11 Delicious Facts To Raise Your BBQ IQ

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1. The word “barbecue” has a complicated past.

There are multiple theories. The most common one says it stems from "barbacoa," which is a West Indian term for "slow cooking over hot coals." The least common says it comes from a bar, beer, and billiards restaurant called the "BAR-BEER-CUE-PIG." You choose a side.

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There are multiple theories. The most common one says it stems from “barbacoa,” which is a West Indian term for “slow cooking over hot coals.” The least common says it comes from a bar, beer, and billiards restaurant called the “BAR-BEER-CUE-PIG.” You choose a side.

2. And more drama: two different cities each claim to be the Barbecue Capital of America.

Memphis, TN and Kansas City, MO are both home to giant competitive barbecue tournaments, so each one says it can own the title. That said, Lexington, NC somehow managed to earn "Barbecue Capital of the World."

Thinkstock / Via thinkstockphotos.com

Memphis, TN and Kansas City, MO are both home to giant competitive barbecue tournaments, so each one says it can own the title. That said, Lexington, NC somehow managed to earn “Barbecue Capital of the World.”

3. Barbecues are a long-standing presidential tradition.

Lyndon B. Johnson threw the first White House barbecue to feature "Texas-style" ribs, and Jimmy Carter hosted a "pig-pickin'" for 500 people. Amurrica!

Steve Snodgras (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: stevensnodgrass

Lyndon B. Johnson threw the first White House barbecue to feature “Texas-style” ribs, and Jimmy Carter hosted a “pig-pickin'” for 500 people. Amurrica!

4. Grilling isn’t just for the summer.

60% of grillers say they barbecue year-round.

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60% of grillers say they barbecue year-round.

5. The world’s longest barbecue was 80 hours.

Getty Images/iStockphoto Brandon Bourdages

EIGHTY. In Georgia, Jan Greeff cooked 1,000 hot dogs, 200 pieces of corn, and more to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

6. And the world’s largest barbecue had over 45,000 people.

The massive event took place in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Thinkstock / Via thinkstockphotos.com

The massive event took place in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

7. While we’re talking numbers, there are four different types of pork ribs.

Know thy meat. Spare ribs are the most common, and come from the underbelly of the pig; St. Louis-style are similar to spare ribs, but the breastbone is removed; country-style have the highest meat-to-bone ratio; and baby-back have the least fat.

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Know thy meatSpare ribs are the most common, and come from the underbelly of the pig; St. Louis-style are similar to spare ribs, but the breastbone is removed; country-style have the highest meat-to-bone ratio; and baby-back have the least fat.

8. Baby-back ribs got their name because they’re shorter than spare ribs.

Not because they come from baby animals, you monster.

Mike (CC http://BY-2.0) / Via Flickr: anotherpintplease

Not because they come from baby animals, you monster.

9. But the original style of rib was probably “mammoth.”

In 2009, researchers found mammoth ribs (photo unavailable, due to extinction) in a 4-ft. cooking pit that appeared to date back to 29,000 B.C. The area was also covered with conch shells, which made archaeologists wonder whether the barbecue had been a "surf-and-turf" meal. Fancy.

Via thinkstockphotos.com

In 2009, researchers found mammoth ribs (photo unavailable, due to extinction) in a 4-ft. cooking pit that appeared to date back to 29,000 B.C. The area was also covered with conch shells, which made archaeologists wonder whether the barbecue had been a “surf-and-turf” meal. Fancy.

10. There’s an actual science to measuring barbecue heat with your hand.

Next time you float your hand over your grill, do it with purpose. Hold your palm five inches above the grill and count the number of seconds before you feel the urge to yank it away.

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Next time you float your hand over your grill, do it with purpose. Hold your palm five inches above the grill and count the number of seconds before you feel the urge to yank it away.

11. Something to look forward to: National Barbecue Day is on July 13.

Get your grills ready. And beef lovers can have twice the fun: National Prime Rib Day is April 27.

Thinkstock / Via thinkstockphotos.com

Get your grills ready. And beef lovers can have twice the fun: National Prime Rib Day is April 27.

And the most delicious fact of them all: TGI Fridays now has Rib Flight Trios, meaning you can get three flavors for just $10.

Between Chipotle Smoked BBQ, Applewood Bacon-Crusted, Sweet Memphis Rub, Tennessee BBQ, and Famous Jack Daniel's®, you can't go wrong.

Between Chipotle Smoked BBQ, Applewood Bacon-Crusted, Sweet Memphis Rub, Tennessee BBQ, and Famous Jack Daniel’s®, you can’t go wrong.

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