BBQ vs Grilling: Difference and Comparison

Every person loves eating delicious food. Some even enjoy cooking for others as well. Usually, during weekends and summer vacations, most families take out their grills and BBQ to enjoy the evening.


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BBQ and grilling are two methods of cooking food or meat directly over the fire but in different ways.

Key Takeaways

  1. BBQ involves slow cooking over low heat with indirect flame, while grilling uses direct, high heat for fast cooking.
  2. BBQ is well-suited for large, tougher cuts of meat while grilling works best with smaller, more tender cuts.
  3. BBQ imparts a smoky flavor to food, whereas grilling highlights the ingredients’ natural flavours.

BBQ vs Grilling

Barbequing involves slow cooking at low temperatures, and grilling involves fast cooking at high temperatures. BBQ takes hours for the food to cook, while Grilling is done in a few minutes. BBQ requires indirect heat, while grilling requires direct heat. BBQ can’t be used for veggies, but Grill can.

BBQ vs Grilling

A person who is preparing food with the help of a BBQ cooks to the side of the heat. The heat used in the process of BBQ is low-intensity heat which facilitates the cooking of meat.

It may even take a whole day to cook a slice of authentic meat using BBQ. The process of BBQ provides a great flavour to the meat due to the low-heat cooking.

The process of grilling provides a completely distinct flavour to the food as it heats the food using direct or high-intensity heat. If an individual has purchased high-quality cuts of meat, he must go for grilling, as BBQ tends to kill all the moisture from the pieces.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBBQGrilling
Heat-intensityThe process of BBQ makes use of low-intensity heat or indirect heat.The process of grilling makes use of high-intensity heat or direct heat.
Time durationCooking meat using BBQ can even take more than a day to complete the process of cooking.Cooking meat using the process of grilling takes you almost 15-20 minutes.
Cooking temperatureThe cooking temperature in BBQ is around 225F or even less.The cooking temperature in Grilling is around 520F or even more.
Type and quality of meatLow-quality or inexpensive cuts of meat must be cooked using BBQ as low heat makes them tender and softHigh-quality and expensive cuts of meats must be cooked using grilling as BBQ makes this type of meat extremely hard.
TasteThe taste of BBQ food is extremely delicious due to its slow and low heating process.The taste of the grilled food is not found to be as delicious as the BBQ food as there is no absorption of heat from the wood in the case of grilled food.
Fat contentThe meat cooked through BBQ has more oil and is inclusive of a high amount of fat.The grilling process uses less oil and also removes the fatty content from the meat.

What is BBQ?

BBQ is primarily used for cooking meats with the help of indirect heat. It is also used for cooking thick pieces of beef and pork or even a whole turkey.

For cooking meat with the help of BBQ, one needs equipment that separates the heat source from the meat, like a tray or a drip pan.

The process of BBQ can take time ranging from 6 hours to 24 hours, depending on the type of meat an individual is cooking. The smoke gives a mouthwatering taste and creates an aromatic experience for the meat.

The most popular hardwoods used in BBQ are mesquite, oak, and hickory.

BBQ is associated with North American cuisine. In this method, the food is prepared using smoke at a low temperature of around 275F or even less.

The process of BBQ does not kill or eliminate the excess fat from the meat, due to which a person who eats excessive BBQ food may suffer from various heart diseases.

It is popular due to the amazing taste it provides to the meat. It gives a smoky flavour to the piece of meat.


What is Grilling?

The process of grilling involves making food or meat with the help of high-intensity or direct heat from the top as well as from the bottom.

Mostly, grilling is used for cooking high-quality cuts of meat. The high heat removes all the excessive fatty content from the meat, thus making it more healthy and risk-free.

It helps in retaining the moisture in the heat, thus making it tastier. If you are hungry and want to eat something as soon as possible, you must go for grilling as it helps to prepare meat in just 15-20 minutes.

It is basically done with minimum oils, resulting in a crispy and caramelized surface with perfect grill marks.

Grilling offers various options and is highly versatile as it can be used to make extremely delicious dishes like grilled pizza, grilled fruits, and even grilled pork. An individual needs to expose the food directly to the heat at a temperature of 500F at least.


Main Differences Between BBQ and Grilling

  1. The process of BBQ makes use of low-intensity heat, whereas the process of grilling makes use of high-intensity heat.
  2. The cooking temperature of BBQ is around 225F, whereas the cooking temperature of the process of grilling is around 520F.
  3. The taste of BBQ-cooked food is extremely delicious due to slow and low heating processes. On the other hand, grilled food is not as delicious as BBQ.
  4. Cooking meat with the help of BBQ can even take a whole day, whereas cooking meat with the help of a grilling technique normally does not take more than 15-20 minutes.
  5. The meat cooked with the help of BBQ has comparatively more oils, whereas the process of grilling prepares food with minimum oils.
Difference Between BBQ and Grilling

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