What is a BBQ

When in Italy we talk about ‘barbecue‘, most people mean ‘barbecue’. As we saw in the introduction, in fact, at least two things to follow American purists are not entirely coincidental. The original is a barbecue cooking technique, which is to slowly cook large pieces of meat using low temperature heat and smoke of a fire of coals. A barbecue is a direct cooking, short and violent, of relatively small pieces of flesh placed directly on the coals at high temperature.

As however the original technique is almost unknown and unused anyway, we will treat the barbecue as is intended by us, that is, as a method of grilling.

The components of the traditional wood-burning barbecue

Grilling equipment consist of a series of items and accessories that allow you to set up different types of barbecue. Below we describe the basic elements.

Vertical Brazier

It is a container made of steel or cast iron, able to withstand high temperatures, formed by a vertical plate that forms the bottom and vertical front grille, parallel to the spine but placed at some distance from it and lifted from the floor below. It is used mainly for cooking on a spit and allows the arrangement in height, rather than on the flat, the fuel ignited, with production of embers to fall through the grill.

The advantage of vertical brazier is that lateral radiation avoids the danger of roast food with flame, while fats that run off don’t end up on the grill, with the risk of fire, but can be collected in a dripping pan, where gourmets can retrieve it and use it as a condiment. Generally allows better control of the cooking, but cannot be used for all foods.

Horizontal Brazier

Floor formed by a grid or a set of metal rods (steel or cast iron) close together to allow the support of embers arranged plan, the proper supply of air to the fuel, and the fall of ashes into a bin below.

Cooking Grill

GridIron metal (chrome steel, stainless steel, cast iron more rarely) used for food exposure to the heat source. Must be fitted with insulated handles to allow the adjustment of the distance of the foods from the heat source.

You can distinguish between normal grilles and grates pan. Regular grids are made of thin rod and well spaced to minimize the surface area in contact with the food and to facilitate cleaning. Some are made of hinged ladders and able to enclose the food between two grids, making cooking on both sides of the food.

Pan grids consist of auctions featuring V-shaped profiles stationed with the opening or recess facing upwards, on the side where you place the food. The inset auction collects and drains pasta sauces and cooking fats, which are conveyed in a bin, where it can be recovered to be used as a condiment. In practice, a partial substitute of the dripping pan is used with vertical brazier.

Plates or Stones

Alternative cooking grilled, sometimes provided as an accessory in prefabricated barbecue, consisting of a plate in soapstone or lava rock from high thermal inertia, or even by a cast iron plate.

Stone plates may be heated over a flame and then moved to store food in warm or even to cook them separately. Help you avoid condiments added, but care must be taken to avoid uncontrolled to fatty streaks.

Spit or Rotisserie

Metal rod rotating around its own axis, which the movement can be imposed either manually or with the aid of electric motors, which are skewered foods to cook blocked by forks furniture.

It is placed on special supports, whose distance from the embers is adjustable, typically at the sides of the cook top. The best use is with vertical brazier.

Dripping Pan

Stainless steel tray, generally placed underneath the spit to collect cooking juices.

Ash catcher

Metallic binder in the form of a box or drawer underneath the grate to collect the residual combustion products.

Side supports

Structures with protrusions, indentations, holes, lugs or other will act on the positioning of the grids, plates or spits at varying distances from the plane of fire.


Vertical structures, generally U-shaped form, that is enclosed on three sides and open only to the position of cook, which aims to protect the plane of fire and firing from the wind, and to act as a spark arrestor and splashguard. Generally also encompasses the side supports.


Fixed or mobile structure which would place the hob at a comfortable height in place. In the case of fixed BBQ is generally made of building materials (concrete, stone, brick, etc) whereas in the case of mobile barbecue is made of metal or wood, with wheels and stops to ensure its stability.


Pyramidal or conical optional structure, made of metal or concrete slab, placed over the cooking area and intended to collect, convey and disperse upwards fumes and vapors produced during cooking.

Indirect heat charcoal barbecue

A technology created for gas barbecue is also used for small charcoal barbecues, like spherical one in photos.

Under the cooking grid is a funnel-shaped steel tray, whose purpose is to collect fats and cooking oils and transfer them into the small drip tray underneath the grill. In this way you will not produce flames for fall of fats on charcoal, all excess fats are disposed of by making lighter foods, cooking is indirect and complete, as the rounded shape of the lid creates a perfect convection motion inside the grill, making uniform temperature.

Of course, if you wish, you can remove the lid and rearrange funnel tray to switch to direct cooking.

This type of barbecue is supplied with some optional accessories, such as floors and racks, tool racks, sheets, etc., all shown below, where it describes the gas barbecue to indirect cooking.

1 ) enamelled pot lid, with holes for ventilation and thermometer

2) cooking grate with opening for inserting the charcoal. You can rotate 360°

3) funnel that allows both direct and indirect cooking.

4) charcoal grill drip tray door glazed with.

5) aluminum ash tray with holes for ventilation.

The components of gas grills

Domestic gas barbecues are generally approved for external use only.

Side grills, rotisseries and cooking media are actually similar to wood-fired barbecue, however there are some specific components that are described below.

We use the general characteristics of barbecue series gas de the artistic to describe how good a gas barbecue should be done.

Indirect heat gas barbecue

The operating principle is the same as already described for the indirect fire barbecue charcoal grill. In this case support for charcoal is replaced by a gas burner ring, as shown in the exploded view below.

The enamelled steel funnel protects the burner and avoid direct contact of fire with food, so you don’t need to use lava rock or ceramic briquettes.

All are equipped with barbecue thermometer to check the temperature, air valves for the kitchen vapours and the usual drip tray.

They can also be used as a traditional stove, vegetable, boil or fry to jump.

The gas used may be natural gas or LPG, although barbecue like arise and give the best of himself to use ‘mobile’, then with the bottle, then with LPG or similar. However no lack of models for fixed installations.

The gas models have two trays, one small funnel used for the collection of fats, and one large, varying the location which you can switch from indirect cooking to direct cooking.