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Barbecue and Grill

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Thank you Andy Rooney!

Yes, I am stealing... borrowing, a cliche line from Andy Rooney. "Have you ever wondered why TV chefs with their own shows don't seem to know the difference between barbecue and grilling?"

I guess that this is not a huge issue. If it was, then more BBQ people like my self would be upset. I consider myself a barbecue guy as well as a grill guy. However, there is a difference. A grill... is a grill. You don't barbecue on a grill. It's really very simple.

Grilled foods are cooked on a grill over direct heat, or over semi-indirect heat, depending on your grill. Barbecue is cooked using smokers, with indirect heat... and wood. Temps are low and slow. Tossing a burger on a grill is not barbecue. It's grilling.

Don't take my rant the wrong way, I love burgers on the grill. In fact, I could eat a nice grilled burger every other day. On the other days I'm eating Que... from a smoker.

Imagine if I was on a TV beer brewing show and called everything Pale Ale... even the Porters! That would be crazy. Beer people would go nuts and start throwing fruit infused IPA's all over the place.

I've been told that the problem is really a regional language issue. The word "barbecue" is a generic term for "grilling" and or "grills." OK, I get it. However, if it's a regional language thing, when you are doing a national TV show, would you not point out that the two actual cooking methods are completly different? Apparently not.

Truth be told, I don't care if a food is grilled or slow cooked on a barbecue. I'll dig into both with a passion that may cause anyone close to lose a finger if the food is good.

I guess my point is this... well, actually... I don't know what my point is other than it really bugs me. I guess I need to grab a few bratwursts and toss them on the barbecue.

In the words of Homer Simpson "DOH!"

On a side note: How often can you bring up Homer Simpson and Andy Rooney in an a foodie blog. I love the culinary life.

Kent Whitaker is a celebrated cook, author, award-winning culinary writer, husband, father, and harmonica player. 

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