Quiz: So How Much Do You Really Know About Grilling?

charcoal grill


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You Love to Grill


The unmistakable sizzling, smoking, and smells of a cookout tells the neighborhood that summer is here. You know how awesome grill marks look on a perfectly cooked steak, you know that everyone is certain that their rub recipe is the best, and you know that Amazon makes it impossible not to stockpile accessories and gadgets especially for barbecuing — but how much do you really know about grilling? Let's find out. 

Related: From Barbacoa to Yakitori: 25 Barbecue Styles From Around the World


When did the world first meet the charcoal briquette?

A. 1855
B. 1897
C. 1917
D. 1923

Hot Coals
Андрей Клеменков/istockphoto
American BBQ
historic grill

C: Victory in World War II

The expansion of the suburbs in the postwar boom years fueled the rise of the backyard cookout as an American tradition. In the late 1940s, most cookouts featured open brazier grills, the most basic kind of grill consisting of a cooking grid over a charcoal pan, which is also the least efficient and least predictable. Meat that was burnt on the outside and raw on the inside was common — as was a whole lot of ash.

Weber Original Kettle Premium 22" Charcoal Grill
charcoal grill

A: True

Unlike Henry Ford, George Stephen had a passion for barbecue, and he made the brazier grill obsolete when he invented the closed kettle grill in 1952. Back then, it was called Weber Bros. Metal Works, a sheet-metal shop in Chicago. Stephen, who was running the company, cut a buoy in half, attached legs to the bottom and a handle to the top, and the covered kettle grill was born. With the addition of a vent to regulate air intake and temperature, the Weber grill launched barbecue into the modern era and made Weber the biggest name in grilling. 

Related: 26 Barbecue Recipes and Tricks From Celebrity Chefs

Backyard Gas Grill
Maksym Ponomarenko/istockphoto

True or false? The gas grill was invented to make grilling easier.

A. True
B. False

Prepare The Propane

B: False

Gas grills were and still are more expensive to buy but easier to use, but that wasn't important to the duo who invented them. In the 1960s, Arkansas Louisiana Gas Co. employees William G. Wepfer and Melton Lancaster developed the propane grill as a way to get more people to buy more gas. It worked. Gas grills now account for 64% of grill sales in the United States. 

bbq sign

The term 'barbecue' comes from a culture indigenous to:

A. Africa
B. China
C. Spain
D. The Americas


D: The Americas

The Arawak Indians on the Island of Hispaniola used the word "barbacoa" to describe the process of cooking strips of meat over grates made from wood. The Spanish co-opted the word, which was then co-opted by the English, who changed it to its current form, "barbecue." 

gourmet meal

Which slang term for luxurious living comes from the world of barbecue?

A. "Living large"
B. "Upper crust"
C. "High on the hog"
D. "Lap of luxury"

cuts of pig

C: 'High on the hog'

Although it's not certain when exactly the term came into the language, "high on the hog" is both a metaphor and a literal phrase. It indicates the preferred cuts of meat from the top part of a pig — the shoulder and upper leg. Those were reserved for the wealthy elite. The peasantry ate cuts lower down on the hog, such as trotters and pork belly. 

Related: 11 Inexpensive Meats for Summer Grilling

Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is taken from which cut of beef?

A. Rib-eye
B. Porterhouse
C. Tenderloin
D. Chuck roast


C: Tenderloin

Taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin, filet mignon is one of the most famous and most expensive cuts of beef you can buy. Since it contains almost no fat, barbecue chefs should always make sure never to overcook it. When done right, you can cut through it with a fork. 

fresh t-bone steak

Which cut contains both a strip and a tenderloin?

A. London broil
B. Skirt steak
C. Brisket
D. Porterhouse

Porterhouse steak

D: Porterhouse

Similar to a T-bone, which is cut from the front of the loin and contains less filet mignon, Porterhouse steaks are cut from the back. One of the most prized cuts of meat on the menu, the porterhouse is distinguished by the T-bone that separates the large strip steak from the smaller tenderloin. 

Shish Kebab

The term 'shish kebab' comes from which country?

A. Turkey
B. Israel
C. Pakistan
D. Indonesia

Turkish Kebabs
by sonmez/istockphoto
burnt ends barbecue

Burnt ends are a trademark dish from what regional American style of barbecue?

