Is there a difference between Barbecuing, Grilling, and Smoking?

For this post we thought we might kick the hornets nest and see if people agree with our definitions of BBQing, Grilling, and Smoking. With warmer weather on the way, though it might not look like it yet, it’s time to get your ammunition ready for the bbq terminology arguments discussions for the coming BBQ season.

Is there a difference between Barbecuing, Grilling, and Smoking?

Have you ever been to a backyard get-together where the topic turns to how and what to cook on the grill? If you have you may have come across some confusions in differences of opinion in regards to terminology. Especially when people from different parts of the country or folks from south of the border join in.

Barbequeing, Grilling, and Smoking are all actually different techniques of cooking. These can all be done on gas, charcoal, or pellet grills. However, many people prefer to use different units for each technique. Anyway, let’s see what all the fuss is about.

What is Barbecuing?

Barbecuing pork ribs

Barbecue is a method of cooking meat over slow, indirect heat. The essence of barbecue is low heat and slow cooking time. Grilling temperatures typically range from 190 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, which means a piece of meat will take several hours to cook properly. Grilling can be done on a wood, gas or charcoal grill. Any kind of meat can be grilled, although the long grilling time helps the tenderness of huge, tough, fatty pieces of meat. Some of the best barbecue options include pork ribs, pork shanks, and pork shoulder. The marbling of the meat indicates that the fat is distributed throughout the muscle, which is ideal for grilling. Well-cooked meat is juicy, soft, and easily slides off the bone.

Best grills for BBQing?

What is Smoking?

Smoking Brisket

Exposing food to smoke to preserve, brown and flavour is known as smoking. Smoked meat is made by hanging it or placing it on racks inside a chamber that collects the smoke produced by a hardwood fire that provides low indirect heat. Different types of wood chips or chunks – walnut, mesquite, oak, maple and apple are popular favourites – create a distinctive aromatic wood smoke that imparts a distinctive flavour to the meat. Because smoking, like barbecuing, is a slow cooking process, it is good for tougher cuts of meat with lots of fat and connective tissue in the form of collagen. During the prolonged smoking process, the fat prevents the meat from drying out, while the collagen melts into a delicate gelatin.

Best Grills for Smoking?

If you don’t want or need a dedicated smoker, you can add real smoked flavour no matter what kind of grill you have. Check out our selection of smoker boxes and smoker pipes on our Smoking Accessories page.

What is Grilling?

Grilling hamburgers

As for grilling, it is a method of cooking food directly on a metal grill over an open flame—a gas, charcoal, or wood flame—that involves radiant heat transfer. The high heat of the grill allows for very quick browning, making it ideal for dishes that do not require intensive cooking. It is excellent for thin cuts of meat and tender vegetables as it involves high heat. Chicken parts such as chicken breasts, chicken legs, chicken wings or chicken legs are ideal for grilling. Hot dogs and hamburgers can also be grilled.

Best grills for Grilling?

The difference between Barbecuing, Grilling, and Smoking?

We hope this post was useful for you, please let us know your opinions below if you agree or disagree with any of the points above.

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