Barbecue 101: Everything You Need to Know

Barbecuing is an age-old pastime and a wonderful way to make delicious food. You can barbecue for dinner any night of the week or use your barbecue talents to create a feast for a party with friends or family! It is easy to assume that barbecuing is difficult because the food tastes so good, but the truth is that anyone can do it–even beginners. Let’s explore everything you need to know to BBQ like a pro!

Barbecue 101

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    BBQ Basics

    Many people believe barbecuing is the oldest method of cooking food that we have. Though times have changed, allowing us to shift from cooking over a fire pit to cooking using state-of-the-art grills, the idea stays the same. When you barbecue, you are choosing to cook using low heat and a slow pace to create delicious food that is nice and tender.

    How to Start a BBQ Grill

    Before you can start barbecuing, you will need to know how to set up your new grill. Every grill is different, and modern grills can come with quite a few bells and whistles. Still, the general way that barbecue grills work often stays the same.

    The best way to get well-done meat that is tender and full of barbecue flavor is to focus on setting up your grill for indirect heat if it isn’t already. Indirect heat is the best way to cook your meat slowly over time. Most barbecue is made using heat that is over 200F and under 300F.

    Though the type of heat and temperature is important, nothing is more important when barbecuing than the way that you season your grill. A seasoned grill is going to give that really rich flavor that everyone loves barbecue for. The best part? It only gets better with time!

    To kickstart the process, you can cover your barbecue grates with cooking oil made for high heat and turn it on before you ever cook any actual food on it. Every time you use your barbecue grill, the flavor will build!

    How to Start a BBQ Grill

    Temperature Control for Your BBQ

    Nothing will cause problems while barbecuing more than getting the temperature wrong. To complicate things further, some barbecue grills are not perfectly designed, which means they might not have consistent heat throughout the grill. This can lead to uneven cooking.

    Since the temperature of your barbecue grill might not be a guarantee, you should focus on the meat instead. Choosing to cook by the temperature of the meat itself rather than the temperature that the grill says it is can help you to always get that perfect finish.

    For the best results, you want to get close to your desired temperature, but you do not want to reach it. If you have ever felt like you cooked a steak to a perfect medium and then found it well done, it is because meat continues to cook after you remove it from the grill. Once the meat gets close to that final temperature, remove it and allow it to rest for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick it is. Allowing it to rest will help you to keep the meat tender and juicy!

    Essential Barbecue Equipment

    Barbecuing, just like any other type of cooking, is an art. To make all of that delicious food, you are going to need a few tools to make it all possible. Consider your barbecue tools an investment. You want to choose brands that you can trust to provide you with high-quality BBQ supplies to get the job done right!

    A BBQ Smoker

    Before you can make delicious barbecue, you need a proper barbecue smoker to cook with. For a barbecue experience that you can trust, a Z Grills BBQ smoker is the best choice you can make. The Z Grills manufacturer has been in the industry for over 30 years. To date, we have sold over 650,000 pellet grills and made 85 million cooks. With Z Grills, you can enjoy wood-fired flavor and consistent temperature control that cooks your meat evenly.

    BBQ Smoker

    A BBQ Basting Brush

    A basting brush comes across a lot of different flavors when you barbecue with one. From butter to sauces, a basting brush allows you to effortlessly coat your meat and vegetables with amazing flavor, ensuring they stay nice and moist.


    A Smart Wireless BBQ Thermometer

    Making perfectly cooked meat means knowing the internal temperature of your meat at the thickest part. The best way to get that reading is with a smart wireless thermometer that tells you what you need to know.

    Smart Wireless BBQ Thermometer

    Heat-Resistant BBQ Gloves

    Wood-fired flavor is always delicious, but that fire can be dangerous. Heat-resistant gloves allow you to make all the barbecue you could ever want without risking your hands. Barbecue grills get hot, and these help you to stay safe.

    Heat-Resistant BBQ Gloves

    A Scraper (Preferably Stainless Steel)

    A scraper is perfect for cleaning up your grill and occasionally managing your food. Keep your grill looking great with a high-quality stainless steel scraper!


    Beginner BBQ Tips & Tricks

    Barbecue food is delicious, and it only gets better when you know the best tips and tricks to do it right. Let’s explore a few.

    Get Yourself a Nice Set of Barbecue Tools

    It is easy to think that the quality of these tools doesn’t matter, but they really make a difference. Invest in a good set of barbecue tools for the best results while you cook.

    Let the Grill Heat Properly

    Barbecuing is a slow process, so make sure to be patient. Allowing the grill to heat up properly before you start cooking will ensure that your meat is cooked correctly.

    What’s the Difference Between Grilling and Barbecuing?

    These two cooking styles differ in both time and temperature. Barbecuing is “low and slow” cooking, while grilling involves fast cooking at higher temperatures.

    Recommended reading: Barbecuing vs Smoking vs Grilling: What’s the Difference?

    Beginner BBQ Recipes

    Getting started with your barbecue is fun, but you need the right recipes to make it worth it!

    Smoked pork belly is a dish that offers an incredible flavor that is both sweet and savory. Of course, to make eating pork belly even easier, you can make pork belly kabobs instead. For a flavorful twist on everyone’s favorite barbecue dish, you can even use your grill to make barbecue pork ribs! For more easy and tasty wood-fired recipes, visit our recipe center here.

    BBQ Smoked Pork Belly


    Barbecuing takes a little patience, but it makes delicious and savory meats that are nice and tender. People always think that barbecuing is something only a few people can do, but that really isn’t true. You can start barbecuing today, even with minimal cooking experience. You will love the flavors it brings to your table, as long as you remember to season your grill and choose high-quality tools, like a Z Grills barbecue smoker!

    Leave a comment and tell us what you will cook on your barbecue this week!

    About The Author

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    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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    1. Randy Blackburn says:

      I will be an amateur smoker when I decide to get my Z Grill. I was thinking of getting the 450B, I really like the clean out door and it seems to be the perfect size for my wife and I, but I’ve also been looking at the L6002E. Which would you recommend for a beginner? I have a wireless thermometer but I kinda like seeing the ones that come with some of the grills. They are 110 volt volt, right? Thanks for listening

      1. z grills Author says:

        Ideal for entertaining a small crowd or feeding your family, 450B is designed to produce restaurant-quality meals for the best value, no matter your experience level.

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