Blog: BBQ Tips

Difference Between Barbecuing And Grilling

By MariJo Kolze

Barbecuing and grilling are often mistaken for the same thing by many people. While both of these methods make excellent meats, their flavors are very different. Unlike grilling, barbecue involves cooking food slowly and can be used to cook tougher meat. As for grilling, you prepare your meat using higher heat, and for a shorter period of time. Either method will result in a tasty meal, but barbecuing is a better option if you prefer an intense, smoky flavor.

What is Barbecuing?

BBQ Ribs

Barbecuing is known as a slow and low-temperature cooking process. If you love those large, authentic BBQ pieces of meat, you're familiar with this process. Because you grill at lower temperatures ranging from 190 to 300 degrees when you barbecue, you get a juicier, more even cut of meat. If you cook large pieces of meat at these temperatures, cooking time will be longer, ranging from 4 to 6 hours, or even longer.

There are also differences when it comes to how the heat reflects off the meat when barbecuing. As an example, the meat isn't cooked directly over the flames, but instead uses indirect heat and a two-zone method of cooking. The indirect heat method gives barbecue its authentic smoky flavor. Often, people use wood or charcoal when barbecuing to enhance the flavor and bring out that distinct taste. As long as "slow and low" is on your mind, you'll be able to barbecue some delicious meat.

As for the seasoning part, it is best to avoid adding BBQ sauce while barbecuing meat due to their long cooking times. Due to tougher meats taking longer to cook, adding BBQ sauce will simply burn the meat. If you want to enhance the flavor even more, add a bit after you take the meat off or use it as a side dip!

Best Foods to Barbecue

As mentioned earlier, the best foods to barbecue are the big and fattier pieces of meat. Meats such as a pork shoulder, ribs, or a whole chicken can fit into this category. When grilling, you should choose meats that are less tender and already marinated. Next time you fire up the grill, watch this smoked pulled pork recipe by chef Billy Parisi!

What is Grilling?


Grilling on the other hand, is something that is very common across households. Due to the faster cooking process, families often choose to use this method during the busy week to prepare their meat. As a result, grilling is often referred to as a fast and hot cooking method. Normally, grilling takes place at temperatures between 450 and 550 degrees, for a shorter period of time.

When grilling, you place the meat directly over the flames. Using direct heat, you prepare food over a charcoal or gas grill. Since you are grilling for a shorter period of time, you will not produce smoke like you would if you were barbecuing. Although grilling gives you the same natural, juicy taste as barbecuing, it will not have the same smoky taste. We recommend adding a rub, marinade, or sauce to your meat to give it more flavor.

If you wish to add seasoning to your grilling, you can marinate beforehand with your rub or spices. In addition, you can also apply a BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of cooking to achieve the desired taste and texture.

Best Foods to Grill

When it comes to the best foods to grill, there is a wide range of options. However, cooking smaller pieces of meat like hamburgers, chicken, steaks, etc. is better. Despite the smaller meats, there are still thick cuts, like a filet mignon or ribeye, you can grill. The key to grilling meats is choosing those with the most tenderness because they cook more quickly and will be able to maintain their juiciness. Grilling is also a good way to cook tasty vegetables, as it enhances their sweetness and flavor.

Check out this Youtube video for a fast and easy way to grill chicken on the grill!

Always Keep Internal Temperatures in Mind

No matter what cooking method you decide to use, you always want to check on your meat when finished to make sure it is at the right internal temperature for that perfect, juicy result. Save this cooking temperature chart next time you decide to barbecue or grill!

chart via

Read more

BBQ Rubs vs BBQ Sauces: Which to Use

By MariJo Kolze

Spices and Sauces

Every BBQ lover knows that spices and sauces enhance the flavor of their meats. Despite this, few people know the difference between the types of rubs and BBQ sauces and when they should use each. The choice to use a spice or sauce depends entirely on the cook, but there are a few tips that can help make your decision easier. While these methods may be used differently, they both add a nice flavorful taste to your meat!

Types of Rubs 

Rubs are one of the most common ways to season meat while grilling. A rub in general, is a mixture of spices and seasonings that are applied to the outside of meat before it is cooked. Depending on the cut or marbling of the meat, some meats don't need much seasoning. However, some meats may require additional seasoning, such as rubs, to enhance their taste. 

Dry Rubs

In dry rubs, various spices, sugars and herbs are combined. A dry rub typically contains ingredients like paprika, pepper, and sugar. Ultimately, it's a seasoning made from several dry ingredients. Dry rubs not only add a nice crust and bark to your meat, but it also intensifies its flavor. A popular dry rub that is great on every protein, including shrimp is The Gospel’s All-Purpose Southwestern rub. The ingredients in this rub include paprika, sugar, garlic, and other spices to give off an incredible BBQ flavor. 

