Called barbe a queue by the French, this method of cooking was originally des-cribed as a way of roasting whole animals or fowls in the open. Spitted from beard, barbe, to tail, queue, the animal was roasted in a closed or open pit over heated
stones, coals or a wood fire.
It is said that this cooking method was introduced into America by French buc-caneers in the seventeenth century. It is more likely, however, that it was already being used by the American Indians.
Barbecueing is popular in the United States where, in good weather, food is cooked out-of-doors on braziers or grills over
charcoal fires. Some equipment is necessary and appliances ranging from simple braziers to complicated electrically
operated spits are widely available. Simple equipment, however, can be improvised.
Grilling, spit and skewer cooking, pit roasting and smoke cooking are the four main methods of barbecueing.
Grilling and spit and skewer cooking are the two methods most commonly used. Pit roasting has died out, except in New
England where the clambake still remains popular and in Polynesia where the luau (loo-ow) is enjoyed.
Smoke cooking is a process which cooks the meat and flavours it at the same time. This is not practical for most people
because a special oven, made of brick or metal, is required.
Barbecue is also a term now used to describe dishes in which meat, fish or fowl is marinated, then grilled or baked in the oven and basted or served with spicy, piquant sauces.