Barbecue is one of the oldest known forms of cooking, says Dennis Haggerty. Archeological evidence suggests that cavemen began roasting meat over fire around 400,000 years ago. Today, people from all walks of life enjoy barbecue as a delicious and nutritious meal.
Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster with a smokehouse full of custom-made smokers, or you simply want to learn more about the science of barbecue so you can impress your friends at your next backyard cookout, this article is for you. You’ll discover three interesting facts about the science of barbecue, including why adding wood to your barbecue will make your food taste better.
Many people like to barbecue with a specific type of sauce. BBQ sauce is a condiment that comes in many forms, including brush-on, pourable, and even chunky. You can buy ready-made sauces or make your own. You can also buy specialty sauces for other types of cuisine, such as Asian-style barbecue sauce for pork.
The main difference between types of barbecue sauces is flavor. Many people like a tangy barbecue sauce, while others like a sweeter sauce. You can even make your own combinations of spices to achieve the flavor you like.
The one thing all barbecue sauces have in common is sugar. Sugar helps caramelize the flavor in the meat and is a necessary ingredient for that sticky, savory flavor! This is why ketchup is such a popular base for BBQ sauce, says Dennis Haggerty–it’s filled with natural and added sugars.
There are a few different theories about the science behind barbecue’s great taste. One popular theory is that salt, not smoke, is what gives barbecue its unique flavor. The salt has so long to heat and sink into the meat that it can change the flavor drastically.
Another popular opinion is that the meat’s connective tissue breaks down during cooking, releasing amino acids into the sauce that form the basis for the meat’s savory flavor.
But the most common explanation is that the wood used for burning adds subtle flavor to the meat. Wood smoke flavor comes from a variety of plant substances, including plant oils and amino acids that are released when wood burns.
When you’re cooking with charcoal, you’ll want to pay close attention to the temperature of your grill. Cooking too hot will produce a lot of smoke, but not much flavor says Dennis Haggerty. Cooking below medium-high will produce more smoke than flavor. The temperature for barbecue is typically between 350 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re using gas or electric grills, the temperature shouldn’t be any lower than 300 degrees. And keep in mind that the higher the temperature, the shorter the cooking time.