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Barbecue Definition | Barbecue Smoking | Barbecue Roasting | Barbecue Grilling | Barbecue Braising
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Barbecue Definition | Barbecue Smoking | Barbecue Roasting | Barbecue Grilling | Barbecue Braising

Barbecue Definition

The definition of barbecue is very broad, so it includes grilling, roasting, smoking, and even baking.
Barbecue or barbeque also known as BBQ or a barbie, is a cooking method, a style of food, and a name for a meal or gathering of people at which this style of food is cooked and served.

Barbecue is a method of slow-cooking food over indirect low heat with plenty of smoke and spice flavours to slow-cook your food.
It is the open-air cooking of meats and vegetables over charcoal or wood on either a spit or a rack.
This cooking method typically involves marinating or rubbing the food with spices before grilling, and basting it with sauce during and after cooking.

It has evolved over the years, now encompassing various types of recipes and styles.
Discover the true definition of barbecue and learn about the different kinds of BBQ recipes used today!

This makes it ideal for cooking large cuts of meat such as steaks, ribs, roasts and brisket.

The process can be similar to roasting, except it does not require any oil or fat.

Barbecue Spelling

In today’s English, barbecue is the usual spelling of the word where barbeque is a secondary spelling that appears often in the names of restaurants and products.

What is the Origin of BBQ?

Barbecue has been beloved by many for centuries.
Its origin can be traced back to the 16th century, when fishermen from the Caribbean would use palm fronds and other combustibles to create a smokey cooking platform.

This style of outdoor cooking was eventually exported to North America, where it became adapted into the more well known Southern barbecue that we know and love today!

Grilling vs. Barbecuing – What’s the Difference?

Barbecue is a verb and noun that refers to slow-cooking food over direct or indirect heat, usually with wood smoke or charcoal, creating a distinct flavour profile.
It’s different from grilling because of the use of lower heat and slower cooking times.
Grilling is a popular method of preparing meats because it allows them to cook quickly without drying out.

Temperature and Heat Source as the Main Difference.
The main difference between grilling and barbecuing is the heat source and temperature used.
When you grill, you use high heat from a direct flame or fire with temperatures of 180℃ (350℉) or higher.

Barbecuing is much slower with low, indirect heat from wood smoke or charcoal, generally in the 110℃ (225℉)-150℃ (300℉) range.
As such, barbecuing requires unattended cooking times, often taking hours to achieve the desired results.

Time Needed for Grilling & Barbecuing

It’s important to consider time when it comes to grilling and barbecuing.
Grilling is a faster cooking method, requiring only a few minutes for most items that are cooked over high heat.

Barbecuing takes longer than grilling because low and slow methods allow for the flavours of charred smoke to penetrate the food product.
This process can take up to many hours depending on the item being cooked.

What Are the Different Types of Barbecue?

Barbecue has many different variations – each region seems to have its own method for cooking!

Popular types of BBQ include Texas-style (using direct heat and mesquite wood), North and South Carolina styles influenced by German settlers (using pork and vinegar-based sauces).
Then we have Kansas City-style (featuring sweet tomato based sauces) and the Memphis style where smoked pork shoulders are king.

Different countries even feature their own unique flavours of BBQ, such as the Brazilian Churrasco and Argentine Asado.

Equipment Required for Grilling and Barbecuing

Grilling requires grills that allow for direct heat and can reach at least 600°F, such as gas or charcoal grills.
Barbecuing requires an offset smoker or a bullet smoker (sometimes called a kamado).
The low and slow cooking method used in barbecuing also requires specific types of wood chips.
Smoking woods, like mesquite, hickory, cherry, and apple, enhance flavours to create that classic barbecue flavour you’ve come to know and love.

With the right equipment and the proper technique, there is no limit to what you can grill or barbecue!

Different types of bbqs

There are different kinds of barbecue grill types available today. They range from small portable grills to large backyard barbecues.
Portable barbecues are easy to use and transport. These barbecues are perfect for camping trips, picnics, beach parties, and more.

