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Nov 6, 2010 06:22 AM

What is the difference between Tandoori, Barbecue , Grill and Smoking -(Fish and Meat) ?

Dear Friends ,

Can you give me some ideas about the difference between Tandoori, Barbecue , Grill and Smoking (Fish and Meat )?

Susmita Bangladesh

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  1. oh, susmita, do you know what you have opened up here? ;-).

    barbeque? oh my, just you wait!

    tandoori does not involve "smoking" per se, though the food gets smoky a bit from the fire in the tandoor.

    smoking can be hot smoking or cold smoking. google will help you out on many of these questions.

    i'll leave the rest up to experts who will shine here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      can you pls give me some brief on Smoking ?


    2. Barbecue... yike. Like alkapal said, that is a word to fight over for. The definition of barbecue changes from the South to the North. Many people refer grilling and barbecuing as the same thing, while many others do not. The more respected and standard definition of barbecue has to belong to the southern definition -- therefore grill is not the same as barbecue.

      To me, grill is high heat cooking on open flame. Barbecue is slow cooking on indirect heat with smoke. One takes minutes. The other takes hours.

      As for Tandoori, I assume you know from your name.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        If Grill needs high heat then does it use only electric grill ? OR there is any manual grill ? AND Does the Barbecue use charcoal ? I think Tandoori and Barbecue is similar .

        Then What is smoking ?


        1. re: susmita

          this is one big can of trouble...

          let's rearrange the categories. most require a grill.

          BBQ: involves smoking at first at least (hickory is my favorite especially for pork or chicken) low and slow (heat off to the side, even better in a separate box that feeds into the largely sealed meat chamber - can take 6-12 hours although there are shortcuts and you can do this in a standard charcoal grill that seals tight, with my Weber, I'd bank the coals and wet wood chips off to one side and use the grill of the other half, the whole thing barely vented) occasionally in some varieties one adds sauce (or not) during the cooking and in some varieties one places the meat on an open flame at the end as well (generally the sauce on type so it sort of caramelizes). others put the sauce on after.

          Smoking: a fairly quick but dry heat (just a coupla hours at about 180 F after an overnight marinade) with aromatic wood that is good with some fish (salmon) or for making jerky (usu. spicy dried beef)

          Grill: can really be any heat source, but I say charcoal or your hardwood of choice (lately I've been using both and tossing in wild grape vines I find around here as well, fennel, sassafras, acorns, all sorts of things to play with) whose flame is directly exposed to the meat (or vegetables) of choice, can also employ aromatic wood like mesquite if you want to go SW US Tex-Mex or a fruit wood like apple or cherry if fowl or pork can be nice too. some swear by Japanese briquets, others don't notice. others insist on oak or some other hardwood.

          Tandoori? I dunno this is something I want to play with, from what I understand it's more of a wood-fired oven rather than a grill but I can say the yogurt marinade/glaze is delicious.

          let me guess: you have more questions now than you started with, right?

          1. re: hill food

            Tandoori is that which has been cooked in a Tandoor.
            A Tandoor is a clay oven, so the entire cooking quality is way different than electric. Let's say, it is to cooking what organic is to food.
            The dispersion of heat, the trapping of juices, the flavours and fragrances emanating out of stone cooking makes all that difference. A Tandoor also delivers a crusty crispiness that an electric fellow can never hope to. Electric singes and blackens, even burns. Tandoor just crispens. Ok, makes crisp!

            1. re: happy meera

              so, sort of how a proper Tajine pot will work as opposed to a vented casserole dish? you'll come up with something delicious, but fundamentally different?

          2. re: susmita

            Hi Susmita,

            Grill can be done on gas, charcoal, electric, though it is more common for the former two. The foods are cooked on a open flame/heat source. Usually the cook time is between 5 minutes to 15 minutes depending on your foods and your heat source. You must have seen grilling a thousand of time, but I will include some pictures:


            Barbecue has to have smoke and the heat is more indirect or much lower. Usually the cook time is 4-12 hours and can be longer (barbecue of chicken is of exception). You can use charcoal as the heat source for barbecue, but there has to have wood, wet wood to be specific. You use wet wood to create smoke and you usually cook a big piece of meat, not a slice of meat. Smoke ring and bark are something you see for barbecue. Also fat side up, lean side down -- well my opinion anyway.

            Here is a person who did his pork butt barbecue. You can just watch the section from 1:40 min to 4:45 min


            The choices of meat for the two techniques are also very different. You can grill a piece of T-bone or filet mignon, but you cannot barbecue it. On the other hand, you want to barbecue a meat with high collagen, like a good old pork butt. However, a slap of pork butt will not taste very good when grilled.

            If you have only spend time in the US East or West Coast, then your vision of grilling and barbecue may be the same. They are not the same. Unfortunately, many people from the two Coasts get confused on this subject.

