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With Memorial Day already in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to turn our focus to backyard grilling. Barbecues are a summer staple (if not a completely suitable replacement for real BBQ). While you might think that you can just grab some hot dogs, hamburgers, and lighter fluid and create a memorable event, it’s important to realize that preparation is the key to a successful barbecue. We don’t grill much at SkyMall Tuesday headquarters because the New York City government frowns upon using charcoal inside of apartment building. That said, we’re well-versed in the tools of the trade and know what it takes to put together a backyard feast worth its weight in flank steak. If you’re going to man (or woman, as it is 2012) the grill for your friends and family, turn to SkyMall and don the Grill Sergeant BBQ Apron.
My father moved to Memphis while I was in college. An upstate New York native, I was a bit of a stranger to this brave new world below the Mason-Dixon line. Of course, one of the first things that I had to learn about was Memphis barbecue. They take it very seriously there, arguing about which place is supreme. I’m a fan of Payne’s, simply for the down home feel, but you’ll find advocates for Neely’s, the Rendezvous, Cozy Corner, and Central BBQ in different parts of the city. What was impressed upon me most was that I was having Memphis barbecue. The fact it was theirs, a product of the history and the people that lived there, and that they had opinions about it — very strong opinions, in fact — was an essential component.
As I traveled more and more across the United States, I learned that each and every city with a vibrant ‘cue culture is very proud of each and every one of their regional differences. America is homogenized in most things; most of these cities with lots of ‘cue also have exurbs with big box stores and the like that are the same in each and every city. Barbecue is where these cities get to cut loose and show off what their respective culinary traditions have to offer. Read more
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