Hey good looking, what's cooking? Well, it depends what barbeque styles you're adopting and where in the world you're getting your grill on.
If you're lucky enough to have tried and tasted international cuisine, you'll know all about the different cuts of meat and vegetables on offer. Not to mention the delicious bastings and marinades that your favorite proteins and sides are flavored with. However, sauces are just one thing: it's all about the treatment that the ingredients get that results in the authentic flavor. And that includes investing in the best grill for the job.
From piling your meat high at a South American buffet to tucking into a Tandoori chicken with naan, we show you how to recreate meals you might have eaten on vacation, without the expensive flight or wait.
Sink your teeth into these BBQ styles...
1. Brazilian churrasco
Ever been to a Brazilian Churrasqueira? The chances are you've sat down at one of these value establishments and have been presented with a card to indicate whether you'd like a slice of the grilled meats that are on rotation.
With chicken hearts to beef short ribs, pork belly and Picanha (that's rump cap to you and I), there's certainly variety, but if you're a little picky, you might be waiting your turn to get your hands (or fork) or your preferred dish.
This Brazilian Flame rotisserie BBQ from Amazon (opens in new tab) will allow you to replicate the experience at home with friends and family so you can choose the meats you like without the long wait.
As one of the best portable bbqs out there, this gas-operated machine is smokeless so your hair won't smell and your clothes won't be dirtied while cooking. Although we can't promise you won't get messy once you start digging into your meaty masterpieces.
Just don't forget the grilled pineapple and giant marshmallows for dessert! This might be easier (and less sticky) to do this over a good ol' fashioned campfire. We've even got a tutorial of how to build a smokeless fire pit.
2. Turkish Mangal
Since Ottoman rule, the Turkish have been renowned for their skewers of meat (aka kebabs) draped over a charcoal bbq, known as a Mangal. Though commercial food establishments have simplified the process somewhat, the takeaway points are still the same. Hot white coals, cubed meat (Şiş / shish), and a bright marinade containing olive oil, garlic, paprika, oregano and other middle-eastern / Mediterranean-inspired herbs.
The best charcoal bbqs (like this stainless steel Mangal from Wetlif Semejniy on Amazon (opens in new tab)) come with lots of space to turn metal skewers and this can be done either manually (by hand) or with a rotisserie motor. The latter, while a little more expensive to run means that the meat is continuously cooking at all angles which will result in a more professional finish. If investing in a motor, it's worth buying something like the BBQStar (opens in new tab) mechanism which works with big brands like Weber, Char-Broil, GrillPro, Brinkmann, Char-Griller and Napoleon.
Top tip: When serving at the table, layer your meats over warm flatbreads to allow them to soak and mop up the juices.
While the taste of charcoal-grilled meat is second-to-none, cleaning up spent ashes can be messy if you don't employ the right method, so it's worth checking out our guide on how to clean a bbq so you can spend more time eating and socializing with your guests.
3. Jamaican oil drum
Feeling hot hot hot? Either the weather outside is a little balmy, or you've taken a bite into a lip-smacking bit of Jerk chicken. A quintessential part of Afro-Caribbean cuisine, this summertime staple is a delicious part of Jamaican cuisine and is steeped in spices and history.
What makes this meat treatment so special is down to a plethora of different things. First, you have the spices namely scotch bonnet, nutmeg, allspice, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and thyme. Then, a touch of brown sugar for sweetness (and that signature crust), followed by a flame-grill with love on an oil drum charcoal BBQ.
Oil drum bbqs can be made DIY if you can get your hands on a large enough canister, and something to split it in half. But, if you want to save yourself the hassle, then try shopping on Walmart (opens in new tab) for one.
4. Japanese Yakiniku grill
You only need to shout the word 'Teriyaki' to get our heads turning. Full of umami flavors of soy and sesame oil, this delicious oriental cuisine is the Far East's take on meat on sticks and all things scrummy.
While you're probably most familiar with dishes like Yakitori (skewered chicken), there's so much more to discover with this East Asian cuisine. From eel to pork belly, and marbled cuts like Waygu, if you prefer your meat with a little fat, you're going to enjoy this grilling style.
Eddie McDonald, head chef, Donald Russell (opens in new tab), describes yakitori as a classic Japanese barbecue flavor, saying:
'It's delicious with chicken, but you can also try it with salmon or monkfish for something different. For an extra layer of flavor, try adding a slice or two of fresh ginger and some spring onion batons to the sauce as you heat it. Remove them when the sauce has cooled down and brush on your chicken as usual. For a finishing garnish, sprinkle with gently toasted sesame seeds.'
This Happy Sales Japanese grill (opens in new tab) (pictured above) has a 4* rating on Amazon, and with non-stick Die-Cast Aluminum plates, there's nothing getting in between you and your dinner. Sit this on the dining table or kitchen island and take turns to grill your own selection of beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and fish. This is one of the best indoor grills to get all the family involved – though children should be supervised when taking their turn, so as not to burn their hands.
And, if you are afraid of undercooked meats and general food safety, get yourself a food thermometer from Alpha Grills on Amazon (opens in new tab) to check the internal heat of what you're eating. Trust us – it's cheaper than a trip to the emergency room or any gastrointestinal meds to soothe a poorly tummy from a stomach bug.
