The art of outdoor cooking: barbecue, grilling, and smoking

Dec 26, 2023

It’s time to embrace the great outdoors and fire up the grill! Cooking outdoors is part of any Aussie’s DNA, and understanding the nuances of different outdoor cooking methods can elevate your skills to new heights.

In this blog post, our butchers in Melbourne delve into the fascinating world of barbecue, grilling, and smoking, exploring their unique characteristics and when to use each method to create mouthwatering dishes that will quickly become the highlight of your summer gatherings.

So, fire up your grill, stoke the smoker, or set up the BBQ pit, and get ready to enjoy a summer filled with mouthwatering meals!


Get to know these popular cooking techniques

Barbecue (BBQ)

Barbecue, or BBQ, is a cooking technique steeped in tradition and patience.

It involves the slow cooking of meat over low, indirect heat for an extended period. The magic of BBQ lies in the time it takes for the meat to develop its flavour, resulting in tender and tasty dishes that are perfect for those long, lazy summer afternoons.

To achieve authentic barbecue, you’ll typically use wood or charcoal as the heat source. This imparts a distinct smokiness to the meat, enhancing that typical smoky bite.

Cuts of meat like ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder are often the stars of the barbecue. These cuts are known for their toughness, and the slow cooking process of BBQ helps break down the collagen and connective tissues, rendering them tender and succulent.


Grilling is perhaps the most common and accessible form of outdoor cooking.

It involves cooking meat quickly over high, direct heat. The goal of grilling is to sear the exterior of the meat, creating a delicious crust while keeping the interior juicy and full of delicious flavour. Grilling is a popular method for steaks, burgers, sausages, and vegetables. In short, it’s a staple at Australian barbecues!

Grilling is the epitome of simplicity and speed. It’s an ideal choice when you want to cook a meal in a timely manner or when you’re looking for that classic grilled flavour. Whether it’s the sizzle of a steak hitting the grill grates or the aroma of charred vegetables, grilling evokes the spirit of summer.


Smoking is the method for those who enjoy a slow and steady cooking journey.

It’s all about infusing meat with the rich, smoky essence of wood chips or chunks. Smoking involves cooking meat at lower temperatures than traditional BBQ, often taking several hours or even days, depending on the meat and desired result.

The art of smoking allows you to experiment with various wood types, each imparting a unique flavour to the meat. Common choices include hickory, mesquite, and apple.

Meats like ribs, pulled pork, and even fish are transformed by this slow-cooking technique. The extended cooking time, combined with the gentle embrace of smoke, results in tender, flavourful dishes that are sure to impress your guests – our mouths are watering just thinking about it!

Choosing the right cooking method

Now that you have a deeper understanding of barbecue, grilling, and smoking, the next step is choosing the right method for your culinary masterpiece. Here are some considerations:


If you have the luxury of time and want to create a mouthwatering, tender masterpiece, opt for barbecue or smoking.

Flavour intensity

If you’re seeking an intense smoky flavour, smoking is the way to go.


When you’re short on time or want a quick, classic flavour, grilling is the answer.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to combine these methods. For example, you can start by smoking a brisket low and slow to infuse it with smoky goodness, and then finish it off with a quick sear on the grill to create that perfect crust.

Barbecue, grilling, and smoking techniques

Ready to master the art of outdoor cooking?

Understanding the differences between barbecue, grilling, and smoking is essential for mastering the art of outdoor cooking.

With the summer season upon us, it’s the perfect time to experiment with these techniques and delight your taste buds with a variety of delicious dishes. 

Whether you’re a seasoned barbecue aficionado or a novice griller, the world of outdoor cooking offers endless possibilities for creativity. Buy meat online and try something new this summer!

Embrace the heat, bask in the sunshine, and let the sizzle and smoke of the grill be the soundtrack to your summer BBQ adventures. Happy cooking!