            I am not absoluely clear about Tandoori, but my impression is that Tandoori is very different from Southern Barbecue. For one, smoking is not required for Tandoori, and two, Tandoori is done at a higher temperature than barbecue. For southern barbecue, smoke and low heat are essential.

        2. A tandoor is a clay oven that uses charcoal to achieve very very very high temps. Like 800 or 900 F.

          Here are some instructions for simulating a tandoor using your oven:

          I don't know why they think lining your oven with clay tiles will simulate a tandoor. Maybe by stabilizing the heat and minimizing hot/cold spots? The flavor comes from the high heat and the smoking effect from the charcoal.

          There are 2 chowhound threads I found that talk about tandoor as well:

          On a grill:

          In the oven:

          Here's another oven method:

          Naan is made by slapping the dough onto the sides of the hot hot hot clay oven. It sticks, then you peel it off when it's done. The surface gets blistered and chars a little from the high heat. I've never tried to simulate that at home.

          If you want to try tandoori chicken at home, do skin the chicken. I've noticed that some tandoori recipes leave the skin on. The whole point of the marinade is to impart flavor to the meat. The marinade also acts to protect the surface of the meat from drying out. The skin isn't really needed and impedes the transfer of flavor into the meat.

          I rarely do tandoori chicken, it's just not my thing, but it does seem to come out ok in the oven.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ZenSojourner

            Dear ZenSojourner,

            I read your thread ; I have some questions .
            How to use conventional home oven as a Tandoor

            Q 1 . How to use Pizza stone ? it was told "Do NOT cook food directly on top of the Stone ". So , How I will cook ? Place a pan or pot on the stone while the stone is on the oven turned on ? Or Remove the heated stone from the oven and then place a pan on it ? Should I cover the pan ?

            Q2. How I will use Unglazed Ceramic tiles ? AND Clay Pots ? need details instructions.


          2. In common parlance there is some ambiguity between grilling and BBQing, but connoisseurs will emphasize that they are two different things. I will defer to others on those methods, as well as smoking.

            Tandoor is a specific type of clay pit with a fire at the bottom and the protein or breads are placed inside above the wood/charcoal fire located at the bottom to cook. Although these days you can buy in home electric tandoors and make "tandoori" items in a regular home oven and stove top, it really only refers to this particular cooking method. The food items being cooked are not propped up on a grill, they are skewered on "seekhs" and suspended above the flame with a special rack or with the seekhs leaning against the tandoor wall at a slant, or in the case of breads, placed directly against the wall of the tandoor. The tandoor is originally from Central Asia and is a very ancient method of cooking. It has been in South Asia for a very long time, as well, brought by Central Asian invaders (pre-Islamic Aryan invasion era). Much later, it spread to Arab and other Mediterranean cultures and is known as tanoor in those regions. Internationally, the tandoor is most associated with Indian cuisine. Within India, it is widely popular, but specifically associated with the regions which were formerly seats of Muslim culture within North India, and with Mughlai cuisine, as well as with Punjabi cuisine. It is also an extremely popular method of cooking Pakistan and Afghanistan, of course due to the historical connections to India. (I really couldn't speak about tandoor in Bangladesh, is it widespread outside of the context Mughlai-Indian restaurants? Please tell us more about tandoor in Bangladesh.) One thinks of meat cooking when tandoor comes to mind, but actually there are neighborhood tandoors all over Pakistan and other regional countries where one can go to purchase tandoori flat breads (various types of naan) to have with one's daily meals, so the tandoor's role in bread making is not to be overlooked.

            1. I'll take the leap! When I smoke a por butt, Carolina style, I put the meat on my Brinkman smoker for 25 hours of low 225 heat. The first hour or two, I add wood chips for the smoke. For Texas BBQ, I use a beef brisket, similar cooking, but only 12 hrs. It's hard to find brisket w/ enough fat in a supermarket. Grilling is over a hot flame, usually charcoal or gas.
              In Europe, my oven got much hotter than in the US and I could make nan & chipatis, just slapping the dough on the side of the hot oven.
              Hail Mary full of Grace, may I make it out of this place.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                25 hours! Can you smoke me some butts? :)

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Sure I can smoke one for ya, but hey are a bit soggy and hard to light, the draw is good once they get goin', though.
                  I meant 24, but what the butt. Fall off the bone tender. I start 'em after work on Fri and Sat evening, chow!
                  I have both a Brinkman electric and a charcoal; got 'em both free. Use depends on time. I'm looking forward to NM winter Q. It got too god damn cold in Maine to smoke in the winter. Shoveling my grills from the snow drifts was a pain. I've got a protected sunny corner, where I can sit, catch some rays, drink a cold one and contemplate the meaning of life.
                  ps I'm a buttermilkaholic.