You find yourself standing proudly at your bbq, apron on, tongs in one hand and a beer in the other. The fire below you is raging. Friends are standing by, admiring your skills as you methodically turn sausage after sausage…
Did I flip the steak already? What about those chops. Oh no… I forgot the onions! Nevermind, just crank up the heat on the hotplate and get them on now
You are the king of the world! You are the master of the barbecue
Ok now that we’ve got all that out of the way
You’re doing it all wrong!!!!
What you are actually doing is grilling
Confused? There’s no need to be, as this blog is dedicated to breaking down the confusion, the myths and the mystery behind the wonderful (and delicious) world of open fire cooking
The two forms of open fire cooking most people are aware of are grilling and barbecue. In the simplest terms possible, the differences between the two come down to;
– grilling is where food is cooked over a direct heat source and is usually cooked rather quickly. This is what you will find in most Australian back yards and restaurants. Predominantly these bbq’s use gas for “clean cooking” and rely on the flavour of the meat and sauces
– barbecue is where food is cooked over an indirect heat source and takes much longer to completely cook. This method also utilises charcoal or wood for adding a smokey flavour to the meat. Additionally, these cuts of meat are usually heavily seasoned before cooking. This seasoning and the long cooking time result in a thick, crusty “bark”. This bark is the sign of a good smoked piece of meat to alot of people
To the general public, both forms are just referred to as barbecueing
Both methods are perfectly valid forms of cooking and both can return amazing results. When people ask me “well what do you grill and what do you barbecue”, I usually reply that this depends on the source of the meat. Technically any meat can be cooked by either method but the results differ wildly
Leaner meats tend to work better by grilling them, as there is less fat content to break down during the cooking process. Cooking these for too long can dry the meat out
Some examples of this are prime beef cuts (the kind of steak you get at “fancy” restaraunts). lamb chops and sausages
Fattier cuts of meat work better by barbecueing them. In the last few years, the term “low and slow” has become very popular. This is where you cook the meat indirectly over a low heat source for several hours (some cuts up to 15 to 18 hours depending on the size and fat content). As the meat cooks, the fat breaks down and eventually, the fibruous tissue that holds the muscles together turn gelatenuous
Beef brisket and pork shoulder (also called a Boston Butt) are two very popular choices for low and slow
There are of course exceptions to these rules. I have discovered recently that smoked sausages and burger patties are amazing, but telling your loved ones that their burgers are going to take two hours instead of 20 minutes is usually met with a chorus of boos!
In further blogs, I will break down further into the specifics of popular cuts and methods of cooking them. We will also discuss the history of “low and slow” and its birth in the American south during the days of slavery
Until then, get out there and grab your tongs proudly!
About Todd Querruel- I’m a father of two young girls and find my time stretched between work (Manager in the automation industry) and family. Very strong believer in everyone requiring some for of an outlet. Formerly a drummer, currently an ex-drummer but always retaining a love of heavy music You’ll find me posting mainly about my love of barbecue, both grilling and traditional American “low and slow”
You'll find me posting mainly about my love of barbecue, both grilling and traditional American "low and slow"