What Is The Difference Between Grill And Barbeque?

Do you know the difference between grill and barbeque? 

Nothing brings people together better than a meal and this makes cooking outdoors one of the best activities for bonding with your family and friends.

Sharing juicy pieces of steak with your loved ones will bring great memories that you will cherish for a long time, but sometimes such gatherings end up in frustrations.

bbq vs grilling

Preparing your meat the wrong way may result in it being undercooked, charred, or worse remain stuck to the grill.

When preparing meat, grilling, and barbecuing are some of the best ways to prepare it. Most people, however, use these two terms interchangeably but is that really the case?

Can one term be used instead of another and still mean the same thing? Definitely not. 

Grilling and barbecuing are two distinct and unique ways of preparing protein and I will highlight the difference between them to help you prepare your dishes in the right way.

The main difference between grilling and BBQ

Both of these methods will result in tasty pieces of meat but that is where the similarities end. The preparation methods and the outcome are different for each of these cooking styles. 

Let’s take a look at the main differences between them.

Grilling heat

This is the main difference between these two types of cooking. Both methods have different heat requirements which I will highlight below.

Grilling temperature

Grilling relies on the high and direct heat from the cooking device to prepare the meat. The high temperatures generated from the glowing charcoal or the flames from a gas radiate below the grill grate.

Radiation and conduction heat transfer

When preparing protein this way, the dish receives heat from only one direction and you have to periodically flip the meat to ensure it cooks properly. 

Grilling relies on two forms of heat transfer; radiation and conduction.

Heat energy from the burning flames and the glowing charcoal reaches the meat through radiation to cook it. 

The meat is placed directly on the grill grate to ensure it receives heat energy through conduction when the cooking device gets heated up by the burning charcoal or gas.

grilled meat

Grilled meat gets its flavor when fat from the protein drips to the heating source and generates smoke that seasons the meat. 

The temperature of the glowing charcoal and the gas flames can be in the region of 2000–3500°F while that of the grate can be in the region of 500–700°F, depending on the amount of coal burning or how much gas has been turned up.

What temperature do you grill meat at?

Different kinds of meat require different cooking temperatures. It is important to consider it so you won’t undercook or overcook it. Which degree of doneness do you like? When grilling a steak I recommend the next temperatures.

  • Rare – 130 – 135°F
  • Medium rare – 140°F
  • Medium – 155°F
  • Well-done – 165°F
At what temperature do you flip a steak?

If you want a perfectly grilled steak than you should flip it on the other side when it has around 350°F. You should have a thermometer gauge to know how much temperature the dish has.


Barbecuing is a slow and indirect method of preparing dishes. In this method, heat from the burning coal or gas is far away from the meal being prepared hence its indirect nature. 

The heat can either be below the meat or to the side but not in direct contact with it.

When preparing it, the grill lid should always be kept closed to conserve the heat energy within the device. 

Ambient heat circulates within the unit and reaches the meat by convection currents. The cooking temperatures within the grill don’t exceed more than 300°F which is a lot less than the temperatures used for direct grilling.

What are the best meats to grill and barbecue?

Each of these cooking methods is ideal for different pieces of meat. This is because different cuts and meat types require different heating temperatures to ensure they are cooked properly.

Take a look at what to grill and what types of protein are better barbecued.

What meat to grill?

Since grilling relies on high and direct heat to prepare meals, you should only use it to prepare small and tender meat types. 

These include soft steaks, pork chops, seafood, and chicken breasts that cook quickly and hence are perfect for this type of direct and high heat cooking.

What’s the best meat to barbecue?

The slow and indirect form of cooking is ideal for large and tough pieces of meat that contain lots of connective tissues. 

Barbecuing will turn those sinewy and large pieces of protein into tender and succulent pieces for you and your guests.

Some of the pieces that you can prepare this way include briskets, shoulders, and ribs. 

These parts contain heavily worked tissues and as such, they have to be smoked thoroughly and slowly for them to be ready for the dinner table.

Grilling time

Grilling time is another aspect that can be used to differentiate the forms of cooking. 

Different cuts and types of meat not only require different levels of heat but also need to be cooked for different periods of time for them to be ready for eating. 

Here is how long you need to prepare your protein using either of these two methods before serving.

How long to grill meat?

The direct and high heat method associated with grilling ensures that the meat is done in a short period of time. 

The average amount of time that you will need to prepare your dish when cooking is roughly 5 – 20 minutes depending on the protein type and its size. 

You should, however, keep the pieces small to ensure that they are grilled properly.

How long does it take to grill a steak?

Do you want to surprise your guests by serving them with a perfectly grilled steak?

Consider my tips to cook it perfectly. Cook the steak on one side for 4-5 minutes until it gets that golden-brown color. Then flip it on the other side and grill it.

grilled steak

What kind of steak do you want? Medium rare or well done? Cook it on the other side for 3-5 minutes if you want a medium-rare steak. If you want more grilled steak then prolong the cooking time for 2-5 minutes more.

Are you doing it for the first time and you don’t know if they will turn OK? My advice is that you practice it when ever you can to become a grill master.

How long do you grill a steak at 400 degrees?

Whenever you have a steak to grill you should know that different steak sizes require different cooking times. For one inch thick steak you need only 10 minutes of preparation.

The cooking time increases with the thickness of the meat, just be careful not to burn it.

How long does it take to grill a burger?

Grilling a burger won’t take too much of your time. Place them on heated grates until they get that golden-brown color and seared marks.

Then flip them over to the other side and cook them for about 3-5 minutes more.

How long does it take to cook a turkey on the grill?

If you have a turkey steak than you will need about 6 minutes to cook it. However, if you intend to barbecue the whole bird on a low heat you will need to grill it much longer to have that soft and juicy meat.

The general rule is that you cook turkey from 11-13 minutes per pound. So, you should weight the bird before grilling to know how long will you have it on the grill.

How long does it take to grill a fish?

Fish is a delicate and soft protein so you don’t have to cook it long. It can easily stick to the grates so it is important that you don’t turn it on the other side too soon.

Turn it after 3-4 minutes. I recommend that you consider the general rule when preparing it. Cook it for 8-10 minutes for each inch of the meat.

How long to cook meat on barbecue?

The slow and indirect form of cooking ensures that food takes longer to get cooked when prepared this way. Meal preparation time can be 2 hours or 10 hours depending on the cut and the size.

What is a barbeque grill?

A barbeque grill is a cooking device that grills different types of food like meat and vegetables on the heat that is produced by charcoal, gas, or electricity.

The device has a grill grates on which you place food to cook. Food has sear marks from the grates.

Why is BBQ so popular?

Barbecuing is a popular outdoor activity. People like to invite friends over and eat grilled food that has that special flavor and taste.


Grilling and barbecuing are some of the best cooking ways to prepare food. Most people, however, confuse the two methods so it is important for you to know the difference between grill and barbecue.

If you want to serve tasty food make sure that you understand how to prepare meat on direct or indirect cooking methods by considering the tips that I gave you.

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