Test Your I-Que

Answer the multiple-choice questions and add your total below to see if you’re ready for the barbecue circuit.

Pouring sweet tomato-based sauce all over a piece of meat and then grilling it at high temperatures is

A.  The definition of barbecue
B.  A surefire way to char the meat. Certainly not barbecue
C.  Punishable by death


Memphis and Kansas City are

A.  Two cities in the Midwest
B.  The sites of two important barbecue contests
C.  Locked in a mortal battle of barbecue to once and for all separate true believers from heretics


A barbecued whole hog

A. Is an obscene amount of food to cook at once
B.  Is a good test of a grillmaster’s talent
C.  Feeds four


Stealing recipes from other
grillmasters is

A.  Despicable
B.  Part of the competitive process
C.  How I got shot


The film “Babe” is

A.  Childish. Pigs can’t talk
B.  Groundbreaking. Finally a pig as the hero
C.  Depressing. They never ate the pig


Hickory, mesquite and oak are

A.  Three kinds of trees
B.  The Grand Trine of barbecue smoke
C.  My sons’ names


Eating smoked meat in moderation

A.  Is a one-way ticket to the cardiac unit
B.  Can be healthy since the smoke breaks down the fat in the meat
C.  Is for wussies. Barbecue is for breakfast, lunch and dinner



A.  Do not eat animal products of any kind and avoid wearing materials made from animal by-products
B.  Can eat a number of grilled vegetables or seafoods and still maintain their vegetarian standing
C.  Make good eating


Spareribs and beef ribs are

A.  Interchangeable
B.  Distinctly different taste sensations
C.  Like matter and antimatter


Mops are

A.  Kitchen implements for cleaning floors
B.  Sauces used to baste meat while cooking
C.  A good excuse to open the grill lid and mess with the fire


Barbecue is

A.  Cooking outdoors
B.  Highly spiced meat cooked slow and low over a smoky fire
C.  A three-dimensional metaphor for life


Scoring: Give yourself 1 point for each question answered A, 2 points for questions answered B, and 3 points for questions answered C. Give yourself 5 extra points if you got sauce or mop all over the test. Give yourself 10 extra points if at any point you considered using the test to smoke some meat.

32 points or moreCongratulations, Smoky, you’re on your way to a brilliant career on the barbecue circuit—but do everybody a favor and shower once in a while.

25 to 31 pointsOkay, Biff, you’ve got a chance, but watch that your coals don’t get too hot.

19 to 25 pointsMove your meat, Mike, your fire’s starting to flare up

11 to 18 pointsHave another watercress sandwich, Tad, you’re not ready for the “Q” world.