Understanding the Different Methods of Outdoor Cooking: Grilling, Smoking, and Barbecuing

July 25, 2023

Who doesn’t like a nice gathering and the best bbq in Chicago? We all have a knack for desi foods like this especially if we have come from Pakistan or India. If you miss your bbq gatherings on Eid and other special occasions, you can still have the same taste in Chicago, all you need is to understand the methods of outdoor cooking. In this article, we will walk you through the techniques and methods of Grilling, smoking, and barbequing – helping you make your next gathering full of desi tarka with desi species.

How do smoking, barbecuing, and grilling differ from each other?

In a few words, grilling refers to cooking food quickly over a fire. Barbecuing, on the other hand, involves slow cooking at lower temperatures. Smoking means cooking food slowly using smoke to add flavor.

We know you are looking or details, so let’s dive right in.

What is Grilling?

Grilling is a cooking method that involves placing food directly over the fire, utilizing high temperatures for quick and efficient cooking. It is particularly suitable for items like vegetables, fruits, and other foods that don’t require extended cooking times. By placing the food directly on the grill grates, the intense heat sears the exterior, creating those appealing grill marks and enhancing the flavors. Whether it’s juicy grilled vegetables or perfectly charred fruits, this hot and fast technique adds a delightful smoky touch to a variety of dishes.

How to Grill Food?

  • Grilling is done over direct heat with the flame (gas or charcoal) directly beneath the food.
  • Place small cuts of meat and vegetables in the center of the grill for even cooking.
  • Allow the flames to cook the food, ensuring to frequently turn it for even heat distribution.
  • Ensure all sides of the food are cooked evenly by flipping it regularly during grilling.

What is Barbecuing?

Barbecuing involves slow cooking over a low flame, using indirect heat, and taking considerably more time compared to grilling. This method is ideal for larger cuts of meat, like pork shoulder, ribs, or briskets, which benefit from the slow cooking process to achieve tender and flavorful results. Barbecuing is commonly done using charcoal or wood, allowing the meat to be gently cooked and infused with smoky flavors. The low and slow approach of barbecuing creates a mouthwatering experience that is worth the wait.

How to Barbecue Food

  • Choose between a charcoal or gas barbecue, considering its benefits and flavors.
  • Charcoal barbecues offer a smoky flavor but take longer to reach the right temperature.
  • Gas barbecues provide better temperature control.
  • Aim for a temperature of 100-150°C for barbecuing.
  • Use the indirect cooking method by placing food away from direct flames.
  • Close the barbecue lid to trap heat and allow smoke to enhance the flavor.
  • Cooking more significant cuts of meat will take several hours at low temperatures.
  • Maintain the temperature by replacing coals if using charcoal.
  • Barbecuing retains meat’s juiciness, resulting in a soft and moist texture.

What is Smoking meat?

Smoking involves low and slow cooking, using flavorful smoke to cook meat, fish, and poultry to perfection. The essence of smoking lies in the infusion of delicious smoky flavors into the food. It is an excellent technique for achieving tender and flavorful results, particularly when preparing various types of meat, fish, and poultry. By taking the time to cook slowly and allowing the smoke to work its magic, smoking creates a unique and mouthwatering culinary experience.

How to Smoke Food

  • Smoking can be achieved using a charcoal barbecue, gas barbecue, wood pellet grill, or with any Smokey Mountain.
  • Wood chips are burned to generate smoke, which infuses the meat with flavor.
  • The meat is placed away from the flame and cooked indirectly while being exposed to the smoke.
  • Different types of wood chips can be used to create various flavors.
  • Beech wood chips pair well with fish and poultry, while whiskey wood chips add flavor to chops and beef tenderloin.

Bottom line

These methods are used by many people and you have probably observed different BBQ gatherings happening and serving the best bbq in Chicago. If you are not a person willing to work on it at home, we at Ali Nihari Restaurant have got you covered. Just visit and order any type of BBQ and we will serve it to you.