Real food people might throw around the terms grilling and barbecuing interchangeably, but when they get down to business they know there are big differences between the two. The 411: Grilling is a quicker and hotter way to cook; barbecuing is a slow-and-low method of cooking.
Barbecue versus grilling
The key to true barbecue is a low temperature, between 212 and 300 degrees F, and a long, long cooking time (often, hours). The low temperature keeps meats — whether beef, pork or poultry — juicy, and a lengthy stay in a covered grill, a makeshift smoker or a real-deal smoker lends proteins telltale smokiness.
Over the top
Barbecued foods get their taste from wood chips or charcoal, often enhanced by marinades, wet or dry rubs, mops and sauces.
Barbecuing, American Style(s)
All barbecue is not created equal — just travel some American byways, ask the locals what’s essential and taste the difference.