Grilling vs. Barbecuing. Two pretty popular cooking methods in the US, especially in warmer weather. Some know the distinction between grilling and barbecuing, several who don’t. Do you know the difference? Pro tip: there is.
Quick tip, grilling is fast cooking over high heat, while barbecuing involves a slower cooking method over a lesser heat.
Grilling Vs. Barbecue
Most of the time, grilling is cooking over a hot flame or hot coals. Tender cuts of meat are best in this cooking method. The quick-cooking and advantages of a heat seal on the inside juices, creating a juicy and tender piece of meat, but leave the meat on too long, and it will inevitably dry out, as with every dry cooking methods.
If you use barbecue sauce, it will be added right at the end of the cooking time. Especially for the sweeter barbecue sauces. The glucose in the sauce can burn and change its flavor profile.
Vegetables and fruits can also be grilled, as they usually do not need a long cooking time. Peaches and pineapple are particularly suitable for grilling, and the natural sugars in the fruit caramelize upon high heat. If you have never tried it yourself, I highly encourage you to try it! Grilled fruit tastes so much better!
When grilling food, you need to pay attention to it, so it’s not getting overcooked. Yes, you have to stay by the grill most of the time to keep an eye on it.
Barbecuing is typically done over charcoal or wood. I’ve seen Kahlua pig simmered on a gas grill, but usually, barbecue’s may use either charcoal or wood. The meats traditionally used in barbecuing are tougher cuts of meat, such as the beef brisket, or pork ribs.
These meats benefit through the long, slow cooking process, becoming so tender that they’ll fall right off of the bone. The cooking process is more gradual with barbecuing, and the heat not as high as grilling. Barbecue sauce can be brushed onto the meat throughout the cooking process, forming a delicious glaze on the outside of the meat. Apple juice is sometimes sprayed onto the meat to keep it moist and delicious. Spraying fruit juices on the meat will stop it from drying out.
Want to add a delicious smoky flavor to the meat? Add some damp wood chips added to the fire! The wet wood chips will add more smoke to the barbecue and add character to the meat.
Some meats, like chicken, will get started with either cooking method. It’s excellent either grilled quickly along with a glaze or barbecue sauce applied right at the end of the cooking time or slowly barbecued, absorbing the flavors of the smoke.
Grilling is a passion, and writing about this is making me hungry! Check out Reynolds – Grilling Endless Table