lived in NC for 14 yrs now, and when I first moved her from PA I didn't "get" NC BBQ. But let me tell you, I got bit by the bbq bug and was converted a long time ago. Eastern-style all the way, baby. Don't forget the hushpuppies, slaw, and lots of hot vinegar sauce on the side. Mmmm....

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        alkapal Jun 8, 2009 05:17 AM

                                        i just saw the throwdown with ed mitchell (the pit, raleigh, nc http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/ ) and his ribs vs. bobby flay.

                                        ed's style is fast and hot, not low and slow (i was surprised). anyhow, ed used a dry rub, then once done, he used a western style sauce, then came back and sprayed an eastern style sauce on top. (too funny, cause bobby had thought he'd do sort of an amalgam of the styles with the bbq beans side dish.).

                                        1. re: alkapal
                                          Fritter Jun 8, 2009 06:05 AM

                                          "Ed" was hot and fast for ribs but I'm sure he doesn't apply the same cooking technique to pulled pig and IIR he didn't feel it was "really" BBQ unless you were cooking Whole Hog.

                                          1. re: Fritter
                                            alkapal Jun 8, 2009 06:21 AM

                                            fritter, you couldn't do the whole hog anyway BUT low and slow. fast and hot wouldn't cook it through before burning the outside.

                                            and if that's really his philosophy, i don't see any "whole hogs" on his menu but for catering (where it's the literal whole hog, right?). http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/menus/P...

                                            i see pulled, chopped, brisket and ribs. that's not *quite* the *whole* hog. most of it, yes, but they're all cooked in the smokers as different pieces, i'm sure. i can't make sense of his statement about bbq "really" being *only* "the whole hog."

                                            1. re: alkapal
                                              Fritter Jun 8, 2009 07:33 AM

                                              Maybe I'm reading your post wrong Mon Ami but I think you need to pick this "bone" with Ed.
                                              I can't speak for his philosophy. It was just one show and Bobby Flay at that so perhaps he was poking fun at those who have their axles wound a little too tight. I was simply relaying what he indicated on the show.

                                              1. re: Fritter
                                                alkapal Jun 8, 2009 08:09 AM

                                                fritter, my issue is not with you of course. i'm just trying to figure out what he meant.

                                              2. re: alkapal
                                                m
                                                mpjmph Jun 9, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                I haven't watched Mitchell cook other than the Thrown Down, but whole hog most likely refers to the chopped as that is the traditional Eastern NC method. The other menu items like pulled and ribs are probably different pieces cooked individually.

                                            2. re: alkapal
                                              Naco Jun 8, 2009 06:31 AM

                                              I have read interviews with Mitchell in the past where he stated that he likes to start his fire out hot(in part to sear the meat), and then let the temperature fall naturally, rather than the "low, slow, and steady" conventional wisdom of bbq aficionados. I add that last caveat because in reality, when you read interviews with NC pitmasters, there are a wide variety of techniques employed. There is no bbq law.

                                              1. re: Naco
                                                alkapal Jun 8, 2009 06:48 AM

                                                naco, thanks for that further information. and also thank you for this quote: "There is no bbq law."

                                                may i quote you on that, because it sure needs to be said a LOT here on chowhound. (i've added it to my profile section, in fact! ;-).

                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                  paulj Jun 8, 2009 08:09 AM

                                                  I was looking at the rules for a Texas BBQ competition. They were really quite simple. The only specification regarding cooking was that the use of wood or wood products (charcoal).

                                                  There were 4 categories of meat
                                                  - brisket
                                                  - pork ribs (some detail here)
                                                  - chicken
                                                  - exotics (goat, wild boar)
                                                  The meat could not be preseasoned or marinated. That all had to be done during the competition.

                                                  There were a lot more details about presentation - the number and thickness of the brisket slices, the submission tray and foil, no sauce, etc.

                                                  So things like cooking temperature, cooking time, use of smoke, type of grill, are not part of the rules. They are up to the cook's judgment, balancing what he things produces a good product, and what he things the judges will like.

                                  2. kchurchill5 Jun 5, 2009 12:21 PM

                                    FYI, I ordered BBQ'd carrots at a side in a NY restaurant. ... Guess what BBQ sauce on carrots. Just kidding, but realistically, it is all consumer perception. They were steamed carrots, not smoked guaranteed with BBQ sauce, good sauce, but just BBQ sauce and then lightly grilled nothing more.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: kchurchill5
                                      MMRuth Jun 5, 2009 12:35 PM

                                      Do you remember the name of the restaurant? I live in NYC and it would be interesting to know where it is.

                                    2. d
                                      danieljdwyer Jun 5, 2009 01:40 PM

                                      I wonder what those same people would call a carrot with steak sauce on it.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: danieljdwyer
                                        k
                                        KTinNYC Jun 5, 2009 01:48 PM

                                        LOL!

                                        1. re: danieljdwyer
                                          alkapal Jun 5, 2009 07:26 PM

                                          a stearrot?

                                        2. alkapal Jun 5, 2009 07:21 PM

                                          KT, you saw my post about dipping carrots in bbq sauce!!!! yay!!
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/535586

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: alkapal
                                            k
                                            KTinNYC Jun 6, 2009 01:05 AM

                                            Very weird but I didn't see your post before and seeing the date it looks like I posted almost 1 year to the date of your original post. I'd say great minds think alike but seeing as I am 1 year behind, I'd hate to think what that says about my mind as compared to yours...

                                            1. re: KTinNYC
                                              alkapal Jun 6, 2009 04:22 AM

                                              but KT, you came to the idea from an intellectual inquiry standpoint. i came to the idea because of an "eureka" moment -- sheer luck.

                                              but carrots with bbq sauce -- after reading this thread, i sure as heck never intend to call them "bbq carrots"!

                                          2. scubadoo97 Jun 6, 2009 06:33 AM

                                            You really need to look back at the history of grilling. Man has been cooking over open fire since the beginning of time. BBQ in the US got it's start around the 1800s with the cattle drives.

                                            Until the end of WWII not many people were cooking over fire in their back yards. After WWII the introduction of the back yard grill with the Sputnik the precursor of the Weber kettle helped to proliferate back yard grilling. The term BBQ was bastardized around that time to describe this type of cooking. The family back yard BBQ was not part of the lexicon.

                                            Yes most of us here at CW know there is a difference between BBQ and grilling but there are many who really don't know the difference between the two. And even those that know the difference still cling to the use of the term BBQ to describe grilled meats with the tangy BBQ sauce poured on top. So yes a carrot with BBQ sauce is a BBQ carrot to many. The dish BBQ shrimp in Louisiana has nothing to do with BBQ but try getting them to call it something else. And so good I don't care what they call it.

                                            I have been to too many BBQs which included hamburgers and hot dogs. Hey this is America. We can bastardize any better than anybody. Just don't get your shorts tied up too tight. Assume if you go to a BBQ it won't "meat" your standards of what BBQ should be and if you happen to fall into the real deal, smile and be happy.

                                            38 Replies
                                            1. re: scubadoo97
                                              s
                                              soupkitten Jun 7, 2009 01:55 PM

                                              well that's incorrect. . . european dignitaries described bbq in the colonies, well before 1800. it was pork, not beef. . . beef = texas bbq, pork=southern bbq. bbq in the cultural tradition is more about large amounts of meat/whole animals, using cheaper/tougher cuts of meats, feeding a large crowd, etc. & not much about what individual small nuclear families decided to cook in their own backyards in the 1950s-- i don't see how that's relevant at all.

                                              if my brunch menu calls for smoked salmon, i don't throw a salmon in a crock pot overnight, then throw some liquid smoke on it, and call the resulting dish "smoked salmon." i think pretty much everybody would agree that dish would not actually be smoked salmon, and it might not even be edible. . . so-- no, a carrot with bbq sauce on it is not a bbq carrot. no matter what kind of sauce you use, you can't play fast and loose with the cooking methods and then name a dish incorrectly-- if someone pan-fries some vegetables but insists on calling them steamed, it's incorrect. if someone steams a fish fillet and insists on calling it deep fried, it's incorrect. it's just as incorrect to substitute slow moist crock-pot cooking for bbqing (slow smoking), & then calling the resulting dish bbqed.

