May is one of our favorite months. Not only is the weather great, it’s also National Barbecue Month! Of course, if you’re in Florida like us, it’s barbecue weather pretty much all year long. But for lots of less fortunate folks, May is the first month when it’s consistently pleasant enough in the evenings to go outside and cook.
We strongly encourage you to get outside as often as possible during National Barbecue Month to barbecue and grill some delicious meals. Which brings up something we’d like to clarify…
What’s the Difference Between Barbecuing and Grilling?
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they don’t refer to the same cooking technique. They do both involve cooking food outside over a heat source. But a few things differentiate them from each other.
Barbecuing entails cooking low and slow over indirect heat on a grill or a smoker. It’s usually done with larger cuts of meat—especially bone-in cuts—like ribs, brisket, and pork butt or shoulder. And the typical temperature range for barbecuing is 225 to 275 degrees F, and the food cooks for at least a few hours, and sometimes for a whole day. Some people say the food has to be surrounded by wood smoke for at least part of the cook time for it to truly count as barbecuing.
Grilling, on the other hand, involves cooking food quickly over high direct heat. It’s generally for smaller stuff like cuts of chicken, steaks, burgers, hot dogs, fish fillets, pork chops, shrimp, veggies, and so on. The food gets seared on the grill grates. And grilling is usually done with charcoal or gas.
But don’t worry; you can still put BBQ sauce on food when you’re grilling it. Which reminds us of another point of confusion…
Is It “Barbecue,” “Barbeque,” or “BBQ”?
“Barbecue” is the preferred spelling in English. It comes from the Spanish work “barbacoa.” But “barbeque” is an accepted spelling, even though it’s much less widely used. And there were even other earlier forms that have fallen out of use, like “barbecu” and “barbicu.” George Washington himself spelled it “barbicue.”
But the word also gets abbreviated to BBQ and B-B-Q and bar-b-q. These are just phonetic shorthand versions, and they’re perfectly fine too. They’re often used in product and restaurant names.
Get Some Sauces for National Barbecue Month
Since you’re going to be grilling a lot during National Barbecue Month—and maybe barbecuing too—make sure you’re stocked up on tasty sauces to rev up your food’s flavor. Head over to our Sauce page, where you’ll find our marinade, mustard sauces, spicy ketchup, and BBQ sauces. They’re all really versatile and delicious! You can also save a few bucks if you buy three sauces together in our Griller Pack.
Thanks, and happy National Barbecue Month, everybody!