The Difference Between Smoking, Grilling And Barbecuing

I noticed that people use all those terms in conversations without thinking about what they really mean. That is why most of the time they are expressing themselves wrongly without noticing that.

I want to deal with this question today. It seems like an irrelevant question but it will show you the reason why people are so confused when they are talking about preparing food outdoors on the BBQ, grill or smoker.

When you find yourself surrounded with grilling or smoking enthusiast you can set a big debate with one wrong expression and since you are on my blog, I am sure you know few people who are very interested in grilling or smoking.

So, to avoid any confusions let’s define them all.

Yes, those 3 terms have one thing in common – they are all methods for preparing food. That is the biggest and the only similarity between those methods.

Smoking food

SMOKING FOODYou smoke food when you are preparing the meal by exposing it to smoke. Smoking is the only of all 3 terms that are happening in one chamber. That means you put the meat in the closed area so the smoke and the heat can prepare it.

You can easily control the temperature in an electric smoker during smoking which is very convenient. During smoking, smoker cooks the food (science of cooking) while smoke inside the smoker gives the food that irresistible flavor. Also, there are different types of smoking like cold smoking, hot smoking, and smoke roasting.

Grilling food

Grilling foodYou grill food when you are preparing the meal by exposing it to high temperatures from one source, usually from below. That source can be charcoal, gas or electricity, just like with the smokers. It is made without any chamber, all you need is a grilling surface and the source of heat.

Grilling (gas grill, charcoal grill or electric grill) is the fastest way because you are preparing food using very high temperatures and the food is close to the heat source (usually above). Also, grilling is the most common of all 3 methods.

Barbecuing food

BARBECUING FOODGrilling and barbecuing have much more in common than any of those two has with smoking.

You barbecue food when you are preparing the meal by exposing it to indirect heat which means the entire process is slow and it is happening in the open like the grilling.  When you barbecue you end up with tender and juicy meat, while during smoking, most meat is dry, but not in a bad way.

During the barbecue, you are cooking food on low indirect heat and during that process, the food gets its flavor from the smoke, similar to the smoking process. There are many types of barbecuing and grilling is the fastest type, usually, the food is done in a couple of minutes.

Now that we cleared that out you can easily determine if you are a person for smoking, grilling or barbecuing. You can be a person for all methods as long as you enjoy your meat.

Bonus Tip: Frying Food

FRYING FOOD One thing that smokers and grills cannot do is frying food. If you love fried food, a food fryer is a must-have kitchen appliance. Two popular types of fryers are air fryers and deep fryers. According to At Least We Fried, there are numerous benefits, appliance choices and recipes for each type.

Some popular recipes include fried chicken, fried turkey, fried doughnuts and even fried ice cream! Meats like sausages that you would traditionally grill can even be fried.