Smoking, Barbecuing, And Grilling - What Is The Difference?
A lot of people don't understand the difference between
smoking, barbecuing, and grilling. When grilling, you
quickly seal in the juices from the piece you are cooking.
An outside crust is created that acts as a barrier and
prevents meat juices from migrating outside. Grilling
takes minutes and it needs high temperatures to burn
the meat on the outside. Smoking takes hours, sometimes
even days. Don't be fooled by the common misconception
that by throwing some wet wood chips over hot coals
you can smoke your meat. At best you can only add some
flavor on the outside because the moment the surface
of the meat becomes dry and cooked, a significant barrier
exists that inhibits smoke penetration. A properly smoked
piece of meat has to be thoroughly smoked, on the outside
and everywhere else. Only prolonged cold smoking will
achieve that result. All these methods are different
from each other, especially smoking and grilling. The
main factor separating them is temperature.
Smoking almost no heat, 52°
140° F (12°-60° C), 1 hr to 2 weeks
Barbecuing low heat, 200°
300° F (93°-150° C), few hours
Grilling high heat, 500° F (200°
The purpose of grilling is to char the surface of meat
and seal in the juices by creating a smoky caramelized
crust. By the same token a barrier is erected that prevents
smoke from flowing inside. The meat may have a somewhat
smoky flavor on the outside but it was never smoked
Barbecuing comes much closer, but not close enough.
It is a long, slow, indirect, low-heat method that uses
charcoal or wood pieces to smoke-cook the meat. The
best definition is that barbecuing is cooking with smoke.
It is ideally suited for large pieces of meat like ribs,
loins or entire pigs. The temperature range of 200°
300° F is still too high to smoke meats which
is especially important when smoking sausages since
the fat will melt away through the casings and the final
product will taste like bread crumbs. A barbecue unit
can be used for smoking meats but remember that to smoke
a large piece of meat will take hours and if the temperature
will be high the meat will be cooked for a long time.
That will make it very dry. Burn your charcoal briquettes
outside until the ash is white, then introduce them
inside otherwise they will impart a nasty flavor to
your meat. This charcoal flavor might be acceptable
for barbecued meats but must not be allowed when making
quality smoked meat. Now wood chips may be placed on
glowing embers to generate smoke. You can not substitute
hardwood with charcoal briquettes no matter how pretty
they look and how expensive they are. Hardwood wins
every time. Smoking is what the word says: smoking meats
with smoke that may or may not be followed by cooking.
Some products are only smoked at low temperatures and
never cooked, yet are safe to eat. Generally we may
say that smoking consists of two steps:
After smoking is done we increase the temperature to
about 170° F (76° C) to start cooking. The Food
And Drug Administration recommends cooking meat products
to 160° F (71° C) which is fine when cooking
fresh meats. Meats to be smoked are almost always cured
with nitrite and a considerable safety margin is added
and most professional books recommend 154° F (68°
C). Smoked meats don't always have to be baked to the
safe temperature inside of the smokehouse. Many smoked
meats such as hams, butts and sausages after smoking
are cooked in hot water. The correct word would be poached
as the water temperature is kept at about 176° F
(80° C). There are important differences between
smoking and barbecuing. Barbecued or grilled meats are
eaten immediately the moment they are done. Smoked meats
are usually eaten cold at a later date. When smoking
foods a higher degree of smoke penetration is needed
and that can be only achieved at lower temperatures.
Furthermore, smoked meats are eaten cold. Many great
recipes require that smoked products hang for a designated
time to lose more weight to become drier. It is only
then that they are ready for consumption.
Adam Marianski has co-authored two books on meat smoking
and making sausages. He runs the web site Wedliny
Domowe where you can find more about making quality
meats at home.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Adam_Marianski