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What is BBQ?

What is BBQ?

Whether you call it “barbecue”, “barbeque” or just plain old BBQ, there is still plenty of confusion beyond how to spell it!  To some it’s a noun, to others a verb.  Many people call the actual cooking apparatus used to cook the food outdoors, a barbecue.  It can also refer to the event, the actual occasion of cooking out of doors!  But barbecue is also used to refer to the actual technique of cooking.  Even here though, there is often confusion.

To many people, “to barbecue” just means grilling food over fire (either gas or charcoal).  For most people, this is all it will ever be and all it needs to be.  For instance, in Australia, that’s exactly what they a “Barbie”.  And the same in South Africa, except there they call it a “Braai”.  However, In the United States, “grilling” is cooking food over a direct heat source, and “barbecue” means something slightly different…..

So what could barbecue mean if it doesn’t mean grilling?  Well, many purists, especially in the South and MidWest of the United States will tell you that to “barbecue” means to cook food low and slow with the use of smoke for additional flavour.

Ray Lampe in his excellent book “Dr BBQ’s Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook” defines barbecue as follows: “Real barbecue is created by taking a lesser cut of meat and cooking it slowly over some form of wood fuel for a long period of time, thus tenderizing the meat and creating a smoky, caramelized outer surface known as the ‘bark'”

Grilling directly over hot coals is high (heat) and fast cooking  (the opposite of low and slow).  This technique is perfect for burgers and other food that’s either thin or tender.  But for other, tougher cuts of meat, the cooking style needs to be different.  Enter “barbecue”.  Cooking over a low heat over a long period of time can make even the toughest cut of meat mouth wateringly tender.
Here at, we’ll cover all aspects of BBQ from the equipment, the wide variety of cooking techniques, recipes and lots more.  So however you want to call it, however you want to cook it, if you want to eat it, you’ve come to the right place!