BBQ Around The World
With summer in full swing, is there a better reason to break out the grill and throw some meat on the flames? And while we all have our favourite barbeque meats and go-to sides at home, how are they doing it in the rest of the world?
To celebrate the best time of the year for outdoor cooking, we’re taking a trip across the globe to find out the unique local barbecue styles. From South Korea and Japan to Brazil, Australia and the USA this is the great global BBQ-off. Read on to find top BBQ tips from our world-class Chef, Eddie.
Barbecuing in South Korea is hugely popular, with meat typically grilled on gas or charcoal grills built into the dining table. And if that wasn’t an experience in itself, the meat on offer is delicious too!
Referred to as gogi-gui, which translates to ‘meat roast’, the most popular options include bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated beef), dwaeji galbi (pork ribs), dak galbi (marinated chicken), samgyeopsal (pork belly) and galbi (beef ribs).
And it wouldn’t be a proper Korean feast without the typical sides of rice and kimchi to go with the delicious marinated meat.
Check out or recipes here for making your own Japanese BBQ yakitori chicken skewers.
Traditionally grilled over coals, barbeques are beloved in Japan as an enjoyable outdoor activity for the whole family.
In this part of the world, it’s popular to throw plenty of vegetables and seafood on the grill, as well as Japanese noodles called yakisoba. When it comes to the meat, it’s often marinated with soy sauce and includes yakitori (chicken skewers), teriyaki glazed spareribs, chicken and steak, as well as jingisukan (mutton) and horumonyaki (pork or beef offal).
Now that’s some interesting meat combos.
Barbecuing is more than a meal in South Africa, it’s a lifestyle and practically a national sport. For South Africans, the weekend means one thing: grilling meat over wood. And this isn’t just a quick grilling, a braai (that’s what they call it) can last for hours and is a real feast.
There’s plenty of etiquette associated with a braai too. Grilled over flames, a traditional braai uses local wood (although people are starting to use charcoal now too). And once the food is cooked the fire is kept going as the centrepiece of the social event.
So, what do South Africans grill on the braai? Traditional meats include sosaties (chicken and lamb skewers), boerewors (sausages) and biltong (dried meats).
Throw another shrimp on the barbie -it’s a phrase we’ve all heard so many times, but it does ring true. Aussies love a barbie and they do grill shrimps as well as the likes of rock lobster (known as crayfish or crays locally), lamb chops, steak and sausages.
Beer is often drizzled over the meat during cooking to add flavour and help make it more tender. It’s usually left to marinate for a few hours before cooking. Many Aussies choose to grill over charcoal, but hot plates are popular too. You’ll even find public gas or electric barbeques in city parks – the Aussies really do love their barbies. So, go on… throw another shrimp on.
Our recipe for BBQ Lamb with Mint Gremolata is perfect for your own Aussie-inspired BBQ.
As soon as we get any hot weather in the UK, the delicious aroma of cooked meat fills the air. Whether in the park, the back garden or even on the beach, us Brits love a BBQ. While maybe not as competitive as the Aussies or the South Africans we still take it pretty seriously – the designated cook often has plenty of eyes peering over their shoulders.
As a great way to celebrate summer events from the Queen’s Jubilee to the Wimbledon final, on our barbies we’re pretty traditional in Britain. We like a metal grill over charcoal and go all in for burgers, sausages, and chicken skewers, plus halloumi, peppers and veggie skewers. We’re also talking plenty of tommy K, brown sauce and maybe a salad on the side.
A traditional BBQ in the USA will vary on where you are. The four main regional styles consist of:
- Carolinas: Typically pork – sometimes the whole hog or prepared by individual cut, usually the shoulder. The meat is served shredded, chopped or sliced.
- Kansas City: The meat can include beef, pork and lamb while this style has a strong emphasis on the sauce, served with fries on the side.
- Memphis: With a Memphis BBQ we’re talking ribs either wet (rubbed with a sauce during and after cooking) or dry (seasoned with a dry rub) and pulled pork sandwiches.
- Texas: There are many BBQ subcultures and styles within Texas barbeque culture, but the main components usually include beef brisket, pork ribs and sausages.
