What’s the Difference between Barbecuing and Grilling?

Most of us get so confused with barbecuing and grilling, and we often use both these terms interchangeably. Barbecue is a slow technique where the juice of the meat is retained while grilling is a faster procedure. There is a huge difference between both these terms and the following are some of those differences:



Barbecuing is the process of cooking food in a low flame, and it usually takes a longer time to cook the food. The cuts of meat like ribs, beef briskets, pork shoulder, chicken and turkey are usually barbecued. These meats are hard, and they need the low and slow heat to get cooked and become tender. The flame is not directly exposed to the food while barbecuing instead only the heat of the flame is used to cook the food. Wood and charcoal are used to produce the heat, and it also gives the meat a smoky flavour.


Grilling is quite popular, and many people do this in their backyard. Grilling is a faster method, and thus it requires more flame. Grilling is done over direct heat, and the food items that are grilled are steaks, pork chops, hot dogs, seafood and hamburgers. Gas or charcoal usually produces the flame.


Heat level is one of the basic differences between grilling and barbecuing.  Grilling uses a direct heat which is from gas or from charcoal which radiates heat directly over the cooking surface. The heat usually comes only in one direction, and thus you need to make sure that you turn the meat often so that the meat gets cooked properly. The fat from the meat hits the heat source, and it creates smoke which seasons the meat.

BBQ is a slower procedure where the heat is not directly applied to the meat. The meat is cooked through convection heat transfer, and as the heat circulates the meat, it gets cooked.

Type of meat:

Grilling is a faster procedure, and thus you will have to place tender cut meats which are soft. For example, you can place chicken breasts, chops, steaks etc. for grilling. Chicken breasts are very soft, and grilling is a great eat to cook such type of meat.

The meat which is hard and requires to be softened needs to be barbecued. Some of the ideal meat which can be used for BBQ are briskets, pork, ribs etc.


Time also plays a crucial role in cooking the food. As a higher temperature is provided for grilling the meat, you don’t need much time to cook the meat. A maximum of 20 minutes is required for the meat to be completely cooked.

Direct heat is not applied to BBQs so you will have to leave the meat for a longer time so that it becomes soft and tender.

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