I have noticed over the years that the easiest way to get a man to cook dinner is to have him do it outdoors. That seems to elevate cooking from a chore to an art form. Weird History Food likens this to a reversion to cave man cooking methods, but it is a particularly American custom. Cooking on a frame over an open fire was part of Native American culture that was appropriated by the Spanish conquistadors, and all we've really done is made it safer and more convenient. And practiced it -a lot. Indeed, the backyard barbecue has become a tradition part of America's summer celebrations. Enjoy the history and important role of barbecue as you plan your Fourth of July cookout.