Gut Rumbles

April 15, 2009


Originally published November 15, 2003

Let's get one fucking thing straight right now.

"Barbecue" is NOT a verb. It is a noun. It is NOT an appliance. It is not a goddam grill. You may grill steaks, you may grill shrimp or you may grill pork chops. But that ain't barbecue, and I don't care what kind of sauce you put on the meat.

You make "barbecue" out of Boston butts or pork spareribs. I will brook no argument about this simple truth. You don't barbecue beef. You grill it, and there's a damned big difference between grilling beef and making barbecue. I don't want to hear any more shit about it.

I am correct and YOU ARE WRONG if you disagree.

You can grill something fast. Just turn up the gas or make a big pile of charchol on the grill and you'll be finished quickly. Genuine barbecue is something you start early in the morning (or even the night before) to make it right for a 6:00 evening supper. You cook it slowly, with lots of hickory chips and smoke to season the meat. Put the rub on at the beginning, then drink beer as you check on the meat from time to time all day long and smell that goodness while you keep adding more wood chips to the fire. Invite some friends over and pitch horse shoes to kill some time.

Put the sauce on 30 minutes before you are ready to serve.

Then, when the meat is ready, shred the Boston butts by hand. Cut the ribs with a knife (even though they'll fall apart by then) and pile them high on a big plate. Have corn on the cob, hamburger buns, a salad and some Brunswick Stew to go with it. Tell everybody, "Let's EAT!"

THAT is barbecue. It's a goddam NOUN, not a verb.

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