                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                scubadoo97 Jun 7, 2009 04:20 PM

                                                Settle down there partner,

                                                I googled the history of BBQ and got many hits. All the ones I looked at contained the same quote about BBQ starting in the 1800 with the cattle drives. I guess there is a lot of misinformation out there.

                                                The relavance of the backyard cooking in the 1950s is that was the time the use of the term BBQ began to be associated with backyard grilling. Sure it's incorrect but if you want to know why everyone calls it a BBQ when they serve hamburgers and hot dogs you have to look at where the misuse of the term started.

                                                1. re: scubadoo97
                                                  Fritter Jun 8, 2009 03:06 AM

                                                  If we consider the history of "BBQ" perhaps we should include the Polynesian technique of cooking a Kalua pig in the ground. They use the low and slow method even if the flesh is not smoked. The same is true of other cultures as well. In the Andes pachamanca might be considered Q even though they use Guinea pigs.
                                                  Then there are the Europeans and specific ethnic groups that smoked meats like brisket low and slow or even the Argentinean asada to consider.
                                                  OTOH Larousse states the following;
                                                  "The Barbecue method is of American origin, being associated with the legendary conquest of the West. The word probably comes from the Haiti-an barbacoa, meaning grill, but some attribute its origin to the French de la barbe a la que (from the beard to the tail) referring to the method of impaling the animal on the roasting spit"
                                                  The french quote reminds me of the American Q term "from the rooter to the tooter".

                                                  1. re: Fritter
                                                    Sam Fujisaka Jun 8, 2009 05:35 AM

                                                    Yes, agree with you, Fritter; and, ironically, the kalua pit is like a giant crock pot.

                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                      Fritter Jun 8, 2009 06:01 AM

                                                      I can live with crock pot pork if it tastes like the Kalua pig I've had!

                                                      1. re: Fritter
                                                        Sam Fujisaka Jun 8, 2009 06:09 AM

                                                        There you have it!!! If it is great, it is great! My Dad's side is from Hawaii, so I've always had and loved the stuff. My fave pig eating.

                                              2. re: scubadoo97
                                                alanbarnes Jun 8, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                According to the OED, "barbecue" has been in use in the English language to refer to "meat cooked out of doors on a frame over an open fire" since around 1700. And barbacoa in its many permutations has been cooked in Mexico since pre-colonial times.

                                                Given that some traditional BBQ / barbacoa preparations steam the meat rather than smoking it, and given that others involve direct heat and fire rather than smoke, it's my opinion that the extremely restrictive definition of BBQ currently advocated by a number of purists is simply incorrect. It's a recent invention, and lacks any historical basis. Yes, the low, slow, and smoky method is **a** traditional way to make BBQ (and a delicious one at that), but it isn't **the** traditional way.

                                                By way of analogy, my great-grandmother didn't make cornbread with sugar, and neither did my grandfather, and neither does my mother, and neither do I. But wouldn't it strike you as more than just a little arrogant if I were to claim that anything that contains sugar can't be called cornbread?

                                                If you call a pork shoulder cooked in the crock pot "traditional Eastern Carolina BBQ," you're either dishonest or seriously clueless. But if beef cheeks that have been slowly steamed in a hole in the ground are barbacoa de cabeza, I see no reason that beef cheeks slowly steamed in a crock pot can't carry the same name. And given that burgers cooked on a gas grill fit the historical definition of BBQ ("meat cooked on a frame over an open fire"), it is presumptuous in the extreme to claim that they can't go by that historically correct name.

                                                As to the OP, the oversweetened ketchupy stuff that comes in a bottle really doesn't have anything to do with BBQ. The notion that that stuff is "BBQ sauce" only dates back to the 1950s. And while a portion of the population might not think of anythinge else when they hear the words "BBQ sauce," anybody who knows anything about BBQ realizes that there are many other sauces out there, most of which are far better than the glop from the grocery store.

                                                IMHO, insisting that the definition of BBQ be limited to meat cooked low and slow with smoky dry heat is almost as inane as insisting that only KC Masterpiece can be called BBQ sauce. There are lots of forms of BBQ out there, just as there are lots of sauces. As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing.

                                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                                  Sam Fujisaka Jun 8, 2009 10:42 AM

                                                  Spot on!

                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                    k
                                                    KTinNYC Jun 8, 2009 10:49 AM

                                                    I can agree that there are different forms of barbecue. Even the low and slow method method involves some steam. I can even live with calling grilling barbecue because that is an accepted usage of the word but cannot accept pork shoulder cooked in a crockpot with "bbq sauce" as barbecue.

                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                      alanbarnes Jun 8, 2009 12:14 PM

                                                      I have no problem with the crock pot. Or with the pork shoulder. Or with some kind of sauce. I'd be perfectly happy to use "barbacoa" as a general term to describe pork shoulder wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked in a crockpot with a citrus marinade and lots of annato.

                                                      The problem with the recipe you describe is not that it isn't barbecue, but that it's a half-assed attempt to imitate a traditional barbecue dish - pulled pork as it's made in various ways across much of the South. No, it isn't traditional East Carolina pulled pork, and anybody who calls it that should be castigated. But as to whether it's barbecue, who cares? The term is so broad (and has been for so many centuries) that it doesn't really convey much information.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                                        Naco Jun 8, 2009 02:15 PM

                                                        While we're talking terminology, no one in eastern North Carolina would call our barbecue "pulled pork", primarily because it's served chopped.

                                                        1. re: alanbarnes
                                                          s
                                                          soupkitten Jun 8, 2009 04:14 PM

                                                          "who cares"?

                                                          well, presumably the folks for whom this is an important cultural food tradition care, and care deeply.

                                                      2. re: alanbarnes
                                                        scubadoo97 Jun 8, 2009 02:43 PM

                                                        Good post AB

                                                        1. re: alanbarnes
                                                          s
                                                          soupkitten Jun 8, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                          the crock pot was invented in the 1970's. in other words, it's "a recent invention, and lacks any historical basis." sorry, this method of cooking meat has nothing to do with traditional bbq of any culture. the folks who wrote about american bbq in the 1700s & used the term "barbeque" didn't seem to have any problem with the term or knowing what it means.

                                                          where is this fancy grocery store you go to, that has rows upon rows of "barbacoa" sauce of every description? i wish we had those here, so i could throw the sauce and some beef cheeks in a crock pot and have "real barbacoa de cabeza" with no real effort/skill on my own part.

                                                          "There are lots of forms of BBQ out there, just as there are lots of sauces. As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing." i couldn't agree more, AB, so let's quit with the obfuscation and talk about american bbq, which is quite obviously what was meant in the op, with the spelling variants etc. you want to talk about the senegambian influence on american southern bbq, we can start a new thread. . . uh, oh yeah-- "who cares" about cultural influences on food traditions, heck history in general--who needs it, right?

                                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                                            alanbarnes Jun 8, 2009 06:27 PM

                                                            "American barbecue?" What are you talking about? There is no such thing as "American barbecue." Or, more to the point, there are dozens of things, some of which have nothing whatsoever in common with various others. The phrase is meaningless.

                                                            I'm not talking about African traditions that influenced various American types of barbecue, or the convergent evolution of Polynesian and American cooking methods, I'm talking about things that are and have historically been called barbecue (or barbacoa, which is the same word). Things like a Santa Maria tri-tip, a rack of Dreamland ribs, or a whole beef head cooked in a sealed pit. Different meats, different methods, completely different results, but they're all barbecue.

                                                            If you want to talk about barbecue that's traditional in a given region, or a certain style or method of barbecue, then the word begins to have some useful meaning. But each of the traditions discussed above - as well as the burgers and hot dogs cooked on a gas grill in the back yard - has a legitimate claim to the name.

                                                            The fact that you can produce some of these things using modern tools is irrelevant to whether the resulting food is barbecue. If you marinated a brisket just like they do at Kreuz Market and cooked it in post oak smoke, would it be anything other than Central Texas style barbecue if you used an electric smoker? Not a chance. What matters is the cooking method, not the tool used to accomplish the task or the year in which it was invented.

