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Barbecuing vs. grilling


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Updated: 4/18/2007 10:42 am Published: 4/18/2007 10:42 am


Many people become confused when distinguishing the difference between barbecuing and grilling. There can be various interpretations of the term “barbecue” around the world. In some cases, barbecuing is used to describe a social gathering and cooking outdoors. Although some people use the term barbecue to describe the grilling of food, barbecuing isn’t grilling. Barbecuing requires the use of special equipment to slow-cook meat, using wood smoke to add flavor. To barbecue, you cook by using indirect heat or low-level radiant heat at lower temperatures and longer cooking times. Grilling takes place when you cook over direct heat, usually a hot fire, for a short time. Primarily, the distinction between barbecuing and grilling is the heat level and the intensity of the radiant heat. It’s the smoke from the burning wood that gives barbecue its unique flavor. The longer cooking times used while barbecuing stems from techniques involving the tough, less expensive cuts of meat that must be cooked until they become tender. For instance, brisket comes from the breast area of a steer and tends to be very tough. This is also true for pork shoulders. Long, slow cooking helps tenderize these cuts of meat. In most cases, grilling has become the fashionable way to cook. Grilling is convenient and takes less time than barbecuing. You can grill using charcoal or by using a gas grill. Since charcoal produces smoke and heat, the two mix together to give your food a better flavor. Gas grills use a clean fuel that doesn’t really produce smoke.

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