Overview: When the weather is nice, our minds (and taste buds) turn to the delicious delights of outdoor grilling. If you’re looking to try something new, check out this list of international BBQ grilling techniques!
It’s the perfect time of year to fire up the BBQ grill! Grilling is a great way to enjoy the warm weather months and gather with friends and family for a delicious, home-cooked outdoor feast.
But if you feel like you’ve been there and done that with your typical grilling methods, why not spice up your grill game than by incorporating some international BBQ techniques and flavors? In this blog post, we’ll take you on a culinary journey around the world as we explore some of the best grilling techniques from various regions and nations. (And remember, Redlands Ranch Market is your best source for international food products!)
South America: Asado
In South America, particularly Argentina, grilling is an art form known as asado. The asado method involves cooking meat, usually beef, over a wood-fired grill, and often includes slow-cooking the meat for several hours. The result is a tender and flavorful cut of meat that melts in your mouth. (Are you salivating yet?)
To recreate this technique as a home BBQ project, try cooking with wood chips or charcoal instead of gas, and invest in a good quality cut of beef such as ribeye or sirloin. Marinate the meat in a mixture of olive oil, salt, garlic, and herbs, and then cook it slowly over low heat until it’s cooked to your liking.
Yakitori is a Japanese grilling technique that involves skewering small pieces of meat, such as chicken or beef, and grilling them over a charcoal flame. The marinade for the meat typically includes soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar, which gives the meat a sweet and savory flavor.
When preparing to make yakitori at home, soak your wooden skewers in water for at least an hour before skewering the meat, to prevent them from burning. Brush the meat with the marinade as it cooks, and serve with a side of rice and grilled vegetables for a complete meal.
>> Related Reading: What Is Yakitori?
Middle East: Shish Kebabs
Shish kebabs are a popular Middle Eastern grilling technique, where small pieces of meat, usually lamb, are marinated in spices such as cumin, paprika, and coriander, and then skewered and grilled over a charcoal flame. The meat is often served with a side of grilled vegetables and flatbread.
Shish kebabs are easy to make on your BBQ grill at home. Use a good quality cut of lamb, such as leg or shoulder, and marinate it in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and spices for at least an hour before grilling.
Braai is a South African grilling technique that is similar to the barbecue cooking techniques many Americas are familiar with. It involves cooking meat, such as beef, chicken, or lamb, over a wood fire, and often involves a variety of different meats cooked at the same time.
The meat is typically marinated in a mixture of spices, such as paprika, coriander, and cumin, and then grilled until it is tender and juicy.
To make braai at home, just use wood chips or charcoal instead of gas, and marinate the meat in a mixture of spices, oil, and lemon juice for at least an hour before grilling.
Jerk is a Caribbean grilling technique often used to prepare chicken. Despite the jokes you may have heard around the table, the word “jerk” does not to the personality of the chef who prepared the dish! Some people think the term “jerk” originated from the Spanish word “charqui,” which means “dried meat,” as the Taino people used to dry and smoke their meat to preserve it. Another theory suggests that the term “jerk” refers to the way the meat is poked or “jerked” with a fork to allow the marinade to penetrate it.
Wherever the name came from, jerk involves marinating meat in a mixture of spices and then grilling it over a wood fire, and the result is a spicy and flavorful dish that is perfect for warm-weather gatherings.
Ready to try making jerk at your next backyard barbecue? Start at least 24 hours before grilling. Marinate the meat in a mixture of spices, including allspice, cinnamon, and thyme, as well as garlic, ginger, and scotch bonnet peppers. Then get ready to grill over the aforementioned wood fire.
Go ahead and say it: “Throw another shrimp on the barbie!” Barbecuing is a popular pastime in Australia, and involves cooking meat, such as beef, lamb, or sausages, over a gas or charcoal grill.
The meat is often served with a side of salad or grilled vegetables, and accompanied by a cold beer.
To make the most of your Australian BBQ experience, try cooking some lamb chops or sausages on the grill, and serve them with a side of roasted vegetables or a classic Aussie potato salad.
>> Related Reading: Everything You Need to Throw the Most Australian BBQ Party Ever
Grilling is a popular cooking method throughout Europe, just as it is here in the US, and there are many different variations depending on the region. In France, for example, grilled meats and vegetables are often served with a side of fresh baguette and cheese. In Spain, grilled seafood is a popular choice, with prawns and squid often grilled over charcoal and served with garlic and parsley.
To explore European grilling techniques at your spring or summer picnic, try grilling some steak or fish with a simple marinade of olive oil, salt, and herbs, and serve it with a side of grilled vegetables and crusty bread.
Tandoori is an Indian grilling technique that involves cooking meat, such as chicken or lamb, in a tandoor oven, which is a traditional clay oven used in Indian cooking. The meat is typically marinated in yogurt and spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric, which gives it a vibrant orange color and a tangy flavor.
You can recreate the tandoori experience at home by marinating the meat in yogurt and spices, and then grilling it over charcoal or gas until it is cooked through and tender. Enjoy!
>> Related Reading: What Is Tandoori?
Barbacoa is a Mexican grilling technique that involves slow-cooking meat, such as beef or lamb, over an open flame or in a pit. The meat is often served with a side of tortillas, salsa, and guacamole, and is perfect for a festive outdoor gathering.
Some tips on making barbacoa: Marinate the meat in a mixture of chilies, garlic, and vinegar, and then slow-cook it over low heat until it is tender and juicy. Serve it with a side of fresh salsa and some warm tortillas for a delicious and authentic Mexican feast.
Grilling is a great way to enjoy the warm weather with your friends and family. When you incorporate international BBQ techniques and flavors, your grill game can reach new heights as you enjoy mouth-watering flavors from around the world.
Of course, your BBQ grill won’t do you any good unless you have some top-quality meats to cook on it. That’s where we come in! At Redlands Ranch Market, our meat department is staffed by the best and most knowledgeable butchers in the Inland Empire.
We also have all the ingredients you’ll need to create those irresistible sauces, marinades, and rubs. Learn more by clicking around our website — and be sure to say hi when you drop by our store!