Wet Rubs

A wet rub contains many of the same ingredients as a dry rub. The only difference between the two is that a wet rub contains a liquid ingredient. If your meat is somewhat dry from the start, using a wet rub is a great option. When forming a wet rub, it is important to have enough liquid ingredients to make the paste thick and strong enough to apply to meat. Oil, vinegar, mustard, and even alcohol are some of the wet ingredients used in different types of rubs. Liquid ingredients like these allow dry and wet ingredients to adhere to the meat and create a powerful flavor. For your next meal, try Kinder's original wet rub sample! 

When to Apply a Rub

The process of using both a wet and dry rub is very simple. Before you apply your rubs, you want to make sure you pat down your meat with a paper towel in order to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Then you can apply your rubs to your meat by using your hands to make sure the spices and herbs are absorbed into the meat. You'll get a nice and crispy texture when your spices soak into the meat. If you want the best flavor, add the dry rub to the steak at least an hour before grilling. However, you can add the dry rub as little as right before you throw it on the grill. For wet rubs, apply the rub about an hour before grilling, or up to several hours before if you have time. The results of a wet rub will be similar to those of a dry rub, but the meat will contain more moisture.

For cooking with rubs, it is important to know what kind of temperature and meats work best with each rub. Dry rubs can be applied to almost anything, which makes them very versatile. As they can be used under a grill or in the oven, they are an excellent choice for high heat temperatures. Dry rubs go well with protein options such as beef, pork, and chicken. When choosing a dry rub for your meat, look for ingredients such as brown sugar, paprika, pepper, and garlic powder. Utilize Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub for a smoky, sweet flavor with a kick. For a stronger blend of flavor, try Traeger's Beef Rub, which goes well with ribs, ribeyes, and other beef cuts. 

In terms of cooking with a wet rub, you should ensure that it remains as a paste on your meat, rather than turning into a liquid marinade. For this reason, you should prepare your meat at low temperatures so that it does not burn. If you cook your meat at a low temperature, your meat's crust will absorb the sugars rather than burning them. Slow-cooked pork or beef roast are some great options that pair well with wet rubs. The slow cooking allows the wet rub to create a beautiful bark on the outside while keeping the moisture inside. For the next time you cook pork, try this recipe!

What is BBQ Sauce?

BBQ sauce was created in the 17th century as a way to enhance grilling. Back then, BBQ sauce consisted only of salt, vinegar, and pepper. BBQ sauces were so popular for BBQ as they serve as a form of marinade where they enhance the flavor of the meat and tenderize it. BBQ sauces today are normally made with some kind of enzyme, like a fruit, and an acidic ingredient, like vinegar that helps break down the meat's proteins. It will also include ingredients such as ketchup, chili peppers, mustard, etc. The ingredients in the sauces are essential as they help bring flavor to the meat throughout the cooking process, as well as after. 

BBQ sauces have a reasonable amount of sugar, therefore adding the sauce towards the end of the cooking process will keep it from overcooking and burning your meat. Sugar in BBQ sauces is crucial to developing the flavor of your meat, but can burn at high temperatures. For this, you should apply your BBQ sauce of choice around the last 10 minutes of cooking so that you capture the ideal taste without overdoing it. Remember this tip next time you light up the grill, because many people forget and end up burning their perfect meal by putting on the sauce too soon. 

The choice is yours whether or not to use BBQ sauce as a marinade or dipping sauce. We recommend you try our famous Waterloo BBQ Sauce as the dipping sauce of your choice. If you want to use BBQ sauce as a marinade, we recommend you choose meats that need to be cooked for longer periods like ribs. However, if you wanted to use it as a dipping sauce, some fan favorite meals are pulled pork sandwiches or any pulled meats. Either way you choose to use your BBQ sauce as a condiment on your meal, or even as a marinade, you can’t go wrong!

Can you use both for BBQ?

To get the best of both worlds, you can definitely use both a rub and a BBQ sauce when preparing your meat. In fact, most BBQ lovers use both while cooking. When using both, apply the dry rub to the meat first before grilling it, so it will absorb as much flavor as possible. As you are about to remove the meat from the grill, then apply your BBQ sauce. In case you cannot decide between a dry or wet seasoning, your BBQ sauce can be served on the side. You can’t go wrong with either method of seasoning as they both enhance and elevate the flavor of meat!

