Meat, fire and smoke. Since man learned how to make fire, this elemental trifecta has been a part of our lives. Add patience, time and a talent for harnessing heat and you have barbecue. But where barbecue truly began — and who it now belongs to — remains a subject of intense debate.
James Beard-nominated barbecue historian Adrian Miller believes the origin of barbecue is rooted in the intermingling of Indigenous, European and African cultures in the United States. Read more about the birth of barbecue here.
From the introduction of pigs to the U.S. to the first Black woman inducted into the Hall of Fame, here are some of the more notable moments in barbecue history.
Many women have helped change the face of barbecue history, though they sometimes go unsung. Here are five who played a crucial role in the evolution of America's most hotly debated food.
Want to take a deeper dive? Learn some of the secrets of Memphis barbecue here and what makes Alabama barbecue what it is here. What's in that state's famous white sauce anyway? We'll show you how to make it.
Venturing over to the Carolinas, you'll learn about the different barbecue traditions there. We'll also tell you how to make two uniquely South Carolina barbecue stews you've never heard of.
Now, you're ready to bring it all home. Here, James Beard award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott shares tips for smoking meat at home.
Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.
Reach me: email@example.com