With beautiful weather here, many homeowners are choosing to cook outside on decks or patios. Did you know, there is actually a difference between grilling and barbecuing? Most people assume grilling and barbecuing are synonymous with one another. They don’t realize there is actually a difference. It is a fairly common occurrence for the two words to be interchanged when referring to a backyard cookout. However, there is a significant difference between the two outdoor cooking methods.
The two biggest differences between these forms of cooking are time and temperature. Grilling is done over high heat for a short amount of time, while barbecuing is a much slower process in which the food is cooked at a lower temperature. When firing up the grill, gas is a typical form of heat used, but hot charcoal is also common. With a barbecue pit, smoldering charcoal and wood are usually the preferred methods.
Grilling is a great, speedy method best suited for tender cuts of meat, as well as vegetables and fruits. The high heat and short cook time keeps the meat juicy, but it’s important to watch the food closely. If meats stay on the grill too long, it will easily dry out and get tough.
When you barbecue, the process may take significantly longer, but the results are astounding. You can use tougher cuts, but by the time they are finished cooking the meat has the potential to be so tender it will melt in your mouth. The food also doesn’t have to be watched quite as closely.
The way sauce is applied differs between barbecuing and grilling, as well. On a hot grill, barbecue sauce will easily burn away, and it is best applied towards the end of cooking. With barbecuing, sauces can be applied periodically throughout the entire time the meat is over the coals, and it will soak in and create a glaze.
Whether you decide to grill or to barbecue, you will be pleased with the final results. Just remember to plan accordingly to allow enough time for whichever method you choose. It’s time to lounge around on your deck or patio with friends and family. So, enjoy!