Barbecue is an interesting term in the world today. Barbecue is mentioned in conversations whether they are grilling or doing what is considered true barbecue food recipes. The similarities are pretty simple, usually accomplished in the backyard and among friends and family. So what are the differences?
Barbecue grilling is what most people do on the weekends during spring, summer and fall. Grilling is merely cooking meat and vegetables on a grill that is fuel by charcoal, gas or electric. The food is usually placed directly over the flame but sometimes away from the heat. The key here is really the temperature and the amount of time it takes to cook the meat. At 300 to 400 degrees F of temperature the meat will be done quickly.
Mainly people cook steak and chicken breasts and pork chops on the grill. Sometimes vegetables are also cooked on the grill. Naturally the vegetables take less time to cook so are placed later in the cooking process so the meat and vegetable are finished at the same time. If you are using charcoal you will impart some flavor to the food, using gas or electric will not.
True barbecue has been around since caveman days. Meat slowly cooked at low temperature for several hours rendering out the fat and leaving wonderful meat full of flavor. This has been handed down over hundreds of generations and refined in certain areas around the world.
Here in the United States true barbecue is really becoming a popular way of cooking in the backyard. Many people are either purchasing a smoker in addition to their grill or they are converting their grill into a smoker when needed.
This method of cooking requires low temperature of 180 to 250 degrees F. The other requirement is it must have wood to create smoke that flavors the meat. The cool part of the smoker is that you can use many different types of wood and even combine them to achieve a unique flavor profile.
Flavoring the Meat
The meat itself requires a rub to impart flavor before being placed in the smoker. A rub consists of spices and herbs that add flavor to the meat. Some of the basics are salt, sugar, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. The rub is far more than just what was mentioned because numerous spices are used to shape the flavor of the meat based on your preferences. This means everyone makes a unique tasting meat customized to their taste.
When it comes to pork butt which is really part of a pork shoulder some pit masters inject a solution of apple juice and apple cider vinegar to impart both flavor and moistness to the meat.
Sauce is used at the very end of the process when it comes to pork ribs as earlier it will burn the bark which is a precious taste that all pit masters strive for. As for a pork butt or shoulder that has sauce added after you have torn the meat apart or reserved for dipping.
Type of Meats Usually Smoked
The meat usually pork in the form of either ribs or pork butts. When it comes to beef, brisket is the most popular. Among pit masters a brisket is considered the most challenging of all meat. This not to say other types of meat are not cooked on smokers, it means that the meat mentioned above is the most popular.
All in all cooking meat in the backyard can be quick and fun or a lot of work and fun, the choice is yours. In this authors opinion there is nothing better than meat that has been cooked using smoking as the method. The meat is juicy, tender and without doubt full of flavor.