Humans have been grilling meat ever since the domestication of fire some 500,000 years ago. Ever since, the sights, sounds, and smells of meat have intoxicated our senses and drawn us into community around the open flames and smoke of the grill.
Every culture in the world has its tradition of grilling. In Japan, yakitori carts, restaurants, or shops have charcoal-fired grills that serve marinated grilled meat, fish, and vegetables on a stick. In Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand, satay is a popular street food, which is marinated meat on a bamboo skewer grilled over a charcoal fire and served with peanut sauce. In South Asia and the Middle East grilled kabobs with chicken, lamb, or goat can be found just about anywhere and have become a basic daily staple in many countries.
Grilling first appeared in the U.S. in the earliest European settlements in Virginia and Massachusetts where the colonists referred to open flame grilling as “barbacoa”, reputedly a Native American word that evolved in its usage by the European settlers over time into “barbecue.”
But grilling in the U.S. as we know it today didn’t really take off until after World War II when the middle class began to move to the suburbs in the 1950’s and backyard grilling was popularized. In suburban Chicago, George Stephen, a metalworker by trade and a tinkerer by habit, had grown frustrated with the flat, open brazier-style grills common at the time. Once he inherited controlling interest in the Weber Bros. Metal Spinning Company that was best-known as a maker of harbor buoys, he decided the buoy needed some modification. He cut it length-wise, added a grate, used the top as a lid and cut vents for controlling temperatures. The Weber grill was born and backyard cooking has never been the same since.
Today we take pleasure in grilling year-round for our family and friends while experimenting with different foods and special “designer” grilling spices. Spice Your Life has a line of special gourmet spices and salts that will elevate your “grilling game” to make these gatherings a feast of aromas and flavors that you won’t soon forget!