We have all heard so much about it, we have all eaten it, smelled, it seen it , most of us love it and feel their mouths watering just from the very thought of it.... It smells deliciously, it can be smoked, it can be juicy even if it is well done....and even vegetarians or vegans are not left over.... Unfortunately if you live in an apartment or in some North European country you can only have it in a restaurant or in an open-air event, in short not whenever you wish! Have you guessed? What am I talking about?

BBQ, oh yes! Barbecue, barbecue or more informally BBQ or barbies (so many different words) when used as a noun can refer to: the cooking method itself, the meat (or other ingredient) cooked this way, the cooking apparatus/tool used (the barbecue grill ), or to a social event based on this type of cooking.

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When used as a verb, i.e. "barbecuing" it means preparing/cooking, usually outdoors, by smoking the meat/fish over wood or charcoal. It is usually done slowly over low, indirect heat and the food is flavored by the smoking process, while grilling, a similar cooking technique, is generally done a lot more quickly over moderate-to-high direct heat that hardly produces smoke (Wikipedia).

But have you wondered why it has become so popular or why it is considered a reason to get together with friends? And most importantly, do you know where you can enjoy it everyday? Yes, I really mean it, every day during your next holiday! Just read through the whole article and you will find out all the answers and much more....

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So, what makes barbecuing so liked today and why do we associate it with gatherings? It probably comes from its origins, when it was first used by native groups (It is believed that the word barbecue originates from Haiti and was used by the Taino Indians) and this idea of getting together around the "fire", the BBQ, with friends and relatives even nowadays gives us the idea of something common,something festive, something we share... Why? In a way it brings people back to their roots, providing more than just a cooking experience but quite often an escape from civilization and brings us closer to nature. Thus barbecues continue to be a very popular and easy way for socializing, celebrating, relaxing, enjoying...

And before I continue sharing some more facts about barbecues and barbecuing, as already promised, I will reveal to you those places where you can enjoy barbecues every day, whenever you wish , the way you wish them: find them out here

But that is not all....I know you love it but do you really know what barbecue is and how various it can be?

Barbecue is used in many areas around the world and therefore it varies from place to place. Even the word Barbecue itself has different meanings in British and American English. However, the longest tradition of barbecuing remains the North American one and particularly the southeastern region of the United States (between Texas, Oklahoma., Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean on the east).

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Barbecues are traditionally held outside and can be used for any occasions and on every day. Although today barbecues held in different geographic areas vary the cuisines all hold the same concept of cooking outside and over a fire.

The ingredients used for BBQ also vary, although the main one is the the meat (starting from pork and going through veal, beef, pork..) we can also barbecue fish and different vegetable.

Different words, different meanings, different ingredients, even different...cooking techniques: Smoking, roasting, braising...which one is your favorite?

Smoking, if you like the smoked taste then you can enjoy not only meat or fish but even cheeses and vegetables on a BBQ. Smoking is the original technique that uses smoke (usually from burning wood) to flavor and cook at low temperatures and considerably longer cooking times (several hours).

What about roasting - another technique for which you will need a masonry barbecue; it allows for an open flame but cooks more quickly and uses convection to cook with moderate temperatures for an average cooking time of about an hour.

Or why not braising (my favourite) - the technique that combines dry heat charbroil-grilling directly on a ribbed surface and braising in a broth-filled pot for moist heat. A gas or electric charbroil grill are the best choices for barbecue-braising. When choosing this technique, cooking occurs at various speeds, fast at first then slowing down, then speeding up again and thus lasting for a few hours.

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There are two advantages to barbecue-braising; it allows browning of the meat directly on the grill before the braising. It also allows for glazing of meat with sauce and finishing it directly over the fire after the braising. This effectively cooks the meat three times, which results in a soft, textured product that falls off the bone. The time needed for braising varies depending on whether a slow cooker or pressure cooker is used; it is generally slower than regular grilling or baking, but quicker than pit-smoking.

And since most people think that BBQ is for the meat and fish lovers, here is one of my favourite veggie and even vegan BBQ recipe for a delicious ending:

Tofu and Vegetables Skewers

Ingredients:

  • 300 g diced tofu

  • 4 Roman zucchini cut into medium slices
  • 1 red pepper cut into medium pieces
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • long wooden sticks (leave them to soak in cold water for about 20 minutes)

For the marinade:

  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • olive oil

Preparation

Mix the ingredients for the sauce to prepare a homogeneous compound in which the vegetables and tofu will be marinated (soaked ). Use a fairly large bowl. Once the marinade sauce is ready, soak the vegetables and tofu in it for at least a couple of hours, occasionally turning them from one side to another. Once the vegetables and tofu are well marinated, proceed by piercing them on the special sticks alternating pieces of tofu with zucchini and peppers. At this point, your skewers are ready to be grilled.

Cook them on a barbecue for about 15-20 minutes, turning them often and brushing occasionally with the marinade sauce.

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I bet that at this point you have your mouths watering.

So, hurry up, find your ideal holiday rental home and enjoy BBQs and gatehrings every single day!

Buon appetito!