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Barbecue Lingo

What is a BBQ Rub?

A rub can be thought of as a dry marinade. The purpose of marinating is to infuse flavour into the meat. A dry rub does the same thing... add flavour. The applied rub draws moisture out of the meat and the two combine on the surface of the meat and form a wet paste. If the meat is wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated, the paste on the surface is pulled back down into the meat. The paste on the surface will also form a crust on the meat as it is cooked. This crust, also called bark, is valued by BBQ cooks for it’s flavour.

*Marinades are a liquid form of seasoning- a mix of herbs, spices, aromatics (garlic, onions, etc) and flavourful liquids (lemon juice, yoghurt, etc).

Find out how to use BBQ rubs here.


What is Direct or Indirect Grilling?

Direct grilling involves placing the food directly over the fire. Using what is known as a three zone BBQ (hot, medium, and unlit across the grill) you start the cooking on the hottest part of the grill and move the food around as required. This helps when you are cooking a few things that need cooking over slightly different heats. It also helps to stop flare ups. It also helps prevent burning the food you are cooking. You can also just use a two zone (hot and unlit) if you are only cooking a couple of things.

Indirect grilling involves the lit coals being piled to either side of the grill, leaving the centre clear, and placing a drip tray in the middle. This is the best method for long and slow BBQ cooking. 


What is the difference between Grilling and Barbecuing?

Barbecue refers to the long, slow method of cooking, usually large, fattier and less tender pieces of meat.

Grilling is cooking quickly over a high heat. This is usually used for lean and tender meats, fish and vegetables.

Find out more about grilling methods.


To Mop or Baste

Bastes refer to liquids applied to foods as they cook, which serve two purposes:

  • To keep the food moist during cooking 
  • To form a flavourful crust

Mopping is usually a barbecue-only term, because we often use those little cotton mops to apply sauces thickly.



Glazes are used towards the end of cooking time. Containing different types of sugar (depending on the glaze), a glaze will caramelise during cooking and give a sweet and highly flavoured crust.

Read all about the humble barbecue here.

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