Summer months are often paired with the pleasant aromas of freshly grilled and smoked food pouring from the grill. However, with proper mastery, these irresistible scents can waft through the air year-round. Grilling and smoking meats can produce incredible meals. But, it’s important to understand that while these methods are similar, the execution differs. This post will shed light on the differences between grilling and smoking and showcase a few tricks that’ll have you grilling and smoking meats at home like a real pro.

Firstly, grilling is the process of cooking food through an indirect or direct heat source. This heat chars the meat, allowing the foods to seal in their natural flavors and juices. Grilling typically takes place over a gas or charcoal grill, but infrared grills are often utilized as well. Grilling is the quicker barbecue method compared to smoking. Direct grilling is the grilling method responsible for preparing meats like steaks, pork chops and chicken breasts. Indirect grilling is a slower approach using less heat, which is best fit for grilling meats like ribs, briskets and pork shoulders.

Alternatively, smoking is a much slower cooking process. Heat emitted from burning woods at a low temperature is how it works. Whichever wood you end up using will then provide an added smoky and natural taste to whatever meats are being prepared. In comparison to grilling, smoking breaks down the collagen in meat which provides a more tender texture. The smoking process is usually performed in specialized meat smokers or grills that support consistent temperatures between 68° and 176° Fahrenheit.

Becoming a master of grilling and smoking will definitely take time. Though, with the help of some professional tips, anyone can feel more prepared. Here’s one when it comes to clean up. Rather than using the same dirty old grill brush, ball up aluminum foil to use to clean your grill grates once you are done grilling. The aluminum can remove all the grime leftover from your session. Also, using a fresh onion will produce the same effects. An onion’s acidity will strip the grates of all residue as well.

Preparation can also be a challenge, so here are a few tricks to make sure you get all of the most out of your meat’s potential. First, mist your meats with a combination of equal parts water and equal parts apple cider vinegar. This combination helps food remain moist throughout the cooking process while producing an even more smoky flavor. You can also improve smoked foods through aromatics. Add some herbs on top of the charcoal to improve the flavor of any meat.

For home-based barbecue enthusiasts wanting to learn more, be sure to check out the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of Barbecue At Home.



Many people think that barbecue is not their cup of tea. But after reading this post, you’ll never think that again. We really hope that the expert tips and tricks mentioned above will help you to barbecue like a pro. Enjoy the barbecue!

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