Grilling – A Time-Honored Way of Cooking

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chicken, onions, peppers, and green beans for the grill
chicken, onion, peppers and green beans in an aluminum pan ready for the grill

Grilling – A Time-Honored Way of Cooking

Grilling was probably the first way of cooking. It goes back in time to Stone Age man. Down through the millennia man has found different uses of fire and cooking. Some say that man came upon a carcass of an animal that had been killed in a forest fire and not wanting to let meat go to waste began to consume it. Sounds disgusting by our standards, this was man’s introduction to one of the benefits of fire. After two on three times of finding a carcass burned, man started to find ways to keep fire on hand in order to cook their meat. They found that the food digested easier and that kept longer than raw food.
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Mankind started looking for different ways to cook their food. He probably noticed that some of the carcasses that the community consumed had a type of fragrant grass on it that changed the way it tasted The first way to cook was to use a strong stick(limb) to place the meat away from the fire. Early man was very clever, he looked at his environment to find opportunities to improve his hunting abilities and to keep his kill fresh after the hunt.

It would not have taken long to realize that by forming a pot out of clay that he could put meat herbs and water in a pot in order to cook it more slowly so that the older members of the community were able to eat without as much difficulty.

He found that by digging a trench or hole in the ground that he could put limbs into it and burn the limbs leaving coals where he would be able to put a lattice of limbs over it in order to cook the kill and be able to get the cooked meat in order to keep from being burned by the coals or fire. This allowed the meat to cook longer which dried the meat out a little more and to keep longer.

The pit also made it possible to place their crude pots to one side so that they could reuse the pots. Early man was the first conservationist, all of the tools they used were recycled until they were no longer usable.

grilled food served sizzling hot
grilled foods served sizzling hot

As time moved on, mankind found ways to adapt his method of grilling or roasting his meat. Mankind had found metal ore and had found a way to harden it so that he could make tools.

He found that instead of using a stick(limb), he could now use a metal rod that he could use to spit his carcass with. He added a handle to his spit in order to turn his meat slowly so that it would cook more evenly. By using this spit it gave him more control that he had ever had before.

He had already begun to use herbs and spices on his meat for better flavor but the metal spit gave him more control over the cook time. He found that by cooking slower over cooler coals gave a more tender piece of meat for eating than ever before.

He found that he could enclose the fire somewhat to cook other things such as wheat, barley, lentil and other grains to supplement his diet. As he evolved, his desire for good food increased on a massive scale. Every society had its own special items that were cooked which helped to keep that society together. Some items common to most societies for cooking: beef, antelope(deer), fish, grains, pork and fowl. The methods of cooking most of these items are similar while the main differences come from the herbs and spices that they cooked with (which vary by region).

Implements Used for Cooking

fish ready to grill with vegetables
fish in a basket ready for the grill with vegetables

Early man was limited to what he could use for cooking with, in the beginning was a stone that had been sharpened to a point and had a dual use(hunting and spearing meat). This tool was used extensively by all societies because of the ease with which it could be adapted.

Next came a smaller version of the spear, the knife which could also be used for the same purposes as the spear but with a notable distinction. The knife since it was smaller could be used for a variety of purposes, skinning the animal, self defense, cutting some of the herbs and grains, scraping the hide of the animal that was providing the meat for the community, peeling back the skin of certain fruits the list goes on from here.
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As man evolved he found that he could do the same thing with the different metals that were available in the are but if no metal was available then he would barter with another tribe for what was needed in order to make or for the knife directly.

Another tool that was used was something similar to tongs, a tool used to grab two sides of meat at the same time. A hook that was put into the meat (most common) that made it possible to pick the meat up from near the coals without being burned. A rudimentary spoon, which was made from a piece of wood. The wood had a depression either carved into it or was burned part of the way through and then polished to get the char out of it so that it would not effect the flavor of the meat.

Man was still inventing tools to make life easier for all in the community.

The Beginning of the Ascendancy of Man

meat and vegetables ready for the grill
savory dish that is ready for the grill

After centuries of eating better, man began to develop his brain capacity because of better nutrition. His reasoning increased at an astonishing rate due to better nutrition and having the time to stop and think things through.

He began to look at cause and effect. His ability to reason through simple problems gave him the encouragement he needed to begin to seek answers to more complex problems such as tool making.

The ability to learn that there are reasons for certain illnesses and what effects were beneficial and which were to be avoided. This also gave him the ability to recognize which foods to eat and which ones not to eat.

He began to tame the animals around him to where he did not have to hunt continuously in order to eat. By taming his environment he was able to increase not only his food supply but his ability to find a mate and have offspring that stood a better chance of survival.


Brisket 12 – 15 lbs (trim fat cap to 1/4″ thickness)
salt and pepper to taste

your favorite rub or marinade



get your grill to 250-275 degrees F

sear your brisket on both sides about 20 min each side

place your brisket on the cool end of the grill to cook

cook time is generally 45 minutes per pound

keep the temperature constant( you will have to add charcoal occasionally)

use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp to be sure that it is 165 degrees F or higher

(be sure that you use the thickest part of the brisket when checking temperature)

it should take anywhere between 10 and 12 hours to cook


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6 thoughts on “Grilling – A Time-Honored Way of Cooking”

  1. Hi Jerry. This is just so interesting. I love your website. Thanks so much for the time and obvious effort that you are putting into this. I’ve never really thought about how man learned to cook and about how the tools developed. It’s just interesting! I can’t wait to try the brisket. My husband and I, and our middle son, Justin, love to grill. I think it’s partly because we just love to be outside. But it seems like anything that is cooked or eaten outside, just tastes better. Have you ever noticed that?
    I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between the brisket and a chuck roast? To me, sometimes the meat tastes the same. Maybe I am doing something wrong.

    • Hi Wendi. Thanks for the read. Thanks for your comments. Grilling is such a wonderful past time that you don’t realize the depth of the social interactions that you are building will last a lifetime. Almost everyone enjoys the flavor of food that is cooked over a flame. The taste is so much better. I am trying to bring back some of the customs that were associated with grilling that down through the centuries have been lost. This takes some time since most countries concentrate on the exotic dishes from their respective country. They do not realize how much of their culture is associated with grilling.
      The difference between a brisket and a chuck roast comes from the cut. A brisket is from the chest area and a chuck roast is more from the shoulder area. A brisket has a coarser grain than a chuck roast does. The meat may taste the same partly because of the spices that you use. I make my rub or if pressed for time I will buy a mesquite rub or a sweet hickory rub. I only use salt and pepper on a chuck roast with a couple of bay leaves depending upon the flavor that I am going for. If you have any other questions just PM me and I will be happy to give you any information that you need. I am doing a brisket as we speak.

  2. there is no content on your Home Page …the spiders at Google ain’t gonna like dat ….content or witting interesting verbiage about about your niche will do more for ur ranking than any other one thing …so come grill-master extraordinar and relate so interesting back yard fiasco’s like the time you burned ur eyebrows off …or almost set house on fire …come on Jerry, with 7 children and a wife u gotta have crazy stories …get loose and fill that Home page up …leave the cooking stories for Julia Child …LOL u will succeed

    • I have no funny stories about grilling. I have always been careful of what I do. I always make sure I have enough charcoal and have researched whatever I grill. I am in the process of reworking my home page. I believe if you revisit me in about a month you will be surprised at the changes made. I hope you enjoyed the article.
      Jerry McCoy


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