Grill Vs Barbecue: What is the Difference?

Grill Vs. Barbecue

Some people do not know the difference between grilling and barbecuing. This is because the two cooking techniques have similar features that are too striking that they are used interchangeably without knowing that they are different.

Although many people know that grilling and barbecuing is a kind of outdoor cooking that would make you a backyard chef if you do it, they are unaware of the differences between them.

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What is grilling and barbecuing

Grilling is a cooking method that uses a significant amount of dry heat to cook the surface of foods quickly.

The surface of food is usually cooked from above, below, or from the side, on a grill. The grill is an open wire grid such as a gridiron with a heat source above or below.

In grilling, a cast iron grill pan, which is similar to a frying pan, but with raised ridges to mimic the wires of an open grill, can also be used.

Barbecuing, on the other hand, is a cooking technique that requires cooking foods under low heat. This method of cooking is slow and takes an awful amount of time. 

What is the difference between grilling and barbecuing?

Grill Vs. Barbecue

They may both be backyard cooking techniques, but the following straighten out the differences. 


  • Makes use of high heat (usually 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) to cook food
  • Involves direct and radiant heat where the foods are usually put directly on the grill and under the flame
  • In grilling, meats like steaks, pork chops, seafood, hamburgers, and hot dogs, including vegetables and certain fruits, are commonly grilled. This is because they require direct heat to cook, and they do not need to stay long on the heat
  • In grilling, it takes only a couple of minutes or a few hours to get the food done
  • This makes use of charcoal or gas as the heat source to cook food
  • Although many persons would prefer to have their meat grilled, many would agree that grilled meat is not as flavoured as barbecued meat. But this is based on individual preference


  • Makes use of low heat (usually 225 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) to cook food
  • Uses indirect heat where the source of heat is connected to the chamber where the food is held. However, the food is not placed directly over the flames
  • In barbecuing, tougher meats that need low and slow heat to get them tender, flavoured, and edible are usually cooked. These meats include ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket, or whole chickens or turkeys 
  • In barbecuing, it could take a very long time (many hours, or even all day long)

Barbecuing requires the use of dry charcoal, but most preferably dry wood to cook your food. This is because different types of wood will naturally give off different smoky flavours that your meat or food will absorb.

According to many backyard food lovers, barbecuing gives you the most tender and most flavoured meat more than grilling meat. However, this is based on individual preference.


The use of heat to cook food has been in existence since the spark of civilization. The aim is to get food flavored, edible, tender, and seasoned. Sauces, marinades, and spices are usually used to season foods, especially meats, during grilling or barbecuing.

Across the world, there are several methods of cooking, including grilling and barbecuing. However, some people do not know the difference between grilling and barbecuing. The difference could be a lot but what matters is what you want and how you want it.

Knowing the difference now, you would make the right decision in making meals. 

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