22 Ways to Barbecue Around the World
Barbecue, what’s not to like with this one. It’s a celebration of food that is usually enjoyed with friends and family. Pork, beef, lamb, burgers, skewers, sausages, seafood, and vegetables are just an example of what can be barbecued and there are many varieties for everyone. While barbecues are synonymous to American summers, barbecue, or any version of it can be found virtually around the world where it is cooked differently on diverse types of cooking vessels.
Today we are showcasing that to you, the 22 Ways to Barbecue Around the World. In this list you will find different ways of enjoying that summer gathering, so if you have the capability to try any of this, do so as they are all amazing. From where I am it is still summer so there is plenty of time to give this all a shot. For those in the Northern Hemisphere where it is still cold don’t worry there are also other option on this list that you can do indoor and for the rest of the items on the list, just keep it so when the suns hits your way you have an arsenal of different ways you can entertain your friends and family.
Asado (South America)
In various South American countries this is how they do it, typically a traditional and social event where meats, sometimes a whole animal is cooked on a parrilla or an open fire on a pit where it is enjoyed with red wine and salads.
This is where it all began, the grandfather of what we call barbecue nowadays. It can be done in many ways, traditionally they were cooked in an oven made by digging a hole in the ground where meats are covered with agave leaves, but in the present days they are steamed until tender. Usually meats prepared this way are accompanied with onions and coriander.
Barbecue (America, Australia, New Zealand)
We all know this one and our list of 22 Ways to Barbecue Around the World will not be complete without this. Also called Barbie down under, where meats are cooked on a commercially bought barbecue grills either by gas, charcoal and/or by slow smoking on household backyards, usually best enjoyed with an ice-cold beer.
Braai (South Africa)
Similar to the Western barbecue where meats are grilled on charcoal or gas, where it differs is in the tradition since this social event usually entails brining your own meat and other dishes to enjoy on the side and share it with everyone. The cooked meats are usually eaten outside by the braai stand. Braai are considered to be a special occasion, a ‘go-to’ social event for many South Africans hence it is done during Christmas Day, birthdays, and graduation parties.
I came across this one recently after a friend of mine invited me for a barbecue at their place. One of the simplest barbecues here where lamb meat, which is unseasoned, are then chopped into small bits skewered into metal stick then cooked over an open flame and seasoned with salt and liberal helpings of cumin and chili peppers. The cooking vessel is a long rectangular metal filled with charcoal, fully open and no grills, the skewers keeps it in place hence metal sticks are used.
Most of us know this thanks to the churrascaria’s where we are fed unlimited amounts of meat delivered to our table. Like any barbecue this is also cooked on grills but a typical Churrasco are large chunks of meat are placed in a large skewer and cooked above the embers. When cooked smaller chunks of meat by removing it from the skewers while larger one are sliced by portions from the skewer.
This one is quite popular and if he name does not ring a bell, well because it is known more commonly as Korean Barbecue. This one is quite unique as you can do this indoors since the gas or charcoal grills are built into the dining table so you can enjoy the barbecue as it cooks. This barbecue type popularised a lot of Korean dishes like Bulgogi, Galbi and Samgyeopsal.
Ihaw Ihaw (Philippines)
In the Philippines you see this everywhere, on streets, on beach in front of the cottages, at home and even in some carinderias. Like most on this list they are also grilled but only on charcoal and most grills used are home made. A popular street food, pulutan and or ulam, usually made with small cuts of meat skewered on bamboo barbecue sticks. Meat are primarily chicken and pork, but cuts are everything from head to tail and offal cuts are the most popular ones. From intestines, liver, blood, heart, all of the animal parts are used, and nothing goes to waste.
Ikan Bakar (Indonesia and Malaysia)
If are an avid fan of fish then this is one is for you, made with fish and sometimes other seafoods where it is marinated in spices ground shallot, garlic, chili pepper, coriander, tamarind juice, candlenut, turmeric, galangal, salt, sweet soy sauce and coconut oil or margarine. Cooking entails continuous basting of the marinade then once cooked it is served on a banana leaf.
Another spicy barbecue on the list, this Jamaican specialty is usually made with chicken or pork that is either dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. It is known for its dark colour from the spices layering the meat when it is cooked in fire pits.
Kebab (Middle East)
In the Middle East, a kebab is any of a wide variety of grilled meat dishes where it is cut into small cubes then cooked in a skewer. Traditional meat of choice are mutton or lamb, but beef, goat, chicken, and fish can also be used. Usually it is accompanied with salads and flat bread.
