Barbecuing, Grilling, Or……?

Many true hardcore barbecuing purists in the U.S. state that if you cook anything “directly” above hot coals then you are grilling. That’s it. End of discussion. Real barbecuing is slow cooking over an indirect fire.

Some others may state that grilling is cooking quickly over hot coals while barbecuing is nice and slow with a low fire-directly or indirectly.

Then you have some who say that anything cooked on a barbecue grill is barbecuing.

Recently I came across a forum where one user linked to this site with compliments to the Argentinean way of barbecuing(or grilling) meats. Another user came along and said something like, “if it’s over an open flame, that ain’t barbecuing”. (add a Southern twang to that ain’t)

Everyone has their own opinion and that’s fine, but where exactly does Argentinean parrilla-style fit in for other purists if the subject is placed on the table? Notice I said parrilla-style not asado criollo, al palo, a la cruz, etc.(cooked on a spit or cross next to a fire which is old school, real old school, and what I’ll cover another day). Is it grilling or barbecuing? Both? This isn’t a debate or comparison between the two, just how the definition applies to a method.

Grilling, in their terms, may apply to a super thick bife de chorizo that one orders in a restaurant and is cooked in less than 30 minutes. Fine, but what about the real stuff? You know the thick chunk of asado, vacio, cordero(lamb), or lechon(young pig) that is slowly cooked for hours. Now these tasty juicy slabs can be cooked directly or indirectly depending on coal placement, but let’s keep this discussion to the direct heat method. Is that “just grillin’“?

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