Thirdwave Cafe

The History of American BBQ

Barbecue has been a beloved American tradition for centuries, with a rich and varied history that has evolved over time. Here’s a brief overview of the history of American BBQ:

The History of American BBQ

The History of American BBQ
Third Wave Cafe Meat Coma Platter, a previous monthly special from Third Wave in Melbourne.

The history origins of American BBQ can be traced back to the indigenous peoples of the Americas, who cooked meat over an open fire using various methods and spices. When European settlers arrived in the New World, they brought their own traditions of cooking meat, including roasting and smoking, which eventually merged with the indigenous methods to create the diverse and flavorful style of BBQ that we know today.

One of the earliest recorded instances of BBQ in the United States was in the colonies of Virginia and the Carolinas, where pigs were the primary source of meat. The colonists would slow-roast the pig over a pit filled with coals, basting it with a mixture of vinegar, water, and spices to create a savory and succulent dish. This method of cooking, known as “barbecuing,” gave rise to the term “barbecue” as we know it today.

As American BBQ spread throughout the country, regional variations began to emerge. In Texas, beef took center stage and was cooked over an open pit, often with mesquite wood for added flavor. In the Carolinas, pork was the main attraction, and BBQ sauce was made with a base of vinegar and mustard. In Kansas City, a wide variety of meats were used, and BBQ sauce was sweet and thick, made with ketchup and molasses.

In the 20th century, American BBQ’s history expanded as it became an integral part of American culture, with BBQ joints and competitions popping up all over the country. Today, BBQ remains a beloved tradition, with a wide range of styles and flavors that reflect the diverse history and culture of the United States. Whether you prefer ribs, pulled pork, brisket, or chicken, there’s a BBQ style and sauce for every taste.

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Third Wave has become a religious experience on the Melbourne restaurant scene. Since opening in 2010, we have cemented a reputation as a great neighborhood cafe with a loyal breakfast and lunch crowd. People come from far and wide to enjoy our exceptional coffees and vast breakfast & lunch menu. Then by night, we transform into a bustling BBQ joint, inspired by the classic American smoke houses of the deep south. Today we are proud to be recognised as one of the best American BBQ experiences you’ll have outside of the US.


Third Wave Cafe started as a trendy inner Melbourne café with an aim to grow and so we did. After 9 years, we are one of Melbourne’s favourite American BBQ restaurants with a huge emphasis on slow-smoked meats and burgers.


Moorabbin opening on the 29th of march