Barbecue Styles Around the World

Barbecue Styles Around the World

Last Updated on March 13, 2023

Did you know there are different barbecue styles around the world? Well, yes, the world has different ways of cooking barbecued food, varying from place to place.

Barbecue, also known as BBQ, is a popular cooking method used worldwide. The process involves cooking meat, fish, or vegetables over an open flame or hot coals. While the cooking method remains the same, the style of barbecue varies from region to region, with each having its unique flavor profile and cooking technique.

Many cultures and regions share barbecue, but they differ in certain ways to make the food unique. Read on to understand the different barbecue styles around the world and what makes them special.

US-Style Barbecue


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Many know of US-style barbecue and how we grill meat over a charcoal or wood fire on a ventilated grate. Barbecue in America has numerous variations, and you’ll find that people in different states will barbecue in different ways. In North Carolina, people will often eat barbecued pork and cook either the whole pig or parts of the pig, depending on the region.

Texas has styles that differ in four regions, with slow cooking and indirect heat being common among most Texans. Most barbecue styles in the US will vary in the south, while the northern states will grill using a standing grill heated with charcoal or electricity. More information on these different barbecue styles is on Angry BBQ’s website.

Kālua (Hawaii)


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This Hawaiian barbecue method involves using a woodfire pit covered with stones. The stones will heat to their maximum temperature with no moisture to prevent steam from cracking them. The stones will spread out after reaching their maximum temperature, and vegetables or other products will line the pit’s perimeter.

Ti leaves will cover the vegetation, and food will go on the leaves while the stones cook the food. Whole animals, such as pigs, may have a hot stone inside them to ensure thorough cooking. Burlap or mesh may wrap around the food to replace the vegetables and make removal from the fire easier.

Khorkhog (Mongholian)


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This eastern barbecue style takes meats and cooks them in a metal container. Hot stones and water share the space with the meat to prevent the hot stones from burning it. Leaving the bones in the meat is a common part of cooking; the stones will range from 10 to 20.

This food differs from most barbecue styles, as it uses a sealed container and water. The extremely hot stones will eliminate the fat from the meat and leave a tender food topped with various spices and paired with vegetables.

Chuan’r (China)


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This barbecue style is a convenient form of food preparation with great potential for delicious variations. Chuan’r is grilled food served on a skewer with meats or vegetables added. Street vendors will cook and serve this barbecue on a skewer, and many people will enjoy this style of barbecue and eat multiple sticks. China has other types of barbecue, such as Bak Kwa. This preparation involves drying the meat from dehydration over a charcoal fire to create a thin strip that shares similarities with jerky around the world.

Brazilian Barbecue


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Brazilian barbecue, also known as churrasco, is famous for its skewered meat cooked over an open flame. The meat is seasoned with rock salt and often served with chimichurri sauce, a blend of herbs, garlic, and olive oil. In Brazil, churrasco is often served as an all-you-can-eat buffet, with servers coming around to the tables with different cuts of meat until you’ve had your fill.

Korean Barbecue


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Korean barbecue, or gogi-gui, is a popular style of Korean cuisine that involves grilling meat, usually beef, pork, or chicken, at the table. The meat is marinated in a mix of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil, giving it a sweet and savory flavor. Korean barbecue is often served with lettuce leaves, which are used to wrap the meat and accompanying side dishes.

South African Braai

Braai is a South African term for barbecue, and it’s a way of life for many South Africans. The meat is cooked over wood or charcoal, and the most popular meats are beef, lamb, and boerewors, a type of sausage made from beef, pork, and spices. Braai is often accompanied by side dishes like pap, a type of porridge made from maize, and chakalaka, a spicy vegetable relish.

Argentine Barbecue

Argentine barbecue, or asado, is known for its high-quality beef and traditional cooking techniques. The meat is cooked over an open flame, often using wood from the quebracho tree, which gives the meat a distinctive smoky flavor. Asado is often served with chimichurri sauce and a glass of Malbec, a popular Argentine wine.

In conclusion, barbecue is a popular cooking method used worldwide, with each region having its unique take on the style. From the sweet and tangy sauces of the American South to the open-flame cooking techniques of Argentina, there’s a barbecue style to suit every taste bud.

Many people enjoy the taste of barbecue and the unique preparation styles. The different barbecue styles around the world will give your palate a new taste and encourage you to consider a different way to prepare your food the next time you want meat cooked over a heat source.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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