Grilling, braising and smoking are all typical ways of cooking meat for an American BBQ, while sides can include corn, fries, slaw, refried beans and mac & cheese.
Have your own American BBQ Brisket following our chef’s simple recipe, here.
Germans love a barbeque in the summer months and it’s the one traditional area of home cooking that is dominated by men. The style tends to be over charcoal with a metal grill suspended over the pit with the grill itself often featuring local variations of Bratwurst sausages.
Other options for a traditional German barbeque include pork steaks from the shoulder, mincemeat dumplings and chicken, while regional variations can even include eel, trout and duck.
A Brazilian BBQ is a real treat for the tastebuds. Traditionally cooked over a purpose-built barbeque grill (called a churrasqueira) often with supports for spits or skewers, a barbie in Brazil is all about the different varieties of meat cooked on those skewers.
Most popular in the south of the country as well as neighbouring Argentina and Uruguay the style of barbecue is called churrasco and features the likes of beef rib, beef loin and steak served directly to diners sliced off the skewers at the table. It’s an experience not to be missed!
Want to make your own Brazilian BBQ steak this summer? Try our tasty recipe.
Chef Eddie's BBQ Tips
Want to improve your barbeque skills? Here’s some simple tips from our in-house expert chef, Eddie, to help you become a master of the barbeque:
Preparation is the key to a good barbecue. From choosing premium quality meat to prepping your potato salad, it'll make the difference between a meal outside and a great barbecue. Burgers and bangers are classic for a reason.
With our grass-fed British beef burgers, expertly prepared here in Aberdeenshire, you know that you're starting off with the great quality. Our handmade Pork Sausages are thick and juicy, delicious cooked on a barbecue.
Make sure you light the barbecue in plenty of time for your guests arriving. No one wants to sit and wait while the coals heat up.
To get the best results, charcoal on half your grill. This will give you one side with direct heat and one without, giving you a range of different temperatures. You can sear your meat where its hottest, then move to a cooler part to let it cook through.
Chef Eddie's top tip: cook food 60% off the time on one side then 40% on the other. No need to keep turning back and forth.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure you get your food cooked through properly. This saves any guesswork and will help everyone stay healthy.
Finally, remember to stay and keep an eye on your food while it cooks. Not only will this help keep everyone safe, it'll make sure nothing crosses the line from nicely caramelised to plain old burnt! There will always be plenty of people hanging around the grill who will be happy to keep an eye on it while you nip away.
Two important points: the meat needs to rest, and the Chef needs to rest. Both are equally important.
Resting meat lets all the juices settle and the fibres rest, keeping it succulent and juicy. If you're using half the grill, you should be able to find a warm spot to keep it while it rests.
Chef Eddie recommends that resting meat about half the time it took to cook. So, if your steak took 20 minutes, rest it for 10 before serving it. A quick warning: you might have to fight people off when they see the food has finished cooking - it'll be worth the wait though.
If you're cooking, you'll want to make sure that your day doesn't consist of setting up the grill, cooking, then cleaning the grill. You'll need time to enjoy the sun, friends and food.
To help the Chef rest, try this delicious twist on a classic mojito:
6 limes and some more to garnish
2 tbsp brown sugar
4-5 sprigs of mint and more to garnish
raspberry puree (blend raspberries and sieve to remove seeds)
350ml dark rum
agave syrup (to taste)
Add the limes, cut into wedges, the brown sugar and mint leaves (remove them from the stalk first) to the bottom of a jug or pitcher and mash with a muddler or a wooden spoon if you don't have one. Give them a good crush to get all the juices mixed in.
Fill the jug about 3/4 full of ice, add the rum and raspberry puree and mix it all together. Top up with the prosecco and give it another mix to make sure all the lime and mint is mixed throughout. Have a taste and add some agave syrup if you'd prefer it a bit sweeter.
Garnish with some extra lime and sprigs of mint - and enjoy.
Don't forget to get some summer tunes on the go, then sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
Now you know how it’s done around the world, which delicious BBQ cuisine are you going to try for yourself? And with the great meat on offer at Donald Russell, now is the time to take that trip to a far-flung land from the comfort of your own garden.