Busted: 3 Commonly Held Barbecue Beliefs That Cause Debate

As one of the most controversial foods, barbecue has spawned plenty of questionable theories and laughable myths over the years. While many are heavily influenced by geographic battle lines, others are likely the result of overactive imaginations and tall tales around the fire. In this post, we clear up three misconceptions that tend to cause friction between barbecue lovers.

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1. Barbecue isn't barbecue without barbecue sauce

Barbecue sauce does not make barbecue. In fact, many pit masters who have spent hours stoking the coals with care, tending to the meat with love, and monitoring temperatures with precision would consider that an insult. The truth is that a well-cooked, adequately spiced, perfectly smoked piece of meat shouldn't require anything else to taste good. Great barbecue has nothing to hide.

Sure, some meals call for the sweet, spicy, or vinegary sticky sauce, but it's not mandatory. If a restaurant douses their meat in the popular condiment before serving, you should probably question the quality of the barbecue.

2. Meat should fall off the bone

Few meals beat succulent ribs with seductive flavors and the perfect degree of tenderness. However, there's much debate over texture. While some people are adamant rib meat should fall off the bone, others are equally unyielding in their opinion that meat should pull off the bone easily and cleanly. Who's right?

Well, by widely accepted competition standards, the latter group has it. Properly cooked ribs should have a crusty bark with a slight crunch and chew, as well as tenderness with a slight resistance. The meat should effortlessly come away from the bone with each bite, but it shouldn't fall off the bone. In fact, if the meat has a mushy texture or it flops onto your plate as you're lifting the rib to your mouth, it's likely overcooked.

Taste and preference are subjective though. You're free to enjoy meat that falls off the bone. Just don't go around calling your opinions fact. If you're a budding competitor, it certainly won't do you any favors.

3. The fat cap is bad, trim it all off

Although you want your meat to absorb smoke and the flavors of your rub, fat is also incredibly tasty. There's no need to deprive yourself of the best of both worlds, especially since a thin layer of fat offers several benefits when cooking food low and slow. Simply trim the fat cap down to about 1/8 of an inch. Most of that will melt away, but you'll still have a delicious layer to enhance your barbecue experience. In addition, you can capture some of the melted fat to make gravy.

More Debates?!!

Hungry for more topics to spark up some interesting conversation while you cook that next masterpiece? No worries! We've got you covered - Here's a few other KickAss Grill topics to debate with anyone or at least enhance your point of view on these frequently debated topics in the barbecue arenas -

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