                                                            I care a lot about traditional foods. History is important. Which is why I'm calling BS on the revisionist historians who try to define "barbecue" as some monolithic thing. That cheapens the diversity and deliciousness of all the hundreds of dishes that **are** barbecue.

                                                            1. re: alanbarnes
                                                              s
                                                              soupkitten Jun 9, 2009 06:48 AM

                                                              american barbecue is a multiplicity of things. in town/county x they might bbq pork with hickory. two counties north they might do the same but use walnut shells in the smoke. one state north they use applewood. two states north they use maple, and a different style of sauce. west, they bbq mutton, and further west, it's beef and it's mesquite smoke. the sauce, the smoke, the method, the cultural tradition was all (at one time, at least) deeply tied to place. the differences between local bbq styles are important and not important at the same time--important, that these elements tie this style to this place-- unimportant, in that nobody's trying to put any one style above other styles/places. it should all be appreciated as regional american bbq. profoundly regional, profoundly american, i'd emphasize.

                                                              to your electric smoker example-- electric smoker, propane smoker, kettle smoker, barrel smoker, rig smoker, off-side tower smoker, smoker made from an old refrigerator or the hood of an old car. . . i don't think anybody had any of these tools in the 1700's, but that doesn't mean they aren't perfectly legitimate tools that were developed specifically to make bbq. the operative word in all of the names of these tools, you'll notice, is *smoke,* and this function is the opposite of what a crock pot does. i don't know what an electric smoker is but i know what a propane smoker is, and i've used one many times. i have no problem at all with fancy smokers-- you still use wood to produce the smoke that makes the bbq. fancy smoker does not equal crock pot, & that seems to be where we part ways.

                                                              one of the issues i have with your argument is that you seek to downplay the smoke element in traditional bbq. even give it up entirely (crock pot). the fact that folks have refrigerators and crock pots now, therefore we no longer need smoke to preserve our foods/bbq, therefore foods cooked in a crock pot with gloppy sauce can legitimately be called barbecue-- to me, ***this*** is the revisionist line of thinking. if you take an outdoor method of cooking, bring it inside, sanitize it as much as possible, and serve it in gloppy hfcs sauce. . . well, yes, to me and many others, you have *fundamentally* changed the very nature of what you are terming, and serving, and eating. & if you take the smoke out of the bbq, you've also skewed its identity of place. . . oh nevermind why the * do i bother.

                                                              your insistence on calling american barbecue "barbacoa" to me is another problem (there are a zillion "barbecue/bbq sauces," in supermarkets nationwide-- if anyone has a picture of "barbacoa" sauce, please post it). they actually aren't the same word. barbecue is a variant of the word barbacoa of course, but folks in charleston or raleigh or louisville or memphis or kc or central texas didn't call what they cooked 'barbacoa" and incidentally i don't buy into the idea that they had any access to banana leaves. the term "barbecue" is/became the american word that people used to describe what/how they were cooking, and this term, unlike "barbacoa," acknowledges the various cultural influences that influenced the cooking thoughout the colonial and post-colonial period. whether folks like to acknowledge this regional identity or not, pretending that these historical periods just didn't happen isn't helpful. a lot like looking at the history of music in the united states-- pretending that none of the innovators were southern andor poor andor black, is not helpful. sanitizing the image of bbq is how we got lloyd's in the supermarket tub and the mcrib sandwich and the white castle "bbq pork sandwich"-- and happy housewives squeezing pre-shredded pork product, pre glopped with sweet "bbq sauce," into the crockpot. my position is that this latter is not bbq, it's an industrial food product. your position is that pre-shred unsmoked pork & supermarket q sauce shrinkwrapped in a bag is just as legit as whole-hog bbq in raleigh. i disagree with your position (and apparently most hounds') profoundly, but i respect your posts on the subject.

                                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                                alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                                I hear where you're coming from. And I agree that mediocre, sanitized food is bad regardless of what you call it. But your insistence that smoke is an essential element of barbecue is simply incorrect.

                                                                Traditional South Texas barbecue uses no smoke at all. You dig a hole, burn a fire down to coals, then put a wrapped chunk of meat in the hole and bury it for several hours to overnight. (FWIW, the traditional wrap in that part of the country is vinegar-soaked burlap bags, not banana leaves.)

                                                                Is this tradition any less "American" because its original participants spoke Spanish? I don't think so. I have friends in the Rio Grande Valley who live on land granted to their ancestors by the King of Spain hundreds of years before any of my European forbears showed up on these shores. They're more American than I am. And if you want to get picky that way, Central Texas barbecue (Black's, Kreuz Market, Hard Eight) was originated by people who spoke German and called it something else altogether.

                                                                Santa Maria style barbecue here in California doesn't use smoke, either. The meat is cooked with direct heat over hot coals. But the locals have been calling it barbecue (or barbacoa, depending on native language) since the early 1800s. Amazing that they've been using the word improperly for two centuries and nobody thought to correct them. But maybe you can come out here and set 'em straight.

                                                                As far as "Salsa Barbacoa" goes, you can find it in any Mexican grocery store. It's the same gloppy stuff sold in US grocery stores as "barbecue sauce," and is sometimes qualified by the phrase"a la americana." Here's a picture: http://www.desertrosefoods.biz/mercha... But the traditional sauce that barbacoa is cooked with is no sauce at all.

                                                                If you can come up with a definition of "barbecue" that encompasses all American barbecue traditions, then maybe we can agree on a definition of "American barbecue." But smoking can't be a requirement, since there's plenty of traditional barbecue that doesn't involve smoke. And you can't require that the food be cooked outdoors; the vast majority of barbecue restaurants have their cookers as part of an indoor kitchen. Excluding modern cooking methods won't work, either - you yourself admit that using a propane smokers doesn't disqualify something from being barbecue.

                                                                If you're going to claim that something isn't barbecue, you first have to define what barbecue is. And I for one don't believe you or anybody else can do that accurately.

                                                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                  kchurchill5 Jun 9, 2009 11:23 AM

                                                                  There are too many versions of BBQ, too many styles, too many definitions. They public perception and public awareness of what people call BBQ.

                                                                  <<Traditional South Texas barbecue uses no smoke at all. You dig a hole, burn a fire down to coals, then put a wrapped chunk of meat in the hole and bury it for several hours to overnight. (FWIW, the traditional wrap in that part of the country is vinegar-soaked burlap bags, not banana leaves.)>>

                                                                  Not sure if that is exactly what we did but similar. BBQ for them, it was great.

                                                                  So for me ... I really don't care what someone calls it. If they want to call it BBQ fine, if not that is ok too. Why let it bother you. Chili with beans is it or isn't it chili? Who cares? If you and your friends like it that all that should be the only important factor. I am not spending hours worrying a crazy definition of what is or what isn't BBQ. Just enjoy the time together with family and friends and enjoy what you made.

                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                    k
                                                                    KTinNYC Jun 9, 2009 11:27 AM

                                                                    The common denominator in every form of barbecue you describe is live heat, mostly from wood, occasionally coal but always live heat.

                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                      Sam Fujisaka Jun 9, 2009 11:37 AM

                                                                      By live heat you mean flame or coals? So kalua pig not BBQ? OK fo' us Hawai'i kine, mebbe mo betta - keep mo pig bonby!

                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                        k
                                                                        KTinNYC Jun 9, 2009 11:42 AM

                                                                        I consider coals to be live heat.

                                                                        Kalua pig = barbecue. Pork stewed with bbq sauce? No.

                                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                          Sam Fujisaka Jun 9, 2009 11:57 AM

                                                                          Kalua pig uses super heated rocks, not coals - kind of like a giant crock pot!

                                                                          1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                            alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 12:40 PM

                                                                            How 'bout an electic element - like the one found in a crock pot. Is that live heat?

                                                                            'Cause you can make a variety of traditional barbecues using an electric smoker. Wood provides the smoke, but all the heat comes from an electric element - just like the one in a crock pot.

                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                              alkapal Jun 9, 2009 02:43 PM

                                                                              alan barnes, sir, you are the #100 poster on this thread.

