It’s the most wonderful time of the year: barbecue season!
I love barbecue. Whenever we visit my sister (outside of Kansas City), we have to go to get some of the best barbecue in the country. No matter the weather, if I drive by a barbecue restaurant, I have to put the windows down to take in the aroma.
If we are going to move forward with talking about barbecue, we need to straighten something out. Barbecue is not a cookout or a party. Those are called… well, cookouts and parties. Barbecue is not cooking device. Those are called grills and smokers. Barbecue is a method of cooking and the food that results from that cooking technique. That is all. And that’s all it needs to be. Because barbecue is the best.
Here are the basics of barbecue: heat, smoke, time. That’s it. When done right, good barbecue doesn’t even need sauce. Most barbecue is meat, of course, and the best meat for barbecue is at the center or arguments all over the internet. In Kansas City, pork ribs are the star. In Texas, it’s brisket. In North Carolina, pull pork is king (and my personal favorite). There volumes and volumes worth of history of barbecue. The key ingredient, though, is smoke applied for a long time with low heat. And that is good news.
It’s good news because barbecue is great for people with food allergies. Literally almost anything can be barbecued. Dairy and eggs aren’t needed for good barbecue. Can’t have soy or wheat? Then don’t. You don’t need them. Unless you are allergic to all food (which I know some people are, but most aren’t), barbecue is likely an option.
So by now you are probably thinking, “So where is the barbecue recipe?” One may be coming, but that was not the point of this post. The point is that a lot of the time, those of us dealing with food allergies and/or restrictions tend to focus on all the things we can’t have. We forget about all the amazing things we can have. Tonight, we had chicken. Simple: chicken, salt, hickory smoke. Admittedly, it was grilled rather than barbecued, but the hickory smoke made it some of the best grilled chicken I have ever made. So, as I’ve said before, you can do this. Don’t forget about the simple but amazing things you probably can have. Break out the smoker – it’s barbecue time!