Barbecuing vs Grilling: What’s the Difference?

2014 Apr 11 |  Written by:  | Tags: , ,

One thing that Aussies are super passionate about is their love for barbecues. It’s not just about the food, too. Families relish the idea of gathering during weekends around their barbecue or grill, with mugs of beer in tow. One thing that many people are confused about, though, is the difference between the two. Despite what many believe, grilling and barbecuing are two distinct cooking practices. Read on to find out the differences between the two!



It’s quite easy to remember: barbecue means long, low and slow cooking. Because of the length of cooking time and the low temperature of heat (150C and lower), the meat is able to soak up all of the flavour – including the smoke – and as a result, you get moist and tender meat. Good examples of barbecue staples are mum’s brisket and dad’s favourite rack of ribs.

The cuts of meat aren’t the only stars of barbecuing. An equally important aspect of barbecuing lies in the quality of the marinade. Every corner of the world offers various spices and mixtures that are used with their barbecues – from the sweetest to the spiciest blends.

Trivia: Barbecuing is a common practice all over the world, not just in Australia, especially in Southern America, where traditional barbecued menu items include pulled pork dishes and ribs (often with a side of potatoes, coleslaw or pudding). A common mistake that North Americans make is call their hot dog and burger cookouts as barbecues (read on below to learn that the right term for this is grilling). In some states, the terms barbecue and grill are used interchangeably more often than you’d think.  :)

Feel free to dig in with these barbecue recipes that we’ve come up with in the past:




Grilling employs direct heat, which cooks food relatively fast. The food is just a few centimetres away from the actual heat source, with temperatures blaring to as high as 288C. Because of the high heat, the sugars which are naturally present in the meat become caramelised – this is the brown crust that you see when grilling meat. Caramelisation allows for the juices inside to be sealed. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for grilled meat to be cooked anywhere from blood rare to medium.

Check out our previous grilled recipes:


Here’s a quick summary of the differences between barbecuing vs grilling:



Which of these two methods do you prefer? Do you have any favourite barbecue or grill recipes? Share them with us by commenting below! :)

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