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Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Roots of California Barbecue

California Barbecue Cooks - c. 1890

In the latest issue of Smoke Signals Magazine is my article about the origins of California barbecue. In it I compare and contrast the unique California styles of barbecue with southern barbecue. Here is an excerpt:

"Now, let’s imagine that we select a typical southern barbecue lover and send him out to California for the first time and take him to a California barbecue. There, he very well may be served tri-tip barbecued to a perfect medium rare. Or, perhaps he will be served a rib-eye steak cooked Santa Maria barbecue style. The southerner’s likely reaction will be for him to declare that he is at a cookout, not a barbecue, and that all the meat has been grilled and not barbecued at all. And though he may enjoy the meal, deep within his southern heart he will be convinced that he is not eating “real” barbecue and might even be a little insulted that someone would dare use the word barbecue to refer to nothing more than grilled meat served at a cookout."

Regardless of the typical southerner's reaction to California barbecue, the barbecued tri-tip and Santa Maria grilled ribeyes are as much a part of American barbecue as pork shoulders slow cooked over hickory coals. Read all about it in this issue of Smoke Signals Magazine. Just click here.

And, if you want to try your hand at some California barbecued tri-tip, here is a pretty good recipe. California Barbecue Tri-tip.

California style barbecued tri-tip.

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