15 Facts You Can Use At Your Next Barbecue

Cooks grill 12,000 kg of beef during "Th
Photo Credit: Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images

Every guy’s favorite summer activity is a good ol’ fashioned barbecue. It’s ridiculously easy for even the most inept cook to make something tasty for his guests, and you don’t have to bother with small talk when everybody’s mouths are full of smoked pork ribs.

But if you must speak, here are some conversation starters you can drop between bites.

1. Barbecuing is a competitive sport

According to ESPN, there are hundreds of organized events throughout the country, with cash prizes as high as $110,000. (Competitive barbecuing and beach volleyball are the only sports in which the spectators are the winners.)

2. Marinated steaks are actually safer to eat than non-marinated steaks

Marinating reduces the amount of carcinogens from cooking at high temperatures. (Washing steak down with beer does not count as a marinade.)

3. The word “barbecue” comes from a Taino word for “sacred fire pit”

So if you go to a barbecue on Sunday, it technically counts as going to church.

4. In 2008, police arrested a Wisconsin man covered in barbecue sauce from head to toe

The alleged burglar thought it would work as “urban camouflage.”

5. Singer and vegan activist Morrissey walked off the stage at Coachella because the concession stands’ barbecue smell made him feel sick

That’s funny, the smell of vegans often makes us feel the same way.

6. Oscar Mayer was a real person

He and his brother Gottfried ran a successful sausage shop in Chicago. His nephew, Carl Mayer, created the Wienermobile in 1936.

7. Disgraced baseball player “Shoeless” Joe Jackson ran a barbecue restaurant

After getting kicked out of Major League Baseball for conspiring to fix the 1919 World Series, he opened Joe Jackson’s Barbecue Cabin, soon followed by Joe Jackson’s Liquor Store, which he ran until he died of a heart attack. Not quite an upward trajectory.

8. The first McDonald’s was a barbecue restaurant

We’re assuming the McRib was available year-round.

9. PETA’s founder has stipulated that when she dies, she wants “the ‘meat’ of my body…used for a human barbecue”

It won’t be the first time a PETA member has ruined a barbecue.

10. People with “vorarephilia” are sexually aroused by the thought of being grilled and eaten

We like to pretend that chickens, cows and pigs have this condition.

11. You can add a smokier flavor to barbecue sauce with a shot of single malt scotch

You can also make any woman appear smoking hot by adding several shots, then guzzling that sauce.

12. Police in Dayton, Ohio, tracked down a guy who allegedly stole a grill by following the trail of charcoal

It must’ve been a challenge not to eat the evidence.

13. The popular Korean dish “Gopchang” is barbecued pig intestines

Which actually sounds delicious, if smothered in enough ketchup.

14. Charcoal makes an effective water purifier

Slightly manlier than your girlfriend’s Brita.

15. President Lyndon Johnson had barbecues installed on the roof of the White House

No matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, that’s a policy we can all get behind.

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Danny Gallagher (@thisisdannyg) is a freelance writer, reporter and humorist.