What is the difference between BBQ and smoking?

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BAPyessir6

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I feel like they're very similar, but as I've basically never done either, I don't know if I know anything or not. I want to start, though, and want to purchase a smoker off Amazon that says it can also remove the top and grill, as I grew up on grilled meat.
 
This is my take on it. BBQ is basically a slow indirect cooking method that is covered and can also be used for hot smoking methods, so both. Grilling is just taking the lid off, increasing the heat and cooking. Personally I have a separate smoker, it's propane and it works good enough for my needs. Pretty basic answer.
 
There is probably more than one (hundred) explanation.

BBQ is low and slow cooking over wood or charcoal. Smoking is BBQ with specific woods added to create smoke to add flavor to the BBQ'd items.
 
It depends... In the competition BBQ world, BBQ is low and slow indirect cooking with wood and smoke. But, to other people it is anything you cook on a grill -- as in cooking hot dogs and burgers on a backyard grill is a backyard BBQ. To my family (other than me), you can cook meat in a crock pot, mixed with BBQ sauce, and that is BBQ.

To me, it is the first option, for the most part. But, I also like Korean BBQ, which is basically grilling, but still traditionally done over a wood or charcoal heat source. The cooking with wood or charcoal is the most important element. IMO, you can't make BBQ in a crock pot.

CD
 
I feel like they're very similar, but as I've basically never done either, I don't know if I know anything or not. I want to start, though, and want to purchase a smoker off Amazon that says it can also remove the top and grill, as I grew up on grilled meat.
Smoking is low heat and slow cooking for a long period of time keeping the smoke from the wood going.

Barbecue is a faster preparation so think about the difference between making a pot roast and cooking a steak. Barbecue also uses wood that's been soaked and I don't ever grill without charcoal personally because I think it gives the best flavor.

Smoker stays mostly enclosed with the lid down. Grilling can be done all with the lid up or in some cases you want to close the lid to get something cooked through a little.
 
Smoking is low heat and slow cooking for a long period of time keeping the smoke from the wood going.

Barbecue is a faster preparation so think about the difference between making a pot roast and cooking a steak. Barbecue also uses wood that's been soaked and I don't ever grill without charcoal personally because I think it gives the best flavor.

Smoker stays mostly enclosed with the lid down. Grilling can be done all with the lid up or in some cases you want to close the lid to get something cooked through a little.

Never, ever soak your wood for smoking/BBQ. It will give you thick, white smoke that smells like a wet dog, and taste the way I imagine a wet dog would taste. Dry wood gives you a clean smoke that you can barely see, but tastes soooooo good.

CD
 
Barbecue is a faster preparation so think about the difference between making a pot roast and cooking a steak. Barbecue also uses wood that's been soaked and I don't ever grill without charcoal personally because I think it gives the best flavor.
I’ve had a Big Green Egg for 6 years or so. It’s a Kamado-style charcoal grill that is used to smoke and grill food. It can hold a pretty exact temp for many hours.

I’ve learned a lot by reading and participating in the very active BGE Facebook group.

There aren’t a lot of rules… but in general, smoking is done with indirect heat, low and slow. Grilling, by definition, is done mostly on direct heat and at a higher temp. But people cook pork butts at 225 and others at 350. I’ve done both and can’t tell much of a difference.

One very basic rule is not to cook in white smoke. Light the fire and let it burn until only clear blue smoke is coming off of it.

Another rule that most agree with is not to soak your wood. A few do, but mostly with chips and not chunks. There are endless discussion of the best brands of lump charcoal and the best varieties of wood to use.
 
There aren’t a lot of rules… but in general, smoking is done with indirect heat, low and slow. Grilling, by definition, is done mostly on direct heat and at a higher temp.

I agree, as far as grilling vs smoking, but the original question is harder to answer. "What is the difference between BBQ and smoking?"

I consider smoking and BBQ to be the same thing, but a lot of people think of grilling as BBQ -- even if done on a gas grill. BBQ seems to be a "catch all" term for cooking meat outdoors -- or in a crock pot with BBQ sauce. :confused:

CD
 
To me, BBQ origiinally meant cooking with coals outside on a grill. In my case our original was a hibachi as they were longer lasting cast iron and the metal ones on legs with covers were not only more expensive but too awkward to bring in etc.
Gas/propane/butane was for Coleman camp stoves.

