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What’s the Difference Between Grilling and BBQ ?

What's the Difference Between Grilling and BBQ ?

You will learn what is the difference between grilling and bbq in this short article, and the pieces of meat that should be cooked for each method.

The Key Difference between Grilling and Barbecue

     Barbecuing and grilling are completely different cooking techniques.

     Grilling is usually small foods, heated quickly, smokeless, usually without a lid, and the temperature is very high.

     Barbecue is usually in large chunks, cooked low and slowly, covered with a lid, just like roasting meat, but usually with smoke.

Barbecue is Different from Grilling in 4 Ways

Leaving aside the potential differences in the equipment used (discussed in our Smokers and Barbecue article) these cooking methods have in common the fire and grill grate. From there, the style diverges in four different ways:

     Cooking time

     Cooking temperature

     The Cuts of meat

     Smoking or non-smoking

Every animal has different types of meat, and different preparation and cooking methods are needed to make them soft and delicious. This is the main reason why we have two cooking styles to handle all kinds of cuts.


Let’s look at each method in turn:

Features of Barbecue

     Cooking time-long, low, slow. Four to twenty-four hours

     Cooking temperature-low temperature, approximately 225 °F (107 °C)

     Cuts of meat-large, tough, fatty meat rich in connective tissue, such as ribs, shoulders, buttocks, and breast meat, are the most suitable meat for smoking.

     Smoke-the main ingredient is smoke from aromatic woods, such as pecans or mesquite

Features of Grilling

Cooking time-short, hot and fast. Five to fifteen minutes

     Cooking temperature-high temperature, 500 °F (260 °C) or higher

     Cuts of meat-thin or minced meat, such as steak, burger, or chicken breast

     Smokeless-The meat hasn’t been on the grill long enough to let the smoke give off a lot of flavor.

Use of Marinades and Spices

Almost every chef and pitmaster will sprinkle a little salt and pepper on anything they grill or smoke. However, when using dry spices (abrasives) and wet marinades, there is a big difference between grilling and grilling.

Compared with grilling, you will find that the seasonings for grilling, whether wet or dry, have a stronger taste. The longer cooking time allows the taste to enter the meat, while the lower temperature does not burn, carbonize and make the surface spices bitter.

The dry rub on the barbecue tends to burn, so instead of adding flavor, it tastes bitter and uncomfortable.

In addition, for most roasts, we want to avoid using wet marinades because moisture can prevent browning, especially roast marks, which are common signs of perfect roasts.

Add Barbecue Sauce when appropriate

Barbecue sauce can add sweetness and spicy flavor to any meat or poultry. Because it usually contains sugar, it will burn above 350°F (177°C). If you are grilling, you will not add it until the last hour.

Usually, barbecue sauce is not added at all when grilling, because it burns quickly. However, you can add it in the last few minutes of cooking to get a beautiful glaze.

Where is the fire?

The biggest difference between grilling and grilling is the location of the fire.

By grilling, your meat can be placed on coals for very hot, fast, direct cooking.

Grilling uses an offset or 2-zone fire for indirect heating, which means that food is cooked slowly by convection or indirect heating, just like an oven. Food is not cooked directly by a heat source.

Two ways of cooking for two types of meat

Hopefully now you can see the difference between grilling and grilling, and why you need to learn these two methods if you want to cook all the meat.

Large and hard incisions require slow cooking for a long time to break down connective tissue. For example, if you cut a piece of sirloin and pat it on the grill like a burger, you can hardly chew it.

Barbecuing provides the right amount of heat and plenty of time to soften any hard, strong cuts. You only need to wait a few hours to eat it.

The high heat and fast cooking means you can finish your meal in minutes instead of hours. This is why we like our steaks, burgers and hot dogs because they cook very quickly and can be eaten quickly. You can quickly feed the crowd directly from the grill.

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