Barbecue or barbeque (informally BBQ) is a term used with significant regional and national variations to describe various cooking methods which use live fire and smoke to cook the food. The English word «barbecue» and its cognates in other languages come from the Spanish word barbacoa. Cooking, cookery, or culinary arts is the art, science, and craft of using heat to prepare food for consumption.
The various regional variations of barbecue can be broadly categorized into those methods which use direct or indirect heating. Indirect barbecues are those, in which meat is heated by roasting or smoking over wood or charcoal. These methods of barbecue involve cooking using smoke at low temperatures and long cooking times (several hours).
Elsewhere, barbecuing more commonly refers to the more direct application of heat, grilling of food over hot coals or gas. This technique is usually done over direct, dry heat or a hot fire for a few minutes.
Barbecue varies by the type of meat, sauce or other flavorings used. The point in barbecuing at which they are added, the role smoke plays, the equipment and fuel used, cooking temperature, and cooking time.
Barbecuing encompasses multiple types of cooking techniques. The original technique is cooking using smoke at low temperatures—usually around 240–280 °F or 115–145 °C and significantly longer cooking times, known as smoking.
Smoking is the process of flavoring, browning, cooking or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning or smoldering material, most often wood. Meat and fish are the most common smoked foods, though cheeses, vegetables, nuts, and ingredients used to make beverages such as beer or smoked beer are also smoked.
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves a dry heat applied to the food, either from above or below. Grilling is an effective technique in order to cook meat or vegetables quickly.
Grilling is done over direct, dry heat, usually over a hot fire over 500 °F (260 °C) for a few minutes. Grilling may be done over wood, charcoal, gas, or electricity. There are many methods of grilling, which involve a type of braising or roasting.
A barbecue grill or barbeque grill (known as a barbecue or barbie in Australia) is a device that cooks food by applying heat from below.
There are several varieties of grills, with most falling into one of three categories: gas-fueled, charcoal, or electric. Grilling has existed in the Americas since pre-Colonial times. Some variety of grills are,
- Electric grill
- Gas grills
- Infrared grills
- Commercial grills
- Charcoal grills
Charcoal grills use either charcoal briquettes or natural lump charcoal as their fuel source. When burned, the charcoal will transform into embers radiating the heat necessary to cook food.