Grilling, one of the easiest methods of cooking, is still one of the modern world’s favorite ways to create meals. It’s enjoyed especially in the warmer months when the weather is good. For those who are new to the subject of grill history, grilling is not quite the same as the barbeque — it’s a bit more basic and refers to a food being cooked directly over an open flame or high heat source. Barbeque, which uses a grill, often involves marinating or other preparation before putting it on the grill.
The cooking method stayed popular because it was a way to cook food more quickly while keeping it delicious. That’s why hot dogs, steak, pork and other meats are a favorite thing to cook for grill masters worldwide. However, the grill history in America’s Deep South illustrates another method that is very popular; slow grilling. With really only the toughest bits of meat being affordable, African American families learned that you could take a tough cut of pork and cook it slowly, transforming it into a delicious, juicy, flavorful meal.
Where Did Grilling Originate?
Grilling history goes way back, and we’re not sure its exact origins. We know that humans were probably cavemen when we first started to grill food, which means we were at least walking upright. The theory is that an ancestor of ours discovered grilling by holding meat directly over an open flame. For creativity’s sake, let’s think back to those days. It may have been cold in winter and the caveman and woman wanted to warm up. Maybe the meat was from a kill that froze in the snow. Large mammals often froze shortly after their death in the harsh winters of those days. However, historians also argue it’s possible that cavemen simply stumbled upon a few animals that had been killed in forest fires and they liked the taste.
Whatever the case may be, we know and understand that cavemen were the first ones to grill. It’s pretty commonsense that they continued to do it because it made an excellent meal. Historians also hypothesize that they may have noticed it was easier to digest. Whatever it was about this special method of cooking, it has stood the test of time and continues to evolve long past the point of the caveman days.
Who Invented Grilling?
We’ll probably never know who invented grilling. George Stephen, a welder who worked for Weber Brothers Metal Works, invented the backyard grill you are probably familiar with today in 1952. Historians and anthropologists say the act of grilling itself could have originated anywhere from two million to hundreds of thousands of years ago. What we do know is that grilling is a universal way to enjoy food, especially together. There is virtually no culture out there that cooks without grilling.
Grilling today is enjoyed around the world, and every culture has their own types of food they fire up on the grill.
History of Grilling in the Philippines
Traditionally, grilled foods have been saved for special occasions in the Philippines.
While not typically served in homes, there are plenty of grilled streets foods available to Filipinos. However, there is a love of skewering and grilling that is deeply embedded in Filipino culture. These foods, served as snacks, include many different meat combinations. On a typical day, you can find street vendors selling grilled and skewered chicken or pig intestines, skewered pigs ears, as well as more conventionally appealing cuts of pork.
A traditional grilled food for special occasions has always been lechon, the whole roasted pig. The cooking of this dish, which serves dozens, is an elaborate affair. The pig is seasoned and skewered, then turned in a pit of charcoal. It roasts all day and is turned fairly often. The cook tends to it for hours, basting and turning until it’s very crisp and ready to serve.
Backyard grilling is a hobby and tradition of many lifestyles and cultures. Grilling brings people together to eat and celebrate life. The methods in which we grill are often different. Many people use elaborate spices and rubs before throwing food on the grill, while others just grill their favorite meat until it’s no longer rare and put it on a plate to enjoy, adding the spices such as salt and pepper afterwards. But no matter where you are in the world, grilling is probably an important part of your food history and culture. Humans will continue to love the taste and experiment with new flavors as the history of grilling evolves.