                                                                              now... i don't know what you win, but i just thought you'd like to know! ;-).

                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                kchurchill5 Jun 9, 2009 04:32 PM

                                                                                You win ... a crock pot!!!
                                                                                Just kidding. I'm staying off this thread I get in enough trouble as it is. Kidding on the crock pot.

                                                                                1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                  alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 05:11 PM

                                                                                  Hey, I'll always take another crock pot. I don't use 'em for barbecue, but they're good for lots of other things.

                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                    Sam Fujisaka Jun 9, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                                                    Don't back down!

                                                                                    Actually you and I probably agree: I might not prepare something in a crock pot and call it BBQ. But I don't really give a flying f*&k as to what is or is not BBQ; and if it were raining outside (as it is at the moment) I would certainly prepare and serve a "crock pot BBQ style pulled pork"; and my guests would absolutely love it. My guests usually come from the four corners of the globe where they have different, long traditional BBQ methods, tehniques, and similar arguments as a lot of the hounds here - but would not understand the vehement hair-splitting expressed on this thread.

                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                      k
                                                                                      KTinNYC Jun 9, 2009 08:32 PM

                                                                                      "crock pot BBQ style pulled pork" use that description and this thread would have been a lot shorter.

                                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                        Sam Fujisaka Jun 9, 2009 08:46 PM

                                                                                        Haint dat duh trooff!!

                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                          alkapal Jun 10, 2009 04:41 AM

                                                                                          but what makes it bbq "style"? the flavors in the sauce? that the meat is shredded or chunky or chopped? that the dish *tastes similar* to "real " bbq?

                                                                                          maybe this deserves another thread. hahahaha.

                                                                                  2. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                    k
                                                                                    KTinNYC Jun 9, 2009 06:49 PM

                                                                                    Where in NY do you get bbq carrots?

                                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                      johnb Jun 9, 2009 07:07 PM

                                                                                      Correction: Where in NY do you get GOOD bbq carrots?

                                                                                      1. re: johnb
                                                                                        k
                                                                                        KTinNYC Jun 9, 2009 07:20 PM

                                                                                        No where. But kcurchill5 claims to have had them whether good bad or indifferent I'd love to know where to find them.

                                                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                          scoopG Jun 10, 2009 03:59 AM

                                                                                          I think she was joking.

                                                                                          1. re: scoopG
                                                                                            k
                                                                                            KTinNYC Jun 10, 2009 07:40 AM

                                                                                            "FYI, I ordered BBQ'd carrots at a side in a NY restaurant. ... Guess what BBQ sauce on carrots. Just kidding, but realistically, it is all consumer perception. They were steamed carrots, not smoked guaranteed with BBQ sauce, good sauce, but just BBQ sauce and then lightly grilled nothing more."

                                                                                            This doesn't sound like a joke.

                                                                            2. re: KTinNYC
                                                                              alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 11:41 AM

                                                                              ...

                                                                          2. re: soupkitten
                                                                            bkhuna Jun 9, 2009 11:13 AM

                                                                            But if you then bury the crock pots in the ground with a wet burlap sack on it, it magically becomes authentic!

                                                                        2. re: soupkitten
                                                                          paulj Jun 8, 2009 10:03 PM

                                                                          Crock pot as a ceramic pot wrapped with a few strands of heating wire dates from the 70s, but the idea of cooking a stew in a covered pot over night is nothing new. Cooking in a pit with heat from hot rocks is ancient. Barbacoa falls within that tradition, as does kalua pork. Jewish cholent is even closer - a dish cooked with the residual heat from the baker's oven. Peposo is an Italian beef shank stew, traditionally cooked in tile makers kilns after work. In the days of hearth cooking, many dishes simmered slowly in a covered pot near the fire (boston baked beans and Indian pudding come to mind).

                                                                          Like it or not, there is a category of sauces called 'bbq sauce'. BBQ competitions even have judging for a 'sauce category'. Inevitably, any thing flavored with a 'bbq sauce' is going to have 'bbq' in its name. It may start off as 'crock pot pork with bbq sauce', but it is human nature to shorten such a long name.

                                                                          You can order bbq spaghetti from Interstate in Memphis
                                                                          http://www.interstatebarbecue.com/del...

                                                                    2. vvvindaloo Jun 6, 2009 07:40 AM

                                                                      I think a lot of times people just use the flavor of something to describe the dish- think "Teriyaki chicken", which isn't technically only about the sauce... or anything "alfredo" just because it has cream in it...

                                                                      1. paulj Jun 6, 2009 08:41 AM

                                                                        I've seen on TV shows that some BBQ joints put their sauce on spaghetti, and on coleslaw.

                                                                        What other method of cooking gets as many special focus shows on FN and Travel Channel? How many times have you seen shows that compare and contrast the 4 (or is 5?) distinct styles of BBQ? How about the ones that feature BBQ cookoffs, whether Memphis in May or a Reno (or is Vegas) national cookoff?

                                                                        I don't think the method is in any danger of dying out, though it will evolve as it spreads. Isn't brine injection an accepted method on the competition circuit now? As for the use of the term, the battle will continue between the purist use, and the general uses.

                                                                        1. paulj Jun 6, 2009 03:46 PM

                                                                          On FN tooday, Secret Life of International BBQ

                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/the-secret...

                                                                          Jamaican, Korean, Mongolian Grill, Brazilian
                                                                          Sounds like it should raise a few Southern hackles. :)

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                            Caralien Jun 7, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                            the Southerners I know like bbq from all over the world. They may prefer the one's they grew up with, but are willing to try good bbq everywhere.

                                                                            1. re: Caralien
                                                                              alkapal Jun 7, 2009 11:14 AM

                                                                              yeah buddy!

                                                                          2. alkapal Jun 7, 2009 02:13 PM

                                                                            ted allen seemed mystified when two out of three tasters chose liquid smoke ribs! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/625904#

                                                                            1. Bob W Jun 7, 2009 05:28 PM

                                                                              My mother-in-law calls her sloppy joe concoction barbecue.

                                                                              I remember going over there for what I was told was "barbecue." I was very excited. Then I saw what it was. Excitement over. Pretty good sloppy joe, but not exactly what I was expecting.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Bob W
                                                                                paulj Jun 7, 2009 06:14 PM

                                                                                When you were a kid, what did 'barbecue' mean to you? Did your family make it?

                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                  Bob W Jun 8, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                                                  I was a kid in Rhode Island. Barbecue meant hot dogs and hamburgers. Maybe "barbecued chicken" (chicken slathered with barbecue sauce from the jar.) We had no idea what real barbecue was. Also, we kept kosher at home, so we didn't dig on swine.

                                                                                  My knowledge of real barbecue begins with reading Calvin Trillin as a teenager. I still remember when the first barbecue joint opened in Providence -- Wes' Rib House -- early 1980s. We thought this was the best stuff ever. (Turns out it was very mediocre barbecue, but everything is relative. Also, Wes' is still around over 20 years later, which tells you all you need to know about barbecue in Providence, RI.)

                                                                                  By the time of the sloppy joe incident, let's say that my eyes had been opened. This being Baltimore, which has some pretty good barbecue, I was expecting a little more. (Of course, this was also before I understood my M-I-L's cooking repertoire. But I digress. As I often do.)

                                                                                  1. re: Bob W
                                                                                    paulj Jun 8, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                                                    So 'true' BBQ is not part of your heritage. It comes from book-learning. So does mine. In a sense, what your inlaws served is closer to what you grew up with.

                                                                                    Sometimes I wonder whether this distinction between 'true' BBQ and bastardized forms isn't an elaborate marketing ploy by a consortium of state and city tourism boards, trying to convince us that we have not had the real thing until we have traveled to Memphis, Kansas City, NC, SC or Texas.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                      Bob W Jun 9, 2009 08:46 AM

                                                                                      Now that I think about it, we didn't even call the hot dogs and hamburgers barbecue. We called that "a cookout." So not even fake barbecue was part of my heritage.

                                                                                      What my in-laws served is exactly what we also got as sloppy joe. That's all it is. There's nothing bastardized about it. It's not barbecue. We're talking nomenclature, not what I actually ate, which in no way, shape, or form constituted barbecue.

