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11 Delicious Facts To Raise Your BBQ IQ

Mmm, learning. Gain some knowledge, then reward yourself with a $10 Rib Flight Trio from TGI Fridays — you'll get three flavors for just $10.

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1. The word "barbecue" has a complicated past.

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There are multiple theories. The most common one says it stems from "barbacoa," which is a West Indian term for "slow cooking over hot coals." The least common says it comes from a bar, beer, and billiards restaurant called the "BAR-BEER-CUE-PIG." You choose a side.

2. And more drama: two different cities each claim to be the Barbecue Capital of America.

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Memphis, TN and Kansas City, MO are both home to giant competitive barbecue tournaments, so each one says it can own the title. That said, Lexington, NC somehow managed to earn "Barbecue Capital of the World."

3. Barbecues are a long-standing presidential tradition.

Steve Snodgras (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: stevensnodgrass

Lyndon B. Johnson threw the first White House barbecue to feature "Texas-style" ribs, and Jimmy Carter hosted a "pig-pickin'" for 500 people. Amurrica!

7. While we're talking numbers, there are four different types of pork ribs.


Know thy meat. Spare ribs are the most common, and come from the underbelly of the pig; St. Louis-style are similar to spare ribs, but the breastbone is removed; country-style have the highest meat-to-bone ratio; and baby-back have the least fat.

9. But the original style of rib was probably "mammoth."


In 2009, researchers found mammoth ribs (photo unavailable, due to extinction) in a 4-ft. cooking pit that appeared to date back to 29,000 B.C. The area was also covered with conch shells, which made archaeologists wonder whether the barbecue had been a "surf-and-turf" meal. Fancy.

10. There's an actual science to measuring barbecue heat with your hand.


Next time you float your hand over your grill, do it with purpose. Hold your palm five inches above the grill and count the number of seconds before you feel the urge to yank it away.

And the most delicious fact of them all: TGI Fridays now has Rib Flight Trios, meaning you can get three flavors for just $10.

Between Chipotle Smoked BBQ, Applewood Bacon-Crusted, Sweet Memphis Rub, Tennessee BBQ, and Famous Jack Daniel's®, you can't go wrong.

Valid on select items only. At participating restaurants for a limited time. Dine-in only. See restaurant for details