This one is unique where meat is cooked inside a metal milk jugs together with heated stones and water. This jug is then sealed while the cook listens to and smells the meal to judge when it is ready. Once cooked the meat is handed out along with the hot stones which are tossed from hand to hand and are said to have beneficial properties. By the way since this dish is physically handed over, it usually consumed bear hands.
Almost similar to how kebabs are cooked but instead of whole chunks of meat what is barbecued are a mix of ground lamb or beef together with ground pepper and chopped onions where it is pressed on a metal skewer like a thin sword which prevents the meat from rolling on the skewer. Also enjoyed with flat bread or chips together with tomatoes and salad.
Lechon (South America / Philippines)
Talking about size, this is the biggest meat item here as a whole pig is spit roasted over hot embers. Best if suckling pig is used but, in the Philippines, mature pigs are also cooked in this manner. Since a whole pig is prepared this usually is served on very big special occasions like weddings, fiestas, and other festivals.
Mongolian Barbecue (Taiwan)
Yup this is actually not Mongolian, it is a Taiwanese creation. The creator originally thought of calling this dish the “Beijing barbecue” but because of political sensitivity with the city, “Mongolian Barbecue” was chosen instead. Usually this type of barbecue is cooked with thin slices of meat like lamb, beef, chicken, and pork where it is cooked in cooked over a fire heated flat circular metal surface together with seasonings, vegetables and noodles, or a combination thereof.
Pierrade (France, Switzerland, and other Alpine countries)
Now let’s go back to the unique barbecues, while we know that stones are used on some barbecue methods, they are usually together with the meat into a vessel that is sealed, this barbecue method is kind of different. With Pierrade, large slabs of ultra-heated stones are served on the dining table were diners cook their meat on top. Since the stone does not retain heat long enough, meat cuts used are thinly sliced which is then served with sauces, salads, and potatoes on the side.
Similar to the kebab, this Russian counterpart is also skewered meats. The skewers are either threaded with meat only, or with alternating pieces of meat, fat, and vegetables like capsicums, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Originally lamb is the only meat used on this barbecue type but nowadays pork, beef, or venison are utilised.
What special on this barbecue style is the use of tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven with embers made with charcoal or wood that is placed on the bottom. Commonly chicken marinated in yogurt and spices are placed on a long skewer then placed inside a tandoor on its side either by hanging it on the tandoor lip or just letting it stand vertically.
Unlike most on this list of 22 Ways to Barbecue Around the World where charcoal is used this Japanese method uses an iron griddle to cook food, typically propane-heated and flat-surfaced. In Japan teppanyaki ingredients are beef, noodles (yakisoba) or cabbage with sliced meat or seafood (okonomiyaki) but outside of Japan, beef, shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken and assorted vegetables are the most common ones.
Kaula / Hangi / Hima’a / Lovo (Pacific Islands, New Zealand Maori, Hawaii)
During the old days, in the absence of oven the Pacific Islanders found a way to cook and bake their meat using their natural surroundings. With the use of dug up earth as an oven, hardwood fire as heat, stones to retain the heat and vegetation used to cover the food. Meat usually pork is then placed in this oven where it is seasoned and covered with more vegetation then covered with a layer of soil at least several inches deep ensuring that no steam escapes and ensure that what’s inside is properly cooked.
Another tabletop barbecue now from Japan, where tabletop grills with charcoal are placed in the dining table for diners to cook their bite sized meats. Usually meats are unseasoned or at the very least lightly salted since it is served with dipping sauces known as tare before being eaten.
Last item on this 22 Ways to Barbecue Around the World, again from Japan but instead of cooking it on the dining table they are cooked on a rectangular long grill using charcoal. Preparation involves skewering the different type of meats like pork, chicken and offal in a bamboo skewer called kushi.
There you go, our 22 Ways to Barbecue Around the World, did I miss something? If yes, let me know by the comment section below.
I am IN if there’s MEAT involved :-)) I just had a huge T-bone for the breakfast :-))
I definitely would love to try Churrasco! p.s many of those photos are missing.
What a wonderful way to look at the world! I’ve been lucky enough to experience quite a few of these traditional methods, and I am grateful for this post to entice me to travel two more places and try more barbecue.
What a fun tour around the world of barbecue! I do enjoy grilling and barbecuing, and it was great seeing the similarities and differences as you travel across countries. That Khorkhog style sounds really unique!
I love this post! It taught me a lot about all the different BBQs. We’ve been watching some BBQ docs on Netflix recently so this was a great summation of much, but not all, of what we have learned. Thanks!