barbecue grill

American History: The Barbecue

Whether you call it “barbecue”, “barbeque”, “bar-b-q”, or shorten it to “BBQ”– it’s definitely a favorite American past time.  One of the first known mentions of barbecue in American history was from none other than George Washington himself, who once stated in his journal that he “went to Alexandria to a barbecue and stayed all night”. So the traditional art of cooking outdoors on an open fire can be traced back to our first president and beyond. During the American Revolution, troops were equipped with small barbecue grills that contained everything a soldier would need for dinner.

BBQ Ranch Bacon Cheeseburger

Barbecue gained popularity during the late 1800s, and in 20th century America, it became more formalized as a social ritual. In 1941, the Fourth of July became a U.S. holiday, and July eventually became known as National Barbecue Month thanks to the popularity of summer cookouts.  Now, more than 77% of all U.S. Households own a barbecue grill. Most families barbecue nearly all year round and use their grills as much as five times a month, enjoying food like hamburgers, steak, hot dogs, and chicken.

But even vegetarians and vegans can enjoy “barbecue”! Since the meat-free population has been rapidly growing, it’s only natural for the idea of what barbecue is to evolve as well and holiday traditions can easily be expanded to include new recipes. Here are five links to some tasty barbecue recipes for you vegans and vegetarians out there:



"The History of Barbecue." The History of Barbecue. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"The History of BBQ: How Americans Have Made It Our Own - Protect The Harvest." Protect The Harvest. N.p., 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

Wei, Clarissa. "An Illustrated History of Barbecue in America." First We Feast. N.p., 09 June 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2016. <>.