A significant number of people love cooking outdoors using a variety of smokers and grills that suit every yard and budget. Most people confuse between grills and smokers and tend to use the terms interchangeably. While the two cooking methods look similar in many ways, there are several apparent differences.
Both smokers and grills use common fuels, and all sit on grates. The major differences between the two are the cooking temperature and time, wood smoke for meat flavour and the meat cut.
What is a Grill?
Grills mostly cook small pieces of food such as chicken pieces, steaks, chops, and vegetables. They are preferable for hot and fast foods that require a high temperature between 400 and 550F. These foods do not necessarily need any smoke to add flavour.
What is a Smoker?
Smokers usually cook large and tough pieces of meat such as briskets, ribs, pork shoulders and whole birds. They require relatively low temperatures between 95 and 300F. These cook foods for a prolonged period. A flavour wood can be added to the fire in the smokers to generate a smoky flavour.
What is the Difference Between Grilling and Smoking?
What is Grilling?
Grilling is one of the quickest and most convenient ways of getting tasty foods on the table. It involves short cooking times and high temperatures. Foods typically cooked on grills include chops, hot dogs, steaks, burgers, chicken, sausages, small roasts, fish, and vegetables. Due to the high heat involved, you have to keep moving food around from time to time to ensure uniform burning.
One of the most common aspects of grilling is searing, which can only be done at high temperatures. It makes the surface of the meats turn brown and increases the flavour while killing the potential bacteria on the meat.
What is Smoking?
Smoking is a versatile method that uses smoke and low heat in a closed environment to cook and preserve food. Depending on different methods and types of food, the ideal temperatures range between 90F to 300F. The most common type of smoking is hot smoking, done at about 250F.
Unlike grilling, where foods can be heated directly or indirectly, there is no direct heating in a smoker. Instead, the entire smoking or heating chamber is heated up evenly and consistently up to a reasonable temperature. The convection heat generated is then used for cooking all foods from all angles simultaneously.
The heat source causes the wood to smoulder and produces a characteristic smoke. Because the cooking session takes relatively long, the smoke generated has time to penetrate the foods, leaving deep and smoky flavours behind.
Is roasting a type of grilling or smoking? Although roasting requires low temperatures and takes longer, it is typically quicker and hotter than smoking and is considered a type of grilling, rather than smoking.
Types of Smokers and Grills
Differentiating between grills and smokers is not really enough to narrow your selection. Different types of smokers and grills use various fuel sources and are freestanding, in-built to outdoor kitchens or cabinets, and others rest freely on a table. There are also portable smokers and grills ideal for camping.
At BBQ Ville Canada, we offer the following grills and smoker categories to suit different functionalities and choices:
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