SUMMER COOKIN’! Grilling vs. Barbequing

Hey Food Nerds!  It’s that time of year again! Summertime!!! Which means it’s a great time to cook outdoors.  Many of us love to Barbeque…Many of us love to Grill.  But did you know that there is a difference between the two??  While these cooking techniques- “Barbequing” and “Grilling” are commonly used interchangeably, many of us are just grilling.  Let’s explore…


by definition is a cooking method that uses extremely high heat (between 350F – 1000F), typically radiating from beneath the cooking surface using flames of growing coals. This cooking method works best with small, thin cuts of meat like steaks, chops, burgers and vegetables that typically takes a shorter period of time (at or around 60 minutes) to cook through.  Grilling usually results in “grill marks” and caramelization to enhance the flavor and color of the food.  Two techniques of grilling are:

  1. DIRECT- Cooking small/thin cuts of meats and veggies over high heat to sear the food’s surface to seal in the juices.


  1. INDIRECT- Cooks larger cuts of meat at a lower temperature without burning them. This is done typically using wood chips

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA



Barbequing or Smoking

on the other hand, is a method that is a bit similar to indirect grilling in that foods are cooked with smoke using wood chips, logs and coals at much lower temperatures (typically between 225F – 275F).  Smoking works best with larger cuts of meats like ribs (which can also be grilled), whole cuts of fish, whole poultry, roasts, etc. This cooking method takes much longer time (up to about 12 hours) to cook through.  Results yield a typically tender texture with a smokier flavor than grilling.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

So, when grilling, how do we know when meats, in particular, have been cooked to our desired level of satisfaction or even cooked to a safe level for consumption??  The table below answers this question as it lists temperatures of “doneness” for various types of meats and fish.

Doneness Temperatures for Meats

Meat Temperature How Meat Should Look/Feel
Beef, Veal and Lamb
–      Rare  125-130°F Red and shiny interior
–      Medium Rare 135-140°F Rosy pink interior; juicy
–      Medium 150-155°F Pink ant the center; pale pink juices
– Well Done 160-165°F Evenly brown throughout; no traces of red/pink; moist but no juices firm to touch
Poultry, Dark Meat

– leg, thigh and wing

170-175°F No dark red fleshy color; meat releases easily from the bone
Poultry, White meat

– Bone-in/Boneless

– Skin-on/Skinless

160-165°F No pink on the inside; even opaque color; very firm
Poultry, ground 155-160°F No pink color throughout; firm to touch and opaque color
Pork 160-165°F Juices run clear; firm to touch
Fish/Seafood 145-150°F Slightly firm; very moist interior; not overly flaky


  • ALWAYS exercise caution when eating raw or undercooked meats as this can increase your risks of foodborne illnesses such as Ecoli and Salmonella.


We hope this information has helped to make you a savvier Grillmaster!  Need some flavor inspiration?  Try out this tasty recipe!  Let us know what some of your favorites on the grill are! Have a safe and heathy the rest of your summer!!

Food Nerd signing off…