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Barbeque glossary

by Diane - November 29th, 2010.
Filed under: General. Tagged as: .
Barbecue Glossary of terms

Barbeque – can be spelt a number of ways, including barbecue, bbq, barbq as well as abbreviated to barby.
A barbeque in the UK is outdoor cooking over gas or charcoal. The word barbeque is used to describe the piece of equipment used for cooking.
A barbeque can be anything from a simple aluminium disposable tray with easy light charcoal in to a complex multi-burner mini kitchen.
There are so many types of barbeque they will be covered in a section on their own.

Barbeque sauce is a ketchup based sauce usually that accompanies barbeque food. It can be any colour from yellow, brown or red and can be flavoured to be sweet, sour or spicy or hot. It can be used as a marinade or for brushing on to food during cooking when it is called a basting sauce.

Basting is the process of brushing on liquid to food on the grill. It can be done to add flavour as well as keep meat moist. It is often used to add sticky sauces to food towards the end of cooking. If a sugary sauce was added at the beginning then it would burn before the meat is cooked.
A basting liquid can be sweet or savoury but should add flavour to the food.

Ceramic charcoal briquettes are found in gas grills and do not burn like charcoal. Similar alternatives are metal plates and lava rocks to allow heat to be stored and radiated rather than a direct flame.

Charcoal briquettes are made from different materials according to the brand. They can be made from compacted coal dust, coconut shell carbon dust, or even just charcoal. They each burn different lengths of time depending on what they are made from. They turn to ash during the cooking process.
If they are impregnated with a lighting fluid they are very easy to light.

Charcoal grill – this is a barbeque that uses charcoal.

Chimney starter is a device that enables you to quickly light a measured amount of charcoal briquettes. It is a chimney shape which enables air flow to get the charcoal light evenly.

Direct grilling is the way most people barbeque in the UK. Food is simply places on the metal grill of the barbeque over hot coals or gas burners.

Drip trays are thin aluminium disposable trays that can be used for cooking fatty foods such as burgers or delicate foods that require gentle handling during cooking. They stop the food sticking to the bars of the grill and stop vast amounts of fat splashing onto hot coals, reducing the flare ups. They also enable you to cook different foods without needing to remove and clean the grill – just use a different tray for each type of food.

Dry smoking – this is not often used in the UK. It is a slower method of cooking barbeque food and requires a hooded grill that can be shut. Food is placed directly on the grill but not directly over the heat. On the three burner grill this means having the food on the middle and having the middle burner off, or on the outside ones and only having the middle burner on. The food is cooked by the build up of smoke and heat. It can take several hours to cook a piece of meat or chicken.

Electric barbeque is not used much in this country despite our inclement weather. Indoor cooking can be done using one of these though.

Firebox is the name given to the bottom part of the grill, which holds the heat or fire. Check this regularly when getting the barbeque out that it has not burnt through.

Flare-ups occur when fat or meat juices drip through onto the burners or coals. The flames and smoke produced are unpleasant. A sprayer full of water can quickly douse any flames that are burning food. By trimming meat or using trays you can avoid them.

Gas barbeque is a barbeque fuelled by gas. Always read the instructions for your particular model grill carefully and ensure you take care with the gas.

Glaze – this is a liquid applied to the outside of food during or at the end of the cooking process to give it a good shine or finish.

Griddle is a flat or ridged piece of solid metal that is heated underneath and used for cooking on. Indoor griddles can be used and a famous lean mean grill is technically a griddle.

Grill is the term used to describe the metal wire grid that you put food on to cook over hot coals.

Grill basket or rack is a device used for holding food such as burgers, fish or kebabs so they can be held and turned easily. They are often hinged and clipped shut. They can be used for cooking vegetables too.

Indirect grilling is when something is cooked away from the main heat either in a pan of drip tray. It is gentle cooking.

Kebabs are sequewers of meat, cheese or vegetables. These can be metal or wooden squewers.

Marinade – a liquid used to soak food in to add flavour before cooking. Often using beer, wine of vinegar to help break down meat fibres and make food more tender.

Rotisserie is a rotatable device that allows a piece of meat or whole chicken to be turned so it can be cooked evenly. They can be manual or automatic.

Side burner is an additional burner away from the grill area of a gas barbeque. It is useful for cooking with a pan for frying onions or warming sauces.

Wind break is a device placed to stop the wind coming across the back of the grill. Prevents embers from flying up at the cook.