                                                                                      As far as the book learning goes, that merely served as a travelogue for my early (pre-Internet) barbecue eating. In fact, it turned out that Trillin had been sold a bill of goods by a Lexington barbecue adherent.

                                                                                      Believe me, I have eaten barbecue at many of the finest, most legendary barbecue joints on the southeast coast: Sweatman's, Skylight, Parker's, Mitchell's, Wilbur's, Bob Melton's, Maurice's, various other Bessinger operations, Fresh Air, Pierce's Pitt, Lexington #1, Jimmy's, Nunnery-Freeman, Stamey's, Barbecue Pig, Jackson's Big Oak (Wilmington NC), many places in Florida, etc. I think I know what real barbecue is now.

                                                                                      1. re: Bob W
                                                                                        Bob W Jun 10, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                                        That should be GA Pig, not Barbecue Pig. All that swine has fried my memory, it seems.

                                                                                2. re: Bob W
                                                                                  lynnlato Jun 8, 2009 03:22 AM

                                                                                  My mom called it "hamburg bbq". the things in the school cafeteria were "sloppy joes". LOL

                                                                                3. bkhuna Jun 8, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                                                  Yes, it's a BBQ carrot, but only if you cook it in a crockpot.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: bkhuna
                                                                                    alkapal Jun 8, 2009 08:10 AM

                                                                                    ...with liquid smoke!

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                      bkhuna Jun 8, 2009 09:00 AM

                                                                                      Touché!

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                        kchurchill5 Jun 8, 2009 11:29 AM

                                                                                        All the better, lol. Crock and liquid smoke, can't get much better.

                                                                                        Don't count me in to eat this however. Why don't we contact the NY rest and see if they want to add some smoke to their recipe and suggest the crock to cook them.

                                                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          small h Jun 13, 2009 05:24 AM

                                                                                          Which New York restaurant are you referring to? I just did a find-a-food search on menupages for barbecued carrots & found nothing.

                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                      MattInNJ Jun 8, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                                                      One time when I was smashed I made BBQ ice cream, it was everything I hoped it would be.

                                                                                      1. paulj Jun 11, 2009 09:28 AM

                                                                                        Calling all hall monitors. There's a Home cooking thread titled 'BBQ- Simple but Impressive' that needs your attention. :)

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                          alanbarnes Jun 11, 2009 10:09 AM

                                                                                          Link:

                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/626299

                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                          soupkitten Jun 11, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                                                          so. . . i wasn't going to touch this thread anymore, but the snarky comments continue. okay. let the fruitloop talk for a minute ;-P

                                                                                          on the chowhound boards, any establishment/individual that would do most traditional foods *traditionally* would be an instant hit. who wouldn't be the first hound to announce on their home board "traditional czeck butcher to open store on main street," "old-world baker moves to town," "great traditional hand-pulled noodles at restaurant x". . . and the crowd goes wild, there are a couple dozen excited posts and the place becomes a board fave. why then, are people who specialize in traditional smoke bbq considered a bunch of cranks? why do people assume that if someone's product is traditional bbq, that this person must be unfamiliar with modern smokers or other new-fangled conveniences such as indoor plumbing? why is it assumed that a traditionalist balsamico maker is an artisan; while a traditionalist pitmaster is an ignorant luddite?

                                                                                          presumably there do exist some traditional foods that are part of a heritage or identity. as far as present culture acknowledges, these foods were always here (they are a part of cultural memory) and these foods are part of a meal with family or on certain occasions--not having them would be unthinkable. the way these foods are prepared are fundamental to the foods themselves. i'll use 3 examples: kielbasa sausage, kimchee, kosher pickle. all 3 of these food items, like smoke bbq, are preserved in ways that affect the flavor, the appearance, and the texture of the final product. in other words, if you stood outside a polish deli and offered people bratwursts, but called them kielbasa, folks would notice. if you stood outside a korean restaurant and handed people a dish of raw cabbage, calling it kimchee, people would look at you funny. if you stood *anywhere* and handed out raw cucumbers to people and called them kosher pickles, you'd be told you're out of your mind, jack. maybe people would even be offended that "their" traditional, culturally important foods were being parodied. i'm sure that more than one chowhound would take issue. it makes one think about how some foods do indeed have one identity before a method of processing, and an entirely different one afterward.

                                                                                          why would some cultural foods matter, and others not? are there some food traditions that the rest of us can afford to lose, or that never had anything to contribute in the first place? is a person who emphatically denies that a raw cucumber is a kosher pickle "splitting hairs"? given the great specificity of language regarding the world of food and cooking (how many of us own more than one culinary dictionary/reference), is it reasonable to apply a term as loosely as possible to any type of food?

                                                                                          29 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka Jun 11, 2009 02:58 PM

                                                                                            soupkitten, I sincerely think you have it backwards (and I'm not trying to have an arguement). It is not most hounds who think that the "pitmasters" are cranks and luddites. I think everyone here appreciates good and "real" BBQ. But it is the self-appointed "pit-master' group that cannot and will not put up with anyone even inadvertently calling their direct grilling "BBQ". That group gets red in the face if par-boiling is brought up, if anyone suggests that a crock pot can produce BBQ, that grilling over the coals in a backyard Weber is a wayward output of ther suburban 50s and 60s, and the like.

                                                                                            And I don't have a stake in this arguement: I don't really care how large hunks of meat are prepared. I like all of the meat products in question from slow indirect BBQ to kalua pig to a crock pot of meat made with love. At the same time, I don't eat that much red meat anymore; although I often get roped into doing it, I don't really care for doing the BBQing in any of its forms; and prefer to build my techniques in the kitchen making from ravioli or momos to French sauces to baked breads to pickles to curries to stir fries to the dishes of about 25 different countries including Japanese, Mexican, Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, French, Italian, Chinese and more.

                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                              alanbarnes Jun 11, 2009 03:23 PM

                                                                                              Let's try this one more time. I think we're singing from the same hymnal, we're just looking at different pages.

                                                                                              There are lots of food traditions called barbecue. And I happen to like most of them. The more traditional, the better. The culture does matter. It matters a lot. And becoming an expert pitmaster (I'll use the term loosely here to describe any accomplished barbecue cook) is just like becoming an expert cook of any other description. It takes time, dedication, and a healthy dose of raw talent.

                                                                                              What you don't seem to accept is that there is no unifying theme among and between all the various traditions called barbecue. Some cook with smoke, some with fire, some with hot rocks. Some use relatively high heat, others are low and slow. Some traditions use pork exclusively, some beef, some both, while yet others make the most of mutton, goat, and/or chicken in place of or in addition to the usual suspects.

                                                                                              It has nothing to do with modern conveniences. Every pitmaster who isn't rubbing sticks together to start a fire is using at least some "new-fangled" tools. There's nothing wrong with innovations; somebody can use a welded steel "pit," a propane burner, or a custom-made indoor cooker with a smokestack to the outside and still make food that fits firmly within an established barbecue tradition.

                                                                                              But that doesn't mean that the phrase "traditional barbecue" conveys any meaning. It's somewhat like saying a restaurant serves "traditional chicken." Cool. I like traditional foods. I like chicken. So I'll probably like "traditional chicken." But I still have no idea what we're having for dinner. Is it Peruvian roast chicken? Southern fried chicken? Or murg makhani, coq au vin, yakitori intestines, Buffalo wings, or chicken feet in black bean sauce? At least with "traditional chicken," I know what animal we're eating. With "traditional barbecue"? No such luck.

                                                                                              If you want "traditional barbecue" to mean anything, you have to provide more information. "Traditional smoke barbecue" is a step in the right direction; you've ruled out grilled foods, Santa Maria-style 'cue, and the traditions that rely on closed-pit cooking. But you're still a long way from saying anything meaningful. You have to be more specific. You have to tell us which tradition you're talking about.

                                                                                              I have no problem saying that a pork shoulder smoked low and slow over hickory isn't "real" Central Texas barbecue, just as sliced brisket that's been cooked at fairly high temperature in post oak smoke isn't "real" Carolina 'cue. But nobody in their right mind is going to claim that either of those things isn't barbecue.