5. Korean BBQ (Gogigui)
Gogigui literally translates to 'meat roast' and is one of our favorite grilling styles that combines the char of broiling with the succulence that roasting can achieve.
If you've ever wondered how Korean BBQ restaurants produce a banging bulgogi or serve up sizzling short ribs to perfection, the bad news is that most recipes are top secret (though you can do some research online to find something similar to copy).
Alternatively, get yourself a readymade marinade and save yourself the multiple shopping trips trying to source specialist ingredients from supermarkets and ethnic food stores. This We Love You Bulgogi marinade on Amazon gets 4.5 stars (opens in new tab), is gluten-free and doesn't contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) or high fructose corn syrup if you're trying to avoid these ingredients in your diet.
Oh, and you'll need a Korean grill of course! This Iwatani Smokeless Korean Barbecue Grill YAKIMARU CB-SLG-1 gets 4.5 stars on Amazon (opens in new tab) and the seller is keen to quickly answer any questions you have.
6. Indian Tandoor
Is there anything that beats a hot bubbly naan filled with fragrantly grilled chicken and finished with a fresh mint sauce? If this is your idea of a Friday night treat, you might want to save up your pennies for a Tandoor oven.
In under an hour, your clay oven is ready to cook bread, meats, paneer, and more. Using a cocktail of cayenne, paprika, garlic, and yogurt, you can create a rust-colored marinade that'll battle the searing hot temperatures of this Asian cooking equipment.
Sure, the large clay pot is a lot more expensive than other grilling mechanisms we've mentioned up top, but if you like to eat takeout with friends every week, this cultural cooking equipment will soon pay for itself.
Don't be put off by the average rating on this Tandoor oven by Puri Tandoori (opens in new tab)– one Amazon reviewer mentioned that while it takes a while to get used to the temperature settings, it has served them well for over five years!
Treat yourself to the Tandoor cookbook by Ranjit Rai (opens in new tab) to expand your knowledge beyond your curry house staples. Or, if you feel like you've spent enough, read the Tandoor recipes cookbook by Natalie Sadler for free with Kindle unlimited (opens in new tab).
7. Argentine Curacao
Argentina is known for its meat – in particular, its beef. From lean Lomo to chorizo, Ojo de Bife and everything in between, unless you're a vegetarian/vegan, we're pretty sure you'll struggle to find a cut that suits your tastes.
The success to bossing the Argentinian grilling style lies with finding a reputable butcher who'll provide good-quality meat (Porter Road has a great subscription box (opens in new tab)) , and the asado (or bbq). Using a simple iron plate called a parilla, you can regulate the heat by moving this metal sheet closer towards, or further away from the fire.
Season only with coarse sea salt for a truly authentic experience, but if you do want to experiment with different flavors avoid garlic and sugar which will burn and become bitter/acrid.
Note, Argentine barbeques are also known as Santa Maria grills, so if you're new to the grill game, it's best to get acquainted with the terminology Amigo. Pick up this XMetal grill before it sells out on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
8. Tuscan grilling
We often associate Italian cuisine with little more than pizza, pasta, and maybe a couple of scoops of gelato... but that's where we are very very wrong (and a little unintentionally ignorant).
While southern Italian cuisine usually comprises of fish, pulses and vegetables, travel up towards the center and the north and you'll find a more carnivorous nation who grew up eating grilled meats washed down with local wine. So it makes sense that with so many regional styles of cooking, the heart of landlocked Tuscany is a hotbed for charbroiled hunks of farmyard flesh. But this isn't your usual wet bbq as you know it...
Speaking on behalf of Tuscany's tourism board, Eleonora of Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (opens in new tab) says: 'As opposed to barbecuing – which requires low fires providing long, slow cooking, and usually involves rubs, marinades or sauce brushing.'
'Tuscan grilling is strictly about cooking over hardwood fire, without a lid to cover; and with very little in terms of ingredients, besides the hero component. This means no basting, no use of fancy marinades and balsamic rubs, and knowledge of what meat sauce is.'
For a perfect Tuscan grigliata, locals-only employ a light sprinkle of salt and pepper, sometimes a drizzle of lemon juice and the occasional herb seasoning.'
9. South African Braii
'Barbecuing is more than a meal in South Africa, it’s a lifestyle and practically a national sport,' explains McDonald.
'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).'
What is the difference between Teppanyaki and Hibachi?
'In the U.S., the phrase “hibachi-style” is occasionally used to refer to what is really teppanyaki cooking,' explains Lauren Hall, senior director of marketing, Benihana (opens in new tab).
'Hibachi grills are called Shichirin in Japanese and are small, portable barbecue grills that are made from cast iron. These grills have an open-grate design and commonly use charcoal as their heating source.'
'Modern hibachis in U.S. restaurants are electric so that they can be used to cook food indoors. By contrast, teppanyaki grilling involves using an iron griddle with a flat, solid surface to prepare food in restaurants in front of guests. Teppanyaki grills typically use a propane flame as a heat source.'
'Guests are able to sit around the teppanyaki grills so that they can view the skills of the teppan chefs while they grill chicken, pork, beef, and seafood dishes. The teppanyaki grill’s surface is also ideal for cooking finely chopped sides such as eggs, vegetables, and rice.'