A. Alabama
B. Kansas City
C. East Texas
D. Memphis

Kansas City, Missouri

B: Kansas City

Kansas City's status as a meatpacking hub gives it a long tradition of barbecue greatness. The hallmarks are thick, syrupy sauces and slow, low cooking over hickory wood. The style's signature dish is burnt ends, which come from the fatty ends of brisket.

Memphis, Tennessee
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

What is Memphis-style barbecue famous for?

A. Pork
B. Chicken
C. Beef
D. Shrimp

Memphis-Style Barbecue Ribs
Jay S./Yelp

A: Pork

Made with a dry rub cooked in a large pit, Memphis-style barbecue is all about pork. Usually served with a tangy sauce, Memphis-style ribs can be served on the bone, but the signature dish is pulled pork. 

Related: 15 Fantastic Regional Rib Recipes

pig with apple

An apple is placed in the mouth of a whole pig on a spit roast to:

A. Keep the mouth open to let gas escape
B. Smoke the apple
C. Balance the pig's head as it turns
D. Make it look less ghoulish

pig with apple in mouth close up

D: Make it look less ghoulish

The classic apple in the pig's mouth is purely for aesthetics at firehouse pig roasts. Although there are many misconceptions and myths surrounding the origin of the tradition, the reality is pretty simple. The apple prevents the pig's mouth from tightening into a painful-looking grimace. 

Related: Essential Barbecue Dishes Every Meat Eater Should Devour

Home-Ground Burgers

True or false? You should always press down on burgers as they cook on the grill.

A. True
B. False

grilling burgers
Barbecue Sauce Ribs

The first known reference to barbecue sauce comes from:

A. Ancient Rome
B. Ancient Greece
C. Ancient China
D. Ancient Mesopotamia

Chinese barbecue ribs

C: Ancient China

In 239 B.C., Chinese chef I Yin used dramatic and flowery language to describe the use of sauces to improve the flavor of cooked meat. He wrote a passage in "Master Lù's Spring and Autumn Annals" about the harmonious blending of ingredients that were salty, pungent, bitter, sour, and sweet. 

Related: 25 Finger-Licking Barbecue Sauce Recipes

american family grilling

How many Americans own a grill or smoker?

A. 24%

B. 54%
C. 64%
D. 84%

You Love to Grill

C: 64%

Nearly two-thirds of American adults own a grill or smoker, according to a report from Grand View Research. The majority of them are gas grills, followed by charcoal, which are distantly followed by electric grills. The grill industry was worth $5.1 billion as of 2019. 

barbecue grate
Adam Höglund/istockphoto

How much meat can the world's largest grill cook at one time?

A. 100 pounds
B. 1,000 pounds
C. 5,000 pounds
D. 4 tons

grilling ribs

D. 4 tons

In 2015, a man from Texas, not surprisingly, bought the world's largest barbecue pit for $350,000. The "Undisputable Cuz" stretches 75 feet, can be mounted on a semi-truck, weighs 40 tons, and has seven smokestacks, 24 doors, and a walk-in cooler for beer kegs.

George Foreman GRP472P

How many George Foreman Grills have been sold?

A. 1 million
B. 10 million
C. 50 million
D. 100 million

George Foreman Indoor-Outdoor 15+ Serving Domed Electric Grill

D: 100 Million

Boxing legend George Foreman had nothing to do with inventing the grill that bears his name, but he did prove to be one of the greatest pitchmen in sports marketing history. In the 1990s, the Salton company's small electric grill was just another gadget on the home goods market. In 1997, George Foreman was actually still fighting professionally in the heavyweight division at the age of 48. When the two joined forces, however, marketing magic happened, the Foreman Grill went global, and Foreman made upward of $200 million on more than 100 million units sold.

summer barbecue

What is America's most popular grilling holiday?

A. The Fourth of July
B. Memorial Day
C. Flag Day
D. Labor Day

independence day in back yard

A: The Fourth of July

About 73% of Americans barbecue on Independence Day, according to the Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association. The next biggest cookout holidays are Memorial Day (60%) and Labor Day (58%). Mother's Day and Father's Day rank high, too, but the tradition isn't limited to only the warm months. About 23% of the country barbecues during the Super Bowl, which takes place in February. About 10% hold cookouts on Christmas or Hanukkah. 

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall BBQ Joints Across America