There are two main kinds of barbecues: charcoal and gas.
Charcoal barbecues use wood chips or chunks to provide heat.
Gas barbecues use propane tanks to provide heat.

Both methods work well for cooking food.

  • Open Barbecue;
    Open Barbecue grillThe simplest of all grills: a metal or stone box with the burning charcoal, wood, or propane at the bottom and the food positioned directly over the fire on a grill grate or hotplate.

    Used for: High-heat direct grilling.

    Foods Best Suited: Small, tender, quick-cooking foods like sausages, kebabs, steaks, chops, fish fillets, vegetables, and so on.

  • Covered Grill;
    Covered BBQ grillAdd a lid to your open grill that you can raise and lower and you get a covered grill.
    This may sound like a simple innovation, and yet the covered grill enables you to add two additional important methods of cooking to your repertory: indirect grilling and smoking.

    Used for: Direct grilling larger or thicker foods. Indirect grilling and smoking (the latter done primarily on charcoal-burning grills).

    Foods Best Suited: Thick steaks—both beef and tuna—as well as double-thick pork and veal chops. Larger or fattier cuts of meats, like whole chicken
    and duck, pork shoulder, and baby back ribs.

  • Kettle BBQ;
    Kettle barbecue grillA kettle BBQ is a charcoal grill that is named after its spherical shape.
    Gas and electric models are also available.

    Sometimes the food is cooked directly on the walls (breads) or on a vertical spit positioned inside the firebox instead of on a grill grate.

    Used for: Indirect cooking and low heat, roasting, slow cooking, and smoking.

    Foods Best Suited: There are endless choices of dishes you can prepare with your kettle grill, but as a beginner, it is better to start with simple foods like corn, burgers and sausages.
    More complex recipes like brisket, whole poultry, seafood, ribs, roasts, pizza and cakes can also be cooked in your kettle bbq.

  • Ceramic Egg Grill;
    Ceramic egg barbecue grillA deep, thick-walled, ceramic grill similar in shape to the kettle bbq.
    It relies on the radiant heat of the side walls, as well as the direct heat from the coals, to cook the food.

    Sometimes the food is cooked directly on the walls (breads) or on a vertical spit positioned inside the firebox instead of on a grill grate.

    Used for: High-heat roasting. With the kamado cooker, roasting, grilling, and smoking.

    Foods Best Suited: Flatbreads, like Indian naan, which are cooked right on the walls of the tandoor.
    Kebabs, chicken, fish steaks, small legs of goat and lamb, peppers, paneer cheese—all cooked on a vertical spit.

  • Spit Roast/Rotisserie Grill;
    Spit Roast/Rotisserie Barbecue GrillThe rotisserie adds motion to the static process of grilling.
    The slow, gentle rotation of a turn-spit evens out the cooking process, basting the meat, melting out fat, and browning the exterior.
    Spit-roasted foods come out crisp on the outside and succulent within.

    Used for: Combines the virtues of direct and indirect grilling.
    As in direct grilling, the food faces the heat, but as in indirect grilling, the food cooks next to, not directly over the fire.

    Foods Best Suited: Cylindrical and/or fatty foods, like whole chickens, chicken wings, ducks, any roasts, and whole lamb or pig.

  • BBQ Smoker;
    Smoker BBQ grillSmoking is one of the world’s oldest methods of cooking and preserving foods.
    The low, gentle heat melts the collagen, making the tougher cuts tender enough to cut with the side of a fork.

    The smoker as a portable backyard barbecue come as Stick Burners, Charcoal Smokers, Pellet Smokers, Gas Smokers and Electric Smokers.

    Used for: Smoking; low- to moderate-temperature, low and slow indirect grilling with wood smoke

    Foods Best Suited: Traditionally used for tough, flavourful cuts of meat, like brisket and ribs.

What Recipes Can Be Prepared with a BBQ?

You can make just about any type of dish imaginable with a BBQ!
Traditional favourites like burgers, steaks, and ribs are easily cooked over a grill and given great flavour.

However, you can also prepare more complex dishes that require slow roasting and smoking.
Brisket, pork shoulder, and barbecue chicken are all great choices for preparing with a BBQ.

