Top 32 Essential Barbecue Terms

You loved our blog post, Top 29 Essential Chef Terms, from a while back so, we just had to give you this one. We're back bigger and better with the Top 32 Essential Barbecue Terms that you need to know.


Ash Tool – A grilling accessory used to scrape or pull the charcoal out of a charcoal grill like the Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg.

Bark – The dark outer layer on cooked meat created by the spice rub over a low and slow cook. A few things can effect the darkness of your bark, including the sugar content of your rub, as well as the wood you smoked the meat with. 

Tenderloin Steak Smoked on Yoder


Basting Brush – A barbecue accessory used to apply sauces, marinades, or oil onto food that's in their preparation or cooking stage.

Brander Cast Iron Basting Station ONLY at Barbecues Galore


Beer Can Chicken – A method of roasting a chicken where a beer or soda can is inserted into the whole chicken and roasted upright on the grill. The liquid content, as well as flavours from herbs and spices, will infuse into the chicken.

Weber Poultry Infusion Roaster - 6731WEB - at Barbecues Galore

Briquette – A type of wood fuel created by compacting charcoal and other contents into a shapely block. They burn a little easier and smoother, but will not give your food the same taste that just pure charcoal provides. Albeit, they still give your food a great smoky taste.

Weber Charcoal Briquettes - 20 lb bag | Barbecues Galore


BTU (British Thermal Units) – A measurement of the energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. In the barbecue world, it's the measurement of the total heat output from all the the burners per hour. The number of BTUs provided is important to finding the right grill for you.

Chimney Starter – Also referred to as a "chimney", is a cylindrical hallow metal device used to light charcoal by placing combustible material, such as newspaper, underneath where the charcoal sits. 

Direct Heat Grilling – A cooking method where your food is placed directly above your heat source. If you're cooking with charcoal, check out this blog post, How to Arrange Your Coals 6 Different Ways, by clicking here.

Drip Pan – A metal pan, often made of foil, that is meant to catch the grease and gunk from cooking on a barbecue. The drip pan will result in much easier cleaning and less flareups when cooking. 

Fat Cap – The layer of fat between the skin and muscle of a cut of meat.

Flare-Ups – Large flames caused by the fat or grease from cooking food landing on the heat source, such as barbecue burners or charcoal. 

Grill Topper – A metal pan that will have smaller gaps than your barbecue grids, which is used for smaller items like shrimp, asparagus, etc., to prevent your food from falling into the depths of the cook box of your grill.

Indirect Heat Grilling – A cooking method where is intentionally placed away from the fire, so that it cooks slower. This method is favourable for those low and slow smoking sessions that will enhance that "barbecue" flavour we look for. If you haven't yet, see this blog post, How to Arrange Your Coals 6 Different Ways, by clicking here.

Low and Slow – A phrase that refers to a method of cooking your food, often on a charcoal or pellet grill, with low heat with the goal to make the cooking process longer, thereby increasing the amount of smoke that can infuse into the food. 

Lump Charcoal – Carbonized wood that is used for charcoal barbecues. It's created by burning wood without using oxygen. It has no additives like clay or binders the way that briquettes do, giving the most natural "clean" taste you can get. Charcoal "purists" often prefer lump charcoal over briquettes or pellets.

Big Boy 100% Natural Hardwood Charcoal - TR112 - ONLY at Barbecues Galore - small file

Marinade – A flavoured liquid that is meant to soak and infuse into meat over a period of time. They are meant to provide the meat with a richer flavour than if you just basted it with that liquid or sauce. Oftentimes, marinades are made with acidic liquids like wine or vinegar that will tenderize the meat, alongside oil, herbs, spices, barbecue rubs, etc.

Meat Claws – A barbecue accessory used to shred large cuts of cooked meat, most notably used when making pulled pork from a juicy pork shoulder. Click here to shop Broil Kings Pork Claws



Mop Sauce – A vinegar-based sauce that's seasoned with salt and pepper, used to baste your meat on the grill to bring flavour and moister to the end of the cook. A tradition developed in South Carolina.

Pitmaster – A cook that's well versed and experienced in in barbecuing. Also called "pit bosses" and "grill masters".

Plank – A slab of hardwood that's meant to be cooked on over a barbecue. Typically made of untreated cedar wood, cooking salmon and other types of fish on it will give the food some of the woods natural flavours.

Food Cooking on Cedar Plank at Barbecues Galore


Rest – The process of letting cooked meat sit unbothered for 5-10 minutes as it cools down and reabsorbs juices. Resting allows for a juicier piece of meat, whereas eating it immediately after cooking would result in dryness from juices leaking when cut.

Rotisserie – An electric motor-driven spit that rotates slowly over a heat source. Often used for large cuts of meat (or whole chickens or fish) to evenly roast your food.

Rub – A combination of seasonings and spices - including salt, pepper, herbs, and more - that is often applied to the mean before cooking. 

Searing – The process of cooking meat quickly over high heat to achieve a flavourful caramelization on the surface of the meat.
Shiner – A rack of ribs that is cut too closely to the bones and thus are exposed. The bone appears to be "shining" through the meat. Avoid purchasing these racks of ribs with a "shiner" because it may fall apart while being grilled. Just think, "Here's Johnny!" from The Shining - we don't like Johnny or a shiner.

Slider – A miniature hamburger.

Skewer – A thin stick of wood or metal used to hold pieces of food together while they're grilled. 


Shish Kebab – Pieces of meat and/or vegetables held together on a skewer and eaten right off the skewer. It is also commonly referred to as just “kebab.”

Smoker – A barbecue that uses indirect heat and wood fuel to slow cook meat while infusing the food with the smoky flavour we all love.

Smoker Box – A perforated metal box or built-in tray used to hold wood chips to create smoke on a gas barbecue grill, thus achieving a smoky flavour without being cooked on a smoker.

Smoking – A method of cooking food by using smoke from burning wood in order to give the food a smoky flavour.

Wood Chips and Chunks – Small pieces of wood that are cut from a large piece to add a smoky flavour to your food. They are often flavoured with notes of apple, cherry, etc., in order to add a richer flavour profile to your barbecue. 

Brander Smoker Box and True North Smokin' Wood Chips

There you have it, now you're one step closer to becoming a true pitmaster.

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