The Difference Between Grilling and BBQ |

Grilling and Barbecue are sometimes thought of the same cooking method by most. Unless you are a pro on the patio or in the backyard, you may not know the difference. Have no worries, I am here to help a little with that and assist you with choosing the right meat for the right application.

Both methods can and will use the same equipment that you may have, the difference will be the meat or seafood that you choose and the temperature of the flame. Both cooking methods are popular forms of cooking for intimate settings or big social gatherings. And, there is something about cooking over a live fire that makes me feel good. I normally get no complaints when I fire up my grill, whether Grilling or BBQ, the appreciation at the table is always seen by the smiles on my guests faces, and not to mention the dish washer appreciates fewer pots and pans as well.


I will start with Grilling. It is the oldest form of cooking known to modern man. It is probably one of the most preferred forms of cooking, and some will say it offers the best eating experience. Grilling uses high heat and direct flame. This type of cooking will usually cook meat at a faster rate and and you should expect to eat in 30 minutes or less.

Grilling uses leaner, small, naturally tender cuts of meat. These cuts come from the Rib, Loin, and Sirloin of beef and are often in Steak form. Seafood, ground meats, as well as Boneless Skinless Chicken, and tender cuts of pork are also great choices for Grilling. Grilling, done at a higher temperature, locks the juices in the meat, and by using those cuts of meat it will offer the best eating experience. Grilling in this High Heat/Direct method requires attention, and usually will require you to turn the meat. This same high heat will produce a flare up or two, so you will need to pay close attention to the grill and your meat. These flare ups however are not always a bad thing, these offer aroma while cooking(my neighbors are always asking “what’s for supper”) and flavor at the table.


Barbecuing, on the other hand, in my opinion is an art. Every time that I BBQ, I find and look for ways to make it just a little better the next time. Either I adjust the Seasoning and Rub, or possibly the marinade, and even the wood that is used to make it just a little bit different. Across the nation, many people compete to be the best and to own the rights to say their BBQ is the Best!! Rib competitions are happening more and more, and the interest in this form of cooking is growing in popularity in backyards across the nation. BBQ is the form of cooking that uses indirect heat at a lower level. Low and Slow is the term that one uses when you BBQ, you cannot be in a hurry when you BBQ. BBQ will take several hours to complete as the meat used will take longer to make tender.

BBQ often uses wood as the heat source, although gas can be used effectively if temperatures are monitored throughout the cooking process. BBQ lovers savor the taste of the meat when this method is used. Normally the wood that is used will give the meat a distinct flavor, from apple wood to pecan, cherry, and mesquite the results are different with each that is used. Some will even blend the wood used for their own distinct taste. Many will guard their secret recipes and formulas to make certain they keep the bragging rights that theirs is the “Best”!!

BBQ often will use less tender cuts of meat, meats that are normally a better value and will often feed larger crowds are the choices many make when looking to BBQ. These cuts often have more connective tissue and take longer to cook, this process makes them tender and mouthwatering. These inexpensive cuts normally come from the front quarter of beef and pork. Bone-In Ribs, pork shoulders, and beef briskets are the most common cuts used. Whole turkey, turkey breast, whole chicken, and skin on chicken parts are also good choices for barbecuing. The seasoning or marinades used, are also a big part of barbecuing. That special blend of spices and sugar, that certain tablespoon of fresh garlic or minced onion rubbed into the meat to give it your signature flavor will be enjoyed by many. I take the time to let these seasonings absorb into the meat for hours prior to placing them on the grill, this normally produces favorable results for me.

So, the next time that you set out to use your backyard or patio, our teams are ready to assist you with your selections. Dabble in using different choices of meat and seafood, different cuts of ribs. Be brave and try new seasonings and rubs on your selections. As with anything, the more that you become familiar with each method, the easier and more rewarding the results will be.

Kevin Connor 
Merchandising Specialist Team Manager for Meat and Seafood