Now I find that BBQ is referring to that disgusting sauce they pour over the meat. Cooking outside is referred to a grilling. Although now of course, you can grill inside on your stove too.

and smoking is a technique to infuse a flavour on/into a meat, which can also be grilled, and then drown in BBQ sauce.
 
I’ve had a Big Green Egg for 6 years or so. It’s a Kamado-style charcoal grill that is used to smoke and grill food. It can hold a pretty exact temp for many hours.

I’ve learned a lot by reading and participating in the very active BGE Facebook group.

There aren’t a lot of rules… but in general, smoking is done with indirect heat, low and slow. Grilling, by definition, is done mostly on direct heat and at a higher temp. But people cook pork butts at 225 and others at 350. I’ve done both and can’t tell much of a difference.

One very basic rule is not to cook in white smoke. Light the fire and let it burn until only clear blue smoke is coming off of it.

Another rule that most agree with is not to soak your wood. A few do, but mostly with chips and not chunks. There are endless discussion of the best brands of lump charcoal and the best varieties of wood to use.
On grilling if you don't soak your chunks, your fire will burn too hot and just burn everything. That's really the main thing you have to learn with every different grill is to not let it get too hot and burn your food. I don't know that there would be a need to do it for smoking. Like the commercial barbecue places use whole fireplace logs for smoking so I know they're not soaking them.
 
I assume that the smoking being talked about here is hot smoking. If so, then to me smoking is barbecuing. Barbecuing is the low and slow and may or may not include hot smoking the food.

At one time I was a member of a Danish grilling forum. They seemed to do a lot of smoking, but it was almost all cold smoking. Cold smoking is a very old tradition in Scandinavia, used for preserving and flavouring meats and fish. I don't think that is the type of smoking that is being discussed here.
 
You beat me to it @taxlady
Smoking can be divided in cold smoking and hot smoking (or even the in between warm smoking)
For cold smoking you don't want to go over 20 oC (preferebly below 12 oC)
Hot smoking is above 78 oC where the botulism risk is basically not an issue and is possibly similar to BBQ (USA).

I think that in many languages bbq and grill (usa) are the same. And bbq is also the name for the equipment. Grilling would be more used for an electric grill inside the house.
Bbq is outside
Ah well, at least in Dutch
 
I think of BBQ as more of a style rather than a technique. Or a A pork butt can be rubbed, smoked, cooked low and slow and turned into pulled pork which is definite
On grilling if you don't soak your chunks, your fire will burn too hot and just burn everything. That's really the main thing you have to learn with every different grill is to not let it get too hot and burn your food. I don't know that there would be a need to do it for smoking. Like the commercial barbecue places use whole fireplace logs for smoking so I know they're not soaking them.
This does not happen if you know what you are doing on any grill.
You can run an Egg at 225 for 12 hours.

There’s really no reason to soak wood.
 
Although now of course, you can grill inside on your stove too.

And in the UK, "grilling" is cooking under the grill in your cooker, or what we call the broiler in our oven. That creates some confusion when discussing cooking across the pond.

CD
 
On grilling if you don't soak your chunks, your fire will burn too hot and just burn everything. That's really the main thing you have to learn with every different grill is to not let it get too hot and burn your food. I don't know that there would be a need to do it for smoking. Like the commercial barbecue places use whole fireplace logs for smoking so I know they're not soaking them.

I never, ever soak my wood chunks when I use them, and never burn my meats. I control heat by controlling air flow. It works for Aaron Franklin, and that's good enough for me.

CD
 
It just occurred to me that BBQ can be used as a verb or a noun. With that in mind, I would say that I smoke (verb) meats to make BBQ (noun). BBQ is the food created by smoking meats.

Like many cooking terms, smoking, grilling and barbecuing are very regional, and even familial.

[edit: auto correct keeps changing noun to sound. Grrrrrrr)]

CD
 
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I just thought this might be an interesting article/website for this discussion.
It is, of course, their intrepetation ;)
I use the site quite often when smoking or making sausages. The forum is pretty good as well.

Hopefully I'm not breaking any forum rules by posing this ;)
 
I think of BBQ as more of a style rather than a technique. Or a A pork butt can be rubbed, smoked, cooked low and slow and turned into pulled pork which is definite

This does not happen if you know what you are doing on any grill.
You can run an Egg at 225 for 12 hours.

There’s really no reason to soak wood.
Here they like to flame grill. I use charcoal and wood together. So I like my steaks and my burgers char-broiled.
 
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