Additionally, many vegetarians enjoy grilling up seasonal vegetables with some herbs and oil to give them extra flavor.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to BBQ cooking!

What are the Traditional Cuts Used in BBQ?

Traditional cuts of meat used in BBQ may vary depending on the style, but some popular favourites include;

  • ribs,
  • pork shoulder,

  • beef brisket,
  • lamb shoulder,
  • whole chicken.

These cuts are usually cooked low and slow to infuse smokey flavour into the meat and make it tender and juicy.

To achieve the perfect barbecue flavour, many pitmasters use a combination of hardwoods like oak or hickory as a fuel source to create smoke during the cooking process.

What Foods can be Grilled?

Grilling is great for nearly any food item, since it uses high heats and cooks quickly.
Popular items you can cook on a grill include;

  • steak,
  • fish,
  • chicken wings,
  • vegetables,
  • fruits,
  • Cubed meats (like chicken tenders or beef cubes),
  • sausages,
  • hamburgers,
  • kebabs,
  • lamb chops,
  • paua (abalone),
  • lamb tails,
  • brats.

Grilled food products will have a distinctly charred flavor and blackened exterior that come from direct contact with the heat source.

What Are the Flavouring Ingredients Used in BBQ?

BBQ flavour is achieved by using a combination of savoury and sweet ingredients.
Common savoury ingredients include dry rubs, marinades, mops, and sauces.

While a dry rub may consist only of spices, marinades add in an acid component such as vinegar or citrus juice.
Mops are usually a liquid mixture that is basted on the meat during the slow cooking process, and sauces can be either tomato or mustard based depending on regional preferences.

Sweet ingredients such as molasses and honey are also popular for adding sweetness to mops and sauces.

7 Tips to Create Tasty BBQ Dishes

Whether you’re grilling or barbecuing, there are several key components to keep in mind when creating delicious dishes.

  1. Choose the Right Meat:
    The type of meat you choose will make a significant difference in the flavor and outcome of your BBQ dish.
    The most popular types of meats for barbequing are beef, pork, chicken, and fish, but there is no wrong answer when it comes to what type of meat you decide to grill.
    It is more about using the best cooking method for the meat you choose.

    Consider the marinade or sauce you plan to use beforehand when selecting which cuts to use for your dish.

  2. Prepare Marinades and/or Sauces:
    Marinades are great for infusing flavor into the meat and giving it a distinctive taste that pairs perfectly with barbecuing.
    They typically consist of oil and an acid such as wine, lime juice, or vinegar with herbs, spices, and other flavouring ingredients like garlic or onion powder included too.

    Making a marinade is easy; simply mix all dry seasonings together first before adding liquids lastly to create balance of taste.
    Barbecue sauces can also be used as a flavourful addition to any grilled meal before or after cooking by either brushing them onto food generously once cooked or simmering them while grilling to get that smoky flavour you’re looking for!

  3. Select Aromatic Wood Chips:
    Wood chips can make a major difference in how your food tastes so its important not just to pick one randomly but carefully select what best fits what type of cuisine you are preparing.

    Many different types existing such as applewood chips for poultry dishes and oak chips for steaks giving them additional flavour profiles chefs are constantly searching for when barbecuing dishes!

  4. Preheat Your Grill:
    Making sure heat from your barbecue is evenly distributed creates complex flavours within whatever you are grilling due it being able to caramelize each individual ingredient better.

    If everything has same temperature when exposed flame period time goes by quicker as well.
    Regardless if using gas/coal source this key step prevents food from sticking or becoming under overcooked (charred).

  5. Keep your barbecue clean:
    A clean grill or hotplate will give you better tasting food and is less likely to cause your food to stick to the grate.
  6. Using the proper tools is important:
    A fork should never be used for grilling. A long set of tongs is the best for turning steaks, chicken and other cuts of meat.
    A long handled spatula is best for burgers.
  7. Prevent food from sticking:
    Applying cooking oil or spray to the grill before it is lit will keep low fat meats and other foods from sticking.

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