                                                                                              There are even foods that aren't traditional, but are indisputably barbecue. Some folks, for better or worse, mix and match elements from different barbecue traditions. (There are those who would note that the pitmasters in Kansas City and Memphis have done just that, blending influences from the West and the South to make their own unique product.) KC barbecue has been around long enough that it can now lay claim to its own tradition, but even when it was just getting started, it was still barbecue, right?

                                                                                              At the risk of repeating myself, culture matters. But you have to tell us **which** culture before we know what you're talking about. Saying that there isn't a monolithic "barbecue culture" doesn't take anything away from numerous barbecue cultures out there. In fact, it emphasizes their individuality and importance by refusing to lump them all together.

                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                Justpaula Jun 12, 2009 12:48 AM

                                                                                                AB - I think you have expressed it best a few times over. That said. About 50 posts of reading, in this thread, I started to think that perhaps it would be okay to call the "pulled pork" the OP ate, BBQ "style". I figured "style" captured the essence, as most us BBQ dummies will allow, without having to say something is barbecued when it was made in a crock pot. Then I saw, a number of posts behind me that someone else thought "style" was appropriate. I felt smart. ;) But, then I started to think about BBQ sauce. I am a silly NYC girl who claims no knowledge of real BBQ. Although, when the summer months come around I do slow cook my ribs on our Weber grill. But, the sauce. Humph. Back in the cold, cold Winter, just a few months ago, I made pulled pork in the crock pot. I have a rub that I put on them, but, then...after this bone-in pork shoulder spent many hours in my crock pot, I pulled it and tossed it with some BBQ sauce. But here is the rub (no pun intended, ok, yeah, maybe), I MADE the BBQ sauce. It was not some HFCS stufff from a bottle. So, I guess, even after reading all these posts, what confuses me most is - the sauce. I mean, I THOUGHT I made BBQ sauce, but I am pretty ignorant on this subject. Is there even such thing as BBQ sauce? And if not, what the heck did I make? BTW, I made that dish for only my husband and I, so I never called it anything except, "Here, baby, dinner is ready, I hope you like it". :)

                                                                                                1. re: Justpaula
                                                                                                  ktmoomau Jun 17, 2009 01:04 PM

                                                                                                  Yes and you made pulled pork with BBQ sauce you didn't make BBQ pulled pork the sequence of the words makes all the difference.

                                                                                                2. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                  bkhuna Jun 12, 2009 07:30 AM

                                                                                                  Excellent treatise AB. Can you imagine this discuss live and with cocktails involved ?!?

                                                                                                  1. re: bkhuna
                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Jun 12, 2009 01:39 PM

                                                                                                    Can you imagine this discussion on the purity of cocktails? Pretty cut and dry? AAArrrgggh!

                                                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                    soupkitten Jun 14, 2009 12:46 PM

                                                                                                    i "have to tell you **which** culture" ?

                                                                                                    but, AB, the only thing i have been saying throughout the entire thread is that american barbecue is multi-regional and multi-ethnic. the only person on the thread claiming that *anyone* thinks american bbq is monolithic and unchanging, or trying to tie it to a specific regional style is you. the only "monolithic" so-called bbqed food would seem to be the post-1970's pork, beef, chicken, emu, carrot or tofu cooked in a crock pot with store bought gloppy sauce. . . it's this phenomenon that i, for one, take issue with.

                                                                                                    i'll repeat my statements (read the posts again): 1) crock pots were not part of any traditional regional bbq traditions. 2) (actually i think i said this first, but let's still call it #2) applying a mass-produced bottled sauce to any food regardless of how the food has been cooked (if it has been cooked at all) and *calling* it bbq--does not make it bbq. 3) cooking method is fundamental to the final product in bbq.

                                                                                                    you have already stated that you don't have any issue with making "bbq" in crock pots, so you would seem to disagree with my statements: #1 and #3. i don't know whether you agree or not with statement #2-- which is the whole point of the question the op asked. if you think that putting a bottled sauce on a carrot makes it a bbqed carrot, i wish you'd just state that now, so that it's clear we disagree on all 3 points. if you disagree with that premise, as one or two of your earlier posts would seem to indicate you do:

                                                                                                    "oversweetened ketchupy stuff that comes in a bottle really doesn't have anything to do with BBQ. The notion that that stuff is "BBQ sauce" only dates back to the 1950s"

                                                                                                    . . . well then i'd like to ask what in your opinion *does* make a bbqed food bbqed--- hmm, not cooking method, not sauce, not tradition. . .

                                                                                                    however if you, me, and the op agree that slapping storebought bbq sauce on a volkswagon does not mean we suddenly have a "bbqed volkswagon"-- what's the point of the extended argument?

                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                      alanbarnes Jun 14, 2009 06:05 PM

                                                                                                      >>"what in your opinion *does* make a bbqed food bbqed"<<

                                                                                                      Nothing. Or anything. In the absence of more specifics it's a meaningless word. It conveys no information. That's my point.

                                                                                                      If somebody wants to put Bull's Eye on a carrot and call it a barbecued carrot, more power to them. And if they want to cook the carrot for 10 hours in hickory smoke and call it barbecue, that's fine too. It may not be traditional. It may not even be good. But if you're going to claim that it's not barbecue, you first have to define what barbecue is.

                                                                                                      There are plenty of definitions of specific barbecue traditions. And I have no problem saying that carrots, however they're prepared, aren't traditional Santa Maria / Central Texas / East Carolina barbecue. But until you draw the line between what is and isn't "barbecue," it's pretty tough to say which side of it any particular food falls on.

                                                                                                  3. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                    johnb Jun 12, 2009 03:27 AM

                                                                                                    kitten
                                                                                                    Like a fool, I will also jump back into this discussion one last time, and in particular respond to your final question as a jumping off place, where you asked if it is reasonable to apply a term as loosely as possible to any type of food.

                                                                                                    In my view, while the discussion here has focused on food and culture, this leads us down blind alleys because it in fact is not primarily a culinary discussion, nor a cultural discussion, but an etymological discussion. What does the word mean, and what should it mean. For me, the purpose of words is to assist communication. Yes the word barbeque (spell it any way you want) is legitimately used, at different times and different places, to describe many different food preparations. Anybody can defend his defining it to include only his own particular preparation, or defend the principle that everything goes, or something in between, as we have seen here and in many other discussions on the subject. The problem to me is that, when a word comes to mean anything, and is accepted as meaning just about anything, then it means nothing, and loses its basic purpose as a word. It becomes truly meaningless. This by the way is why I fall in the prescriptive dictionary camp, not the descriptive camp that was discussed elsewhere in this thread. To me that's where the word BBQ has gone. If I sit down on an airplane and tell my random seatmate I ate BBQ last night, he has no clue what I ate. The word, in other words, lacks descriptive content. You are forced to qualify it some way. Personally I prefer that words have clear meaning, but I'm afraid that in the particular case of BBQ, it doesn't, and that's not going to change. The word will never have a precise meaning, so using it unqualified may be dangerous or even pointless except where you are speaking with someone who you already know shares your particular meaning, whatever that may be. But if you get on an airplane, or a Chowhound board, and just use the word without some further indication of what type/style/variety of BBQ you are referring to, you often fail to convey what you think you are conveying.

                                                                                                    Discussions like this are fun, and there's nothing wrong with having some fun. And the subject of BBQ in particular is well known as being a great vehicle for discussions leading to having this type of fun. But if the idea is to definitively define what it means, forget it. Won't happen. One person's slow cooked wood smoked pork rib is another person's raw carrot dipped in sweetened catsup, and from what my little brain can see that's the way it's going to stay.

                                                                                                    1. re: johnb
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      Steve Jun 12, 2009 06:10 AM

                                                                                                      Aw, c'mon, John, it's hardly written in the stars! We CAN make a difference. One bbq dipping carrot fiend at a time.

                                                                                                      As far as I am concerned, the ony bbq is pork. Beef doesn't count because it has no flavor, and chicken doesn't count because it's chicken. All the other animals may have value .... I don't know about those.

