Food, Cooking, Picnic, Tailgate, & Backyard Recipes plus more...
Perfect Food, Picnic, Tailgate, & Backyard Recipes and more...
Custom Search

FUN Trivia Quizzes | Grocery Savings Tips | Alan's Picnic Guide | BarBQ & Grilling Tips | Top 20 BarBQ & Grilling

Home >> BBQ & Grilling >> Barbecuing Basics

 Menu Ideas & Planning
Menu Ideas & Planning

1000s of great recipes and menu ideas

 
 



Techniques

Barbecuing encompasses four or five distinct types of cooking techniques. The original technique is cooking using smoke at lower temperatures (usually around 240-270 F or 115-125 C) and significantly longer cooking times (several hours), known as smoking.

Diagram of a propane smoker used for barbecuingAnother technique is baking, utilizing a masonry oven or any other type of baking oven, which uses convection to cook meats and starches with moderate temperatures for an average cooking time (about an hour plus a few extra minutes).

Yet another technique is braising, which combines direct dry heat charbroiling on a ribbed surface with a broth-filled pot for moist heat, cooking at various speeds throughout the duration (starting fast, slowing down, then speeding up again, lasting for a few hours).

Finally, grilling is done over direct dry heat, usually over a hot fire (i.e., over 500 F or 260 C) for a short time (minutes).  Grilling may be done over wood, charcoal, gas (natural gas or propane), or electricity.

A fifth and emerging type of barbecue technique involves the use of the slow cooker.  Slow cooking is untraditional in that it involves no smoking, however, since the flavor of the meat is remarkably similar to that of the other four styles, slow cooking is considered a legitimate technique.

Smoking
See: smoking (cooking)
Smoking can be done with wood or charcoal, although many common commercial smokers use a gas, such as propane, to heat up a box of wet wood chips enough to cause smoke. The heat from the propane fire helps cook the meat while the smoke adds its unique flavor. The distinction between smoking and grilling is the heat level and the intensity of the radiant heat; indeed, smoking is often referred to as "low and slow". Additionally, during grilling, the meat is exposed to the open air for the majority of the time. During smoking, the BBQ lid or smoker door is closed, causing a thick, dense cloud of smoke to envelop the meat. The smoke must be able to move freely around the meat and out of the top of the apparatus quickly; otherwise, foul-tasting creosote will build up on the meat, giving it a bitter flavor. Smoked meats such as pork exhibit what is known as a smoke ring: a thin pink layer just under the surface which is the result of the smoke interacting with the water in the meat.

Baking
See: Pit barbecue
The masonry oven is similar to a smoke pit in that it allows for an open flame, but cooks much faster, and uses convection to cook.  Barbecue-baking can also be done in traditional stove-ovens. It can be used to cook not only meats, but breads and other starches, and even various casseroles and desserts.  It uses both direct and indirect heat to surround the food with hot air to cook, and can be basted much the same as grilled foods. In some cases, the grill can also function like a bakery oven by putting a drip pan below the cooking surface rack of a barbecue grill, as well as a baking sheet pan on top, combining two techniques simultaneously, or one right after the other, cooking twice, with a duration slightly longer than grilling.

Meat can also be baked in a pit in the ground, with hot coals and stones surrounding meat wrapped in wet burlap, wet leaves or aluminum foil.

Braising
It is possible to braise meats and vegetables in a pot on top of a grill. A gas or electric charbroil grill would be the best choices for what is known as barbecue-braising, or combining dry heat charbroil-grilling directly on a ribbed surface and braising in a broth-filled pot for moist heat. To braise, put a pot on top of the grill, cover it, and let it simmer for a few hours. There are two advantages to barbecue-braising: the first is that this method now allows for browning the meat directly on the grill before the braising, and the second is that it also allows for glazing the meat with sauce and finishing it directly over the fire after the braising, effectively cooking the meat three times, which results in a soft textured product that falls right off the bone. This method of barbecue has a varying duration (depending on whether a slow cooker or pressure cooker is used), and is generally slower than regular grilling or baking, but faster than pit-smoking.

Other uses
The term barbecue is also used to designate a flavor added to foodstuffs, the most prominent of which are potato chips. This term usually implies a strong smoky flavor and often denotes a flavor reminiscent of barbecue sauce.


More BarBQ & Grilling Recipes.
Recipes
Appetizer/Snacks
BarBQ-Grilling
Beverages
Bread
Breakfast
Casserole
Cheese
Chili Bowl
Cowboy
Desserts
Eggs
Lunch
Main Dish
Pasta
Penn Dutch
Pizza
Pot Pies
Salads
Salsa
Sandwiches
Slow Cooker
Soups-Stews
Veggies-Side Dish
 
Powered by ... All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
E-mail | AlansKitchen Privacy Policy | Thank you

Contact Us | About Us | Site Map