ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is the Difference Between Grilling and Barbecuing?

Updated on July 12, 2011
BBQ Pork sandwich just the way I like it- with cole slaw and hot sauce! Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. It's pure heaven. Yeah, baby! photo: biskuit @flickr
BBQ Pork sandwich just the way I like it- with cole slaw and hot sauce! Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. It's pure heaven. Yeah, baby! photo: biskuit @flickr

Southern BBQ - A Source of Southern Pride

Grilling, barbecuing- what's the difference? Is there a difference? That really depends on whom you ask. A lot of people use the cooking terms interchangeably.

However, there is a distinct difference and if you come to the southern United States, you will quickly find out. Southerners are very proud of their bbq! Ask anyone from Memphis, St. Louis, Atlanta, Texas, North Carolina, or pretty much anywhere in the south and you'll quickly see. They even have bbq contests that are highly competitive.


Grilling and Barbecuing - Direct Heat vs. Indirect Heat

So, what is the difference between barbecuing and grilling? Basically, one is cooked with direct heat, and the other uses indirect heat. Here is a basic explanation of direct heat vs. indirect heat:

Direct heat is when food is cooked directly over top of the heat source. The food gets cooked quickly by the heat that rises directly from the coals, as well as from the heat of the hot metal grate.

Indirect heat places the food away from the heat source. It delivers a low, steady heat to the food. When using a grill, the coals are placed on both sides of the bottom. The meat is centered above on the grill. The meat gets cooked with convection heat as the heat and smoke rise off of the coals and envelop it.

Grilling vs. Barbecuing - What Is the Difference?

Grilling is a method of cooking that involves hot, direct heat and the foods are cooked quickly. Usually tender cuts of meat are used. Chicken, hamburgers, steaks, and seafood are all popular grill recipes.

In this regard, barbecuing refers to a type of cooking as well. Barbecuing uses low, indirect heat and a long cooking process, usually taking all day if not longer. Most of the time the meat is enclosed and wood smoke is used to accentuate the flavor. Some popular woods used are hickory, oak, and mesquite.

The result is tender meat with a rich, smoky flavor. Barbecuing is an all-American cooking technique. It is often used to turn tough cuts of meat into melt in your mouth delights. Some of the most popular types of meat used for barbecue are ribs, brisket, and pork.

Some people say that smoked meat and barbecue are the same. Technically, that's not true, although that is usually what people are referring to when they mention barbecue. But barbecuing refers to the process of cooking meat for a very long period over low, indirect heat. It doesn't necessarily mean that the food is enclosed or intentionally smoked.

So, if you're ever in the south and about to light up the grill to make some hamburgers or perhaps a rare steak, please don't offend the natives by stating that you're going to barbecue a quick supper. Thanks!

Find Out About a True BBQ Competition!

Grilling vs. Barbecuing - What Is the Difference? Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

      GojiJuiceGoodness 

      8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      In the South, BBQ is assumed to be pork. That's just what it means down here. :)

      I think when you say BBQ most people think grilled, but it's not necessarily that way.

      Good hub. I enjoyed reading it.

    • profile image

      pinkboxer 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for this hub! I have had so many people tell me that they were barbequeing when they were actually grilling. Or torturing steaks in the name of grilling: burned on the outside and raw on the inside.lol. I love it!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)