                                                                                                      Someday I hope to make a pilgrimmage to Texas to visit all those places that serve beef bbq and look so great. But up until now, anything I have eaten remotely considered beef bbq is pathetic. And a Caolina Q journey is somewhere in my future, just haven't gotten there yet. If Santa Maria style doesn't use wood, then my hopes for it are limited. As far as anything cooked in a hole in the ground, if the smoke doesn't reach it, then it might taste great but I still wouldn't call it bbq. And I am completely unsure why anyone is mentioning barbacoa in this thread. Sounds like a different word with a different meaning to me.

                                                                                                      1. re: Steve
                                                                                                        Naco Jun 12, 2009 06:30 AM

                                                                                                        What's the basis for all of these categorical statements, given that you apparently haven't had Texas barbeque, or bbq from the Carolinas, or barbacoa?

                                                                                                        1. re: Naco
                                                                                                          johnb Jun 12, 2009 06:37 AM

                                                                                                          Naco

                                                                                                          Have you ever heard the term "hook, line, and sinker?"

                                                                                                          And Steve, when you get set for that trip to Texas, give me a shout. I hear they grow great carrots down there.

                                                                                                          1. re: johnb
                                                                                                            Naco Jun 12, 2009 06:47 AM

                                                                                                            Yes.

                                                                                                          2. re: Naco
                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                            Steve Jun 12, 2009 12:38 PM

                                                                                                            As JohnB points out I am JK, but only in one sense. Part of me is "I'll believe it when I taste it." I can't wait for the day when I taste decent Texas bbq, but I wish all those folks trying to fawn their beef bbq on me where I live (DC area) would stop. It's tasteless and worthless calories masquerading as food. It's like all those 'Mexican' restaurants up here trying to sell us recipes replicating Taco Bell as an excuse to order margaritas.

                                                                                                            1. re: Steve
                                                                                                              johnb Jun 12, 2009 02:10 PM

                                                                                                              Steve
                                                                                                              Is that place "Willards" (I think it was called) out by the Capital Expo Center near Dulles still open? I recall they had some decent q in the old days, I think including some Texas style items.

                                                                                                          3. re: Steve
                                                                                                            paulj Jun 12, 2009 09:57 AM

                                                                                                            The Santa Maria style is, almost by definition,more specific about the wood than any other - it uses the local oak. There's a short Wiki article on the style.

                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                              Steve Jun 12, 2009 12:31 PM

                                                                                                              Good to know, thanks.

                                                                                                              1. re: Steve
                                                                                                                paulj Jun 12, 2009 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                Article on 'Santa Maria Style BBQ'
                                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Ma...

                                                                                                                Maybe we should require 'style' everytime BBQ is used :)
                                                                                                                Santa Maria Style
                                                                                                                West Texas Style
                                                                                                                Western North Carolina Style
                                                                                                                Fake crackpot style
                                                                                                                BBQ style braised carrots
                                                                                                                Kansas City style as done in Minot ND in the middle of winter

                                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                  Steve Jun 13, 2009 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                  Is that crackpot or crockpot? You gave me the biggest (maybe unintentional) laugh I've had for a while.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve
                                                                                                                    ktmoomau Jun 17, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                    I bet crackpot BBQ is REALLY addictive :)

                                                                                                          4. re: johnb
                                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka Jun 12, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                                                                            Same for "dumpling". I guess dumpling eaters are just calmer about providing modifiers about what we make and eat - gyoza, Nepali momos, soup dumplings, chicken and dumplings. All dumplings, all good.

                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                              bkhuna Jun 12, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                                                                              Anyone got any good recipes for crock pot dumplings? I'll be Sandra Lee can help.

                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                Caralien Jun 12, 2009 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                mmm, dumplings. don't forget ravioli, tortellini, pierogi...I'm sure there's a recipe for dumplings with bbq sauce (not that I would go out of my way to make it, but if I were stuck somewhere limited to the offerings of the house and it included frozen/dried dumplings of a sort and bbq sauce, I would see what I could do...but I wouldn't call it bbq).

                                                                                                                http://www.dinnerinabottle.com/juicy-...

                                                                                                                1. re: Caralien
                                                                                                                  Sam Fujisaka Jun 12, 2009 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                  Exactly, people discuss all sorts of dumplings - ravioli, pierogi, kreplach, dumplings from China to dumplings from Coon Holler - on the concurrent dumplin' thread without ever getting upset or disagreeable.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                    johnb Jun 12, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                    This of course raises the ultimate existential question: If you wrap carrots in dough and boil them, then pour on some Kraft BBQ sauce, can the result be called both "dumplings" AND "barbeque"?

                                                                                                                    1. re: johnb
                                                                                                                      Sam Fujisaka Jun 12, 2009 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                      According to Steve, only pork is BBQ. You have to wrap the carrot in bacon and then the dough.

                                                                                                                2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                  Bob W Jun 12, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                  Kreplach!

                                                                                                                  You are correct -- dumplings are by definition good. Of course, here in VA we call them dumplin's. 8<D

                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                    paulj Jun 12, 2009 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                    I've participated in threads about dumplings. Even in the narrower context of 'chicken and dumplings' you have to ask questions about the style. For some dumplings are highly leavened biscuits steamed on top of a stew or soup. But for others they are dense, more like thick home made noodles in texture.

                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                      Sam Fujisaka Jun 12, 2009 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                      Yes ... and no one ever tries to throw out someone else's dumpling from the wide kingdon of dumplings.

                                                                                                              2. d
                                                                                                                danieljdwyer Jun 12, 2009 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                I think one thing we should all keep in mind here is that barbecue is just a word. Words are routinely misused in the eyes of language purists. I doubt any of us goes through a whole day without misusing at least one term. And there are certain terms which are misused more often than they are not. Personally, I think it's silly to call something barbecue just because it has "barbecue sauce" on it, but I'm open to the use of the term for a whole lot of things that some people would say are not barbecue.
                                                                                                                Regardless of what you view as the correct definition of the word, you have to admit that at least a lot of people are using the word correctly. That's not true of some terms. How often do people use the term "irony" correctly? Almost never. When people use the term "tragic" to mean "calamitous", do they have any idea that the word tragic implies that the situation is the fault of the victim?
                                                                                                                The misuse of "barbecue" is completely innocuous, and as far as term misuse goes, I don't think it would make the list of the thousand most abused terms.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                                                                  paulj Jun 12, 2009 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                  As described in my dictionary, tragic, or more specifically 'tragedy', has evolved. In the classic Greek sense, the flaw in the victim is an important element. But Renaissance and modern drama are 'freer in style and choice of protagonist'.

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                    d
                                                                                                                    danieljdwyer Jun 12, 2009 03:51 PM

                                                                                                                    When a word is used incorrectly often enough, dictionaries eventually establish it as a correct secondary (or tertiary, quaternery, et cetera) definition. I'm not saying that it's incorrect to conflate the terms tragic and calamitous, but it is technically inaccurate.
                                                                                                                    As a technical term, as it is used by academics in literature or drama, tragedy still means that there is a tragic hero (the freer usage of the term in the Renaissance had to do with technicalities like no longer limiting a tragedy to a single day, and in modern drama the tragic hero doesn't have to die, but there still must be a character who is not the antagonist who suffers some calamity due to events they put into motion).
                                                                                                                    As a technical term as used in the culinary profession, barbecue has an exact meaning which does not fit with something like the barbecue carrots example. But my dictionary allows for this usage, or for calling a cookout a barbecue.
                                                                                                                    So, my point is simply that, regardless of what you consider to be the technically accurate definition of barbecue or tragedy or burger, it's not a big deal for people to use it differently or "incorrectly". You use words "incorrectly" all the time. I use words "incorrectly" all the time. Everyone I have ever met uses words "incorrectly" all the time.
                                                                                                                    If we're going to pick on people for calling something barbecue that we don't think is, then we all better be ready to be called out on our inaccurate terminology on at least a daily basis. Sounds like it would get messy to me.

