When talking chicken, people often use the terms “smoked” and “barbecued” interchangeably. Smoking is actually a type of barbecuing, so it’s understandable why the two methods get confused at times. But there are distinct differences between smoking and barbecuing, including different cook times, temperatures and equipment.

Let’s learn more about the differences between smoking and barbecuing and the flavors to enjoy with each!

Smoking

Smoking is a type of barbecuing that involves slow cooking meat over low heat. It requires a lot of time and patience, which is why this practice isn’t for everyone. If you’re having people over for dinner and want to smoke chicken, you’ll need to start early in the day. You need this time to allow the smoky flavor to penetrate into the entire piece of meat.

There are two ways to smoke meat. Cold smoking works best for meats that have already been cured or previously cooked, such as sausage or chicken breasts. Hot smoking is when you cook the meat and smoke it at the same time. Because it can cause shrinkage and buckling, it’s best for large cuts of meat like ham, brisket and pulled pork.

Ultimately, you can choose whichever method you want, but be sure to use a good quality smoker and wood chips in various flavors like hickory, apple, cherry or mesquite. The more time and patience you have, the better smoked flavor you’ll get!

Barbecuing

Barbecuing lets you cook meat quickly over a low temperature setting. You can barbecue small cuts of meat like chicken breasts or wings, as well as large pieces of meat like pork shoulders. There are different types of grills you can cook on such as gas grills and charcoal grills. Traditional barbecues also need a little smoke, so you’ll want to include flavor-infused wood chips and replenish them during cooking.

The difference between grilling and barbecuing is that grilling is done with the grill lid open and barbecuing is down with the grill lid closed. With the latter, the meat is bathed in heat for 30 minutes to a few hours, keeping the food tender and juicy. This is important for chicken because it can easily dry out if it’s overcooked.

At La Rosa Chicken and Grill, we don’t just toss our high quality cuts of chicken into grease friers. We use kettles, ovens, rotisseries and open-fire grills to ensure our meats are cooked to perfection. Stop in today and enjoy one of our flavorful chicken dishes.

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