Wednesday, 27th May 2020
Food & Drink Article

This Month's Magazine
From Stone Age to Hi Society Costa del Sol.

From Stone Age to Hi Society Costa del Sol.

Cooking meat slowly over an open fire is something weÂ’ve been doing since the Stone Age, so it is hard to say for certain when and where modern classic BBQ originated.

One thing seems certain, the word barbecue was not invented in America and no one really knows who invented it.  The word 'Barbecue' might come from the Taino Indian word 'barbacoa' meaning meat-smoking apparatus. 'Barbecue' could have also originated from the French word "Barbe a queue" which means "whiskers-to-tail." which is a neat description for a whole roasted animal (seconded by the Oxford English Dictionary, which credits the origin of the word to French-speaking Haiti).

Barbecue really is slow-cooked meat at a low temperature for a long time over wood or charcoal, a type of open air cooking adopted in North America and some South American countries by cowboys and gauchos (in Argentina) whose only food was provided by the herds of cattle they were driving or looking after.

When you fire up your BBQ grill and toss a couple of steaks right over the hot coals, you are grilling the meat, not barbecuing in the classic sense. In grilling, the heat is high (usually 400 degrees or more) and direct, and the cooking is usually quite rapid.
Grilled meat will be charred on the surface (not caramelized), will usually not have any smoky flavour at all, and will be tough as shoe leather unless you start with very tender cuts in the first place.

Thus, the direct grilling method is normally reserved for burgers, hot dogs, steaks, chops, and chicken pieces -- things that donÂ’t toughen significantly even when exposed to high heat.

In the most traditional sense, barbecue is the process of cooking meat in indirect heat at very low temperatures. This accomplishes three important things:

  • The long exposure to low heat renders most of the fat out of the meat.
  • That same long exposure dissolves the collagens and connective tissues that make meat tough, so classic BBQ is fall-off-the-bone tender.
  • The exterior of the meat caramelizes, which produces an intensely flavourful crust or, as we like to say in BBQ circles, “bark.” (If “caramel” implies sugar to you, youÂ’re exactly right. All meats contain natural sugars that darken, or “caramelize,” when heated, and thatÂ’s what makes up your BBQÂ’s bark.)


Since the meat cooks in low indirect heat, very little of the natural juices in the meat boil off. Classic BBQ is therefore tender and juicy, pink in colour, and smoky in flavour, the precise flavour depending on what wood is used for the indirect heat that produces your smoke.

Over time, BBQ has evolved into a social event where friends, business friends and families gather round to spend a few hours together while enjoying the aroma and the delicious taste of different meats (and even fish at times or vegetables) cooked in the open air around a swimming pool, a garden, a patio and even on the beach.

The new custom has grown into an event that embraces a simple family gathering to a Hi Society Party and for this reason it has also become important to “impress” your guests with the food, the availability of a well stocked bar and certainly the BBQ, the focal point of everyone’s attention.

One can always have a built in BBQ, this however can be sightly when not in use and, when cold, they can attract unwanted insects. The “now you see it and now you don’t type” is probably the most practical, further more they can be moved to other locations quite easily.

Pias Chimineas in Nueva Andalucia certainly seem to have some excellent BBQ choices available designed to do the job right and also “impress”. What is more they also have some ancillary equipment that will enhance the ambience such the romantic fire bowls and torches that can be strategically placed for maximum effect and lighting.

A rather impressive BBQ model is the ASCOT. It is specially designed as an elegant and stylish BBQ on which you can prepare all the food that is required, but when finished, it quite simply converts to an outdoor fireplace. Just add some firewood to the charcoal embers and immediately envelop the party into a romantic atmosphere.

Pias Chimineas are always available for any consultation or special requirements that you might wish to adopt. Discuss the advantages or disadvantages between Propane Gas and Charcoal and which is best for your choice of cooking.

One thing is certain, whichever way you BBQ your meat, you just cannot beat the aroma, the taste and the ambience.

Pias Chimeneas
Nueva Andalucia, 29660
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Pias Chimeneas

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