                                                                                                                    1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                                                                      paulj Jun 12, 2009 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                      Not that I know anything about drama, classic or modern, but here's an interesting discussion on 'what is tragedy'. Its history sounds every bit as complicated as BBQ's.
                                                                                                                      http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A873858

                                                                                                                  2. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                    Steve Jun 13, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                    Are you actually trying to tell us that our little contretemps is a bit trivial in the Grand Scheme of Things?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve
                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                      danieljdwyer Jun 15, 2009 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                      Not at all. I don't find it trivial in the slightest, nor would I discourage anyone from making their opinion heard. I was just voicing my own, that words are tricky damn things. Trying to get everyone to use them the "correct" way is a losing effort, and "incorrect" usage is innocuous. Some people, though certainly not most who have contributed to this thread, could stand to chill out about it.

                                                                                                                  3. Passadumkeg Jun 12, 2009 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                    I've been following this thread w/ interest. American BBQ is something relatively new to me. Most of my early life, like many, BBQ was burning meat on the grill. In New Mexico in the 70's, the same was true. In northern Europe, it did not exist; and in South America I was introduced to the parilla and churasco, another grill type of charring meat, which I enjoyed very much. Maine is not exactly the heartland of BBQ and I was in stasis. My daughter moved to Austin a couple of years ago an there began my education and w/ some Carolina friends here in Maine. Last April the God of Scar, we took a road trip through the SW and south. I tasted a wide variety of beef and pork BBQs and enjoyed them very much. I must add that I have never cooked in a crock pot. I am a New Mexico food and chile purist and have trouble w/ what they call Mexican food in New England and can therefore, feel the pain of BBQ purists, no matter Carlina, Texas St. Louis, etc. I do not think that just pouring an commercial bottled sauce over slow cooked meat qualifies. I have recently been attempting to cook Texas brisket, with little success and Carolina style pulled/pork, with better success in my Brinker smoker. I look forward to landing in Seoul next week an on the way to my sons' (2), stopping for Korean BBQ. Language evolves and I can't help but wonder what will the BBQ discussion be like in another generation. Thanks all for a great read.

                                                                                                                    1. LA Buckeye Fan Jun 15, 2009 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                      If I cook it on a bbq, then it's bbq. Even my hamburgers and hot dogs. If I cook a chicken in a crockpot, it's crockpot chicken with bbq sauce. If I pull the pork, it's pulled pork. I'm a simple gal.

                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Jun 15, 2009 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                        I like it. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                          KTinNYC Jun 15, 2009 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                          Are you the same man that answered the question, "What is the difference between chowders and cream soup" with "Tradition and geography! Read John Thorn's Serious Pig. If it is in New England and by the sea it is chowdah. If you're form away and a flatlander it is soup." ; )

                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                            Steve Jun 15, 2009 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                            But is that really simplifying? For example, in my world, the term bbq would mean slowly cooked using the smoke from wood. See it on a menu, you know it would be the real deal.

                                                                                                                            But say 'anything' is bbq, or even the fairly limited qualifier 'cooked on a grill' and you still have to wonder what the heck somebody means. Why not just say 'grilled' if it is cooked on a grill?
                                                                                                                            Even charcoal grilled would be better, if charcoal is used. Grilled if simply gas is used, and it is indeed cooked on a grill.

                                                                                                                            I think that is clearer and simpler.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Steve
                                                                                                                              alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                              At the risk of repeating myself...

                                                                                                                              Santa Maria style barbecue is cooked over red oak that has burned down to coals. There's little or no smoke involved. Maybe it would be "clearer and simpler" to stop calling it barbecue and start calling it "wood grilled beef." But the folks in Santa Maria have been calling it barbecue for nearly 200 years.

                                                                                                                              In my world, "Steve" is a hysterically funny, slightly effeminate performance artist who lives in LA. His sister is one of our neighbors, and he's up to visit on a regular basis. When my wife says that Steve is in town, I know she's talking about "the real deal."

                                                                                                                              Sounds to me as though you're not Steve. It would be "clearer and simpler" if everybody just called you something else. How's "Cletis" sound?

                                                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                Steve Jun 15, 2009 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                I love it! Although it may be trouble and costly for me to legally change my name, I am going to insist on my family calling me that from now on, just to avoid confusion.

                                                                                                                                Actually, the prefix 'Santa Maria style' is enough of a modifier. Your explanation has not fallen on deaf ears. I look forward to trying this sometime.

                                                                                                                                In Baltimore, they have a food item called Pit Beef. It is very delicious and deserves a place in the pantheon of great eating. In Memphis, where folks take bbq fairly seriously, there is a famous place called Charile Vergos' Rendezvous. The name bbq does not appear on his sign nor on the menu. The world-famous Rendezvous sign says Charcoal Grilled Ribs.

                                                                                                                                There, it's not so hard.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Steve
                                                                                                                                  scoopG Jun 16, 2009 04:04 AM

                                                                                                                                  It's been an enjoyable ride following this thread. Just wait till these "guys" get their BBQ chops "smoking":

                                                                                                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnTqHj...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                    Steve Jun 16, 2009 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                    The armband was rejected by the legal department, but you can buy the "official BBQ apron." Remember, if you don't buy one, it's not really bbq. Just in time for Father's Day.

                                                                                                                                    There are lots of wonderful terms out there that have come into very common usage. The term 'wood-fired' is now on most new restaurant menus where 'bbq' would have been years ago. The efforts of bbq purists have not been in vain, as others have suggested. I think the "SMOKE" campaign (Stop Mendacity of Kitchen Entitling) is running on a low but steady flame.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                    soupkitten Jun 16, 2009 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                    so how do you make santa maria barbecue in a crockpot?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                      alanbarnes Jun 16, 2009 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                      First, you fill the crock with chunks of red oak. Light them on fire and let them burn down to coals. Then put a grate over the top and toss on a seasoned tri-tip. Simple enough, no?

                                                                                                                            2. alkapal Jun 16, 2009 02:41 PM

                                                                                                                              can i start hawking tickets for the soupkitten vs. alanbarnes bbq smackdown? ;-).
                                                                                                                              madison square garden good for you two?
                                                                                                                              let's see, soupkitten ("kitten with the iron mitten") will tag team with steve ("sock-it-to-'em steve"). hmmm, alan ("alan the gentleman pugilist"), who's got your back? sam ("sam the man") fujisaka?

                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                Sam Fujisaka Jun 16, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                I'm ready ... with my Weber, crockpot, chicken, and bottled sauces!

                                                                                                                                Actually, me folk come bynbye wit Daddy side Kalua pig - dose hot rock make same like big crock pot in d' san'.

                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                  Steve Jun 16, 2009 09:31 PM

                                                                                                                                  Speaking of bbq, has anyone ever pointed out that Bobby Flay is a euonym? And, no, I don't mean he has been castrated. That's another subject entirely.

                                                                                                                                  Now back to bbq. Good post, alka, and I insist we equally split the royalties on the grilling (uh, I mean bbq'ing) utensil endorsements.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                    soupkitten Jun 17, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                    heh heh. hmm, and i'll need my "bad guy "wrestling mask, my feather boa, my cape of evil darkness. . . .

                                                                                                                                    do you think i can find any bbq wood in nyc? i've never packed a suitcase full of applewood and berkshire pork shoulders before. . .

                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                      alanbarnes Jun 17, 2009 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                      I think we need to appear in full luchador regalia.

                                                                                                                                      Don't worry about checking luggage; I'll swing by and pick you up. We can even tow a trailer pit with us, but I'm going to need the generator to run my crock pots. Look out, New York!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                        KTinNYC Jun 17, 2009 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'll call MSG to see about availability.

                                                                                                                                        AB, I'll bring some extra extension cords for the crock pots. You'll have to bring your own Bullseye.

                                                                                                                                        SK, you bring the wood and I'll provide the shoulders.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg Jun 17, 2009 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                          Ab. Don't forget the liquid smoke so it tastes authentic. Can you paint a "ring" on the meat? Burn the meat a little before serving for a good char.

                                                                                                                                    2. Fritter Jun 17, 2009 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                                      On a lighter note (pun intended) I picked up a copy of "Seven Fires" by Francis Mallman at costco. A worthy addition to the book shelf and I'm looking forward to reading more about the many styles of grilling the Agrentine way

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