Michael Symon Just Lit A Fire About BBQ Methods On Twitter

Summer is grilling season, and that means barbecue. Or does it? There are a lot of myths about barbecue that can be tricky to sort through, and because so many people feel so passionately about different methods of BBQ, discussions about what is or isn't "really" barbecue can get heated fast. That's what recently happened on Twitter, when Food Network chef Michael Symon asked his fans a simple question about ribs. He noted that in BBQ competitions, ribs that fall off the bone are considered overcooked, but that many people actually like their ribs better that way. Then, he bravely asked his Twitter audience what they preferred.

You may know Symon from his appearance on "BBQ Brawl," a barbecue competition show where he goes head to head against Bobby Flay. The chef does seem to be an expert in the field, but not everyone was convinced. "Not true!" one Twitter user wrote back, who shared that their parents each made good barbecue, "But neither included smoking the meat." This generated a lot of conversation in the replies, including a direct response from Symon himself.

Where there's smoke, there's BBQ

Michael Symon couldn't let it go. "BBQ is the technique of smoking meat actually...no smoked meat no BBQ. Doesn't mean it's not delicious...just not BBQ" he replied on Twitter. Still, the commenter pushed back. "What are you talking about? Tell that to every brand of BBQ sauce sold!" they replied. But Symon wasn't done. "BBQ sauce is a condiment...it is not a style of cooking...it's like dressing for salad or sauce for pasta," he shared. "You can have BBQ without sauce...you can't have BBQ without fire...BBQ is a method." When the user tried to taunt him yet again, claiming "He's on tv. That doesn't mean he's always correct," Symon jumped back in. "This has nothing to do with me being in tv...it's just fact," he tweeted.

Then, someone else mentioned what Symon considered to be another BBQ faux pas: Using liquid smoke. "That stuff is just terrible," he wrote. But another Food Network star, Alton Brown, seemed eager to add some coal to the fire Symon had generated in his replies. "I think quality liquid smoke can be a great ingredient," Brown wrote. In the end, Symon never backed down, but he did finally seem ready to just agree to disagree with everyone in his Twitter replies. "Our first time disagreeing," he tweeted at Brown. "It's a sad day...lol."