Read more

10 Things to Remember For Your Next BBQ

By MariJo Kolze

1. Know the difference between grills

Choosing the right grill is just as important as choosing the right meat. You’ll find every grill is different causing variation in temperature and cook time. The two most popular grilling options are charcoal and gas grills. Charcoal grills are a more authentic way to grill, as they burn lump charcoal as fuel. The smoky flavor that comes with this grill is well worth the cooking and preparation time, and perfect for anyone who loves BBQ. Another common grilling method that you would find in most homes is a gas grill. It's better to use a gas grill if you want to cook your meats faster since they heat up more quickly, and the cook time is shorter. Gas grills also have the benefit of adding moisture to your meat while grilling due to the steam that is released. When it comes to choosing either grilling method, there is no wrong choice. Each option has its own advantages, so choose one that suits you best!

2. Choose metal utensils 

Grilling with the wrong tools can ruin your great meal. The right utensils, such as stainless steel options, are essential. The intense heat on a grill makes stainless steel utensils a good choice since these materials don't conduct heat well. They’re also easy to clean and durable, making stainless steel a desirable option. If you used plastic on the other hand, it’d probably melt.

3. Keep the grill clean 

Maintaining your grill is important for many reasons. By cleaning the residue and extra food particles or sauces from the grill, you can extend the lifespan of your grill and save a lot of money in the long run. More importantly, cleaning the grill helps prevent food contamination. Ideally, you want to be able to enjoy the flavor of the meal you prepared without worrying about tasting previous meals or possibly contracting food poisoning. Having a fresh clean grill will ensure that your meal will be cooked better, safer, and with more flavor. It's important to satisfy your taste buds with the flavorful steak you paid so much for and worked so hard for!

4. Always have BBQ fuel available 

Different grill fuels require different cooking times and preheating. Be sure to always keep plenty of BBQ fuel on hand so that you can be sure to grill your food properly. With that, it's important to know what kind of fuel works best for your grill. A charcoal grill, for instance, uses charcoal in the form of briquettes and you light the coals to begin grilling. With gas grills, propane is typically the preferred fuel source and is very simple to use. It’s very easy to use propane as a fuel source, as you buy the tank and simply attach it to your grill. To light the propane, there are burners built into the grill. The use of these barbecue fuel options is very common due to their simplicity and efficiency.

5. Flare-ups are more common than you think

A flare-up is a common occurrence when grilling. Usually, flare-ups are caused by excess fat on meats, or oil splashing onto the food and hitting the coals. If this happens while you are grilling, don’t panic. Flare-ups can be controlled in a couple of ways before they ruin your tasty meal. As an example, if your grill includes a hot zone and a medium zone, you can simply transfer food between the two zones. When you aren't using the two zone method, putting the lid on your grill is another way you can control flare-ups. By covering the grill, you remove the oxygen that fuels the fire, which eliminates the flames.

6. Make sure to season meat thoroughly 

The night before your barbecue, marinate your meat for the best flavor. You can really bring out the flavor of your meat by applying salt to it the night before. Adding salt to your meat is a great way to make it tender and juicy. If you can't do it the night before, season the meat at least an hour before grilling it. The larger the piece of fish or meat, the more seasoning is needed. Using the correct seasoning prior to grilling will allow you to achieve the best taste.

7. When to take the meat off

When cooking different grades and cuts of meat, it's important to know when they are done. To be certain that your meat is done, purchase a thermometer. Using a thermometer is a cost-effective and efficient method of ensuring your meat is free of any food-borne illnesses, and cooked properly. After using a thermometer and determining that the meat is ready to be served, you should let it rest on a cutting board. A resting period is an important part of your grilling, since it allows the meat to absorb the juices that have formed during the cooking process.

8. Avoid adding sauces too early

When grilling meat, it's important to know when to add sauces, as they can change its flavor. Sugar is one of the ingredients in barbecue sauces, and it can burn when heated above 350 degrees. BBQ sauce that burns while cooking will give your food a distinct taste and change the whole flavor. Adding barbecue sauce to the food during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking is the best time to do so. The meat will then have a more flavorful coating rather than having a burnt exterior, and you will achieve better results.

9. Different techniques are required when grilling fish

Most people enjoy freshly grilled fish, however they forget that grilling fish is different than meat. First, grilling fish increases the likelihood that it will stick to the grill so be sure to pat and oil it very well before grilling. When it comes to the grill, be sure to clean it very well and set the temperature at a high heat. For best results, it's recommended to grill a dense fish to prevent flakiness and breaking. Fish such as tuna and salmon are all great dense sources of protein to choose from. The fish can be easily removed from the grill after it's cooked and is ready to be served to your guests.

10. Avoid grilling cold foods directly

Before grilling, you should let your meat come to room temperature. This is important because cold meat will not contain the flavors of your meat. It also won’t cook evenly, resulting in the outside of the meat being cooked but the inside being cold. You should remove your meat from the fridge at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before grilling in order to prevent this from happening, and for achieving your best results!

Read more