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Four Strange Moments in Barbecue History

By Williams & Brown LLP on March 7, 2014

Texas Personal InjuryThe earliest known instance of humans cooking meat over a controlled flame took place roughly 1.6 million years ago. According to a Harvard anthropologist, eating cooked meats allowed our bodies to focus on the brain’s growth, since less energy was being spent on digesting raw foods. As our brains grew, so did our technological and intellectual accomplishments, culminating in today’s modern world.

Despite all the changes, cooked meats are still around, and people love barbecue as much as they probably did back then. The passion for barbecue in Texas is so great that the state has barbecue rivalries both without and within. Whether you’re a fan of the minimalist, meat-oriented style of Central Texas barbecue, or the chopped, sauce-based style of East Texas barbecue, you should find the following strange stories of barbecue history to your taste.

You Might Need a Napkin for That

In the summer of 2008, one crazy kook broke into a couple’s house with his whole body absolutely drenched in barbecue sauce. The cops were called, the man was stopped, and everyone was puzzled. When asked about the sauce, the man said he was using “urban camouflage” to “hide from the government.” Perhaps sanity was not his strongest suit. The clean up must have been rough.

Meat Extravaganza

In April 2008, chefs gathered in Uruguay to cook and serve nearly 12 tons of meat – that’s 30,000 pounds of the good stuff. The feat was part of a campaign to spread awareness of the country’s prime dish. More than 20,000 people came and gladly ate it all up. Now that’s a lot of meat.

Anyone Want the Leg?

One man got a heck of a surprise when he first opened his used barbecue smoker he had bought at a storage facility garage sale. Waiting inside was a leg – no, not a chicken leg, but a human leg. The leg belonged to a man who had it amputated after it was damaged irreparably in a plane crash. For reasons unknown, he refused to get rid of the detached limb and kept it on ice. Long story short, he became homeless, causing him to store his barbecue smoker, with leg inside, in a storage unit. He missed his payments to the point where the storage facility owner decided to sell his stuff, and that’s how the leg ended up in the possession of the aforementioned purchaser. The leg was eventually retrieved by police and reunited with its original owner.

Whatever Works

It’s a well-known statistic that a third of all businesses fail within a year. Well, one owner of a barbecue restaurant may have found the secret to guaranteed success. After putting up a scantily clad mannequin outside his barbecue joint, he saw a 40 percent increase in sales. The city’s Design Review Board tried to get him to make the mannequin more decent, but he appealed the case and won. Maybe it’s not good food that makes a successful restaurant, but a half-naked mannequin woman. Just maybe.

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