QI BBQ facts to drop round the grill

QI BBQ facts to drop round the grill

Posted on June 20, 2017

The grill season is upon us and with it comes the prospect of great moments with family and friends around the BBQ. If you are lucky you will enjoy a nice glass of wine and some delicious food with the people you love in the sunshine. If you are less lucky the weather will change as the first sausage goes on, the chief griller gets distracted and you and your friends prepare to eat your way through a pile of burnt meats in the rain…

At that moment it would be useful to share these QI facts about Barbequing to not only illustrate your broad and worldly knowledge but also lift the spirits of your assembled friends and family. Here goes…

The oldest form of cooking in the World

Our ancestors probably stumbled on the concept of cooking meat by accident. A delicious whiff of a prehistoric ox or horse that had been roasted in a forest fire was tasted and an epiphany followed!


South Africa lead the way

The ‘Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa is over 1 million years old and was inhabited by Homo erectus – the first conscious users of fire. Their cooking of meat led to 4 significant changes in human history. Firstly cooked meat is easier for our entire system to digest which led to brain growth. Secondly, cooked meat is easier to chew so the jaw, mouth and lower jaw shrank leaving further calories for brain growth. Eating became a social event with our ancestors gathering around the fire and finally the need to keep the fire burning drove organisation and division of labour.



The ancient Romans invented focaccia bread that was originally cooked on a fire. ‘Focus’ actually means fireplace in latin so you could say that all roads lead back to the barbecue!


Its Grate!

To track the beginnings of our modern concept of barbecuing we have to look at the Spanish conquistadors who colonised the Caribbean in the 1500s. The Caribbean Taino Indians placed foods on a wooden grate and they called it ‘barbacoa’.


No Escape!

Today you can see the prevailing influence of cooking over a fire in every corner of the globe. From the Braai that is so central to the South African way of life to Texas, Carolina, Memphis and Kansas who all have a rich history of barbecuing certain meats in a particular way. Russia has Shashlik, Jamaica has Jerk, China’s Char Siu and India has Tandoori. The influence is everywhere!


We are celebrating South Africa’s single most commonly shared activity amongst all people in this melting pot of cultures and eleven official languages by giving away Makulu Braai BBQ Kits all summer long.

For your chance to win enter at makulumoments.com and tell us about your Perfect #MakuluMoments or visit our social media pages.

Source: The Origin Of Barbecue by Steven Raichlen