Types & Styles of BBQ-Read to Pick the Right BBQ Grill

In this modern era of stove-top range of cooking in household appliances, cooking food in an open fire is still continued as a traditional passion.

There is a pristine feeling while we cook or barbecue foods this way. It reminds us of the time when the forefathers had no choice except to cook their foods in this method.

But before you start barbecuing, as a beginner you need to know about the types and styles of BBQ.

Culinary cooking has been divided into some regional styles and types as the methods have been followed by the people for years.

Each type of barbecued meat has a totally different taste and flavor from one another.

Here is a list of the most popular types of barbecue with short details, therefore, you can understand what has made each of them so unique—

Main 2 Types of BBQ

All barbecues are mainly divided into two categories–

Direct Barbecues:

These are usually cooked immensely close to the heat. The extreme heat makes the barbecue crispy without absorbing the water from inside.

Indirect Barbecues:

These are cooked on smokers, heat is applied indirectly for a longer time. It is considered a low and slow cooking method.

6 Popular BBQ Types

There are some common direct and indirect barbecue types that are well-known to people:   

Pellet Grills

A Pellet grill is a combined element of a kitchen oven, gas grill, charcoal & electric smoker that is mainly fueled by pellets.

Also, you can use a control panel that regulates the airflow while baking.

You can cook tender pulled pork, no-brainer brisket, apple pie, smoked pork ribs using this process. Here cooking all these items with ultimate smoke test, masterbuilt electric smoker or landmann digital smoker can be your best choice.

Charcoal Grill

You will need a charcoal fuel source to cook with this outdoor cooker.

The cooking process, maintenance, temp. control, the cleaning process of the charcoal grill requires some more effort.

Herbed prime ribs, grilled Margherita pizza, BBQ pulled pork, smoked turkey can be the ideal foods for charcoal grilling. 

Gas & Propane Grill

The propane gas grill is fueled by natural gas or propane and connected with the gas line of the house, and sometimes a tank containing liquid propane is also used.

Sticky grilled chicken, grilled potatoes, grilled corn, and grilled chicken wings can be cooked by this process.

Kettle Grill

The lower compartment of the grill is kettle-shaped and that’s why it is named like this. This grill is composed of a cooking grid, venting system, legs, and lid.

You can cook smoked baby back ribs, BBQ pulled pork, herbed prime rib, farm kettle burger with this type of grill.


It’s also named for the cylindrical shape and dome-like lid of the smoker. This method is easy for beginners who need low and slow cooking.

The foods are cooked between 225°F to 250°F. Sticky Chinese BBQ pork, applewood smoked chicken can be cooked by this method. 

Offset Smoker

It is one of the most popular classic smokers containing a horizontal compartment instead of a firebox-like charcoal grill.

Whole smoked ribeye, texas turkey breast, whole smoked gator, smoked brisket can be cooked this way.

4 Regional Styles of Barbecues

Barbecues are also sub-categorized according to the regional difference. The main four styles of regional barbecue are–


You can barbecue pork ( pork shoulder, ribs) in this style. This Carolina-style barbecue is sauce-based which is tangy, thin, peppery, and watery.

You will find the sauce mustard base, clear, golden yellow, or vinegar-based in different Carolina regions.

Also, it may contain leaping flecks of cayenne. It contains a strong flavor if using vinegar and the sauce cuts the fat from butt and ribs, then absorbs within the meat in the cooking process. 

It is America’s one of the oldest types of barbecue. Carolina style follows a unique form of cooking, that’s why you will get slow-roasted, delicious pork.

There are some theme variations of the style and it is further divided into 2 areas– Eastern style and Lexington style. 

When vinegar and ketchup are blended for roasted pork shoulder, it is known as Lexington style. Eastern style is made up of any part of the pork and topped with mayonnaise-based sauce.

Kansas City 

Kansas city-style BBQ is subordinated by molasses and tomato-based thick sauce with mucho sugar. Kansas city-style barbecue should be cooked on low heat and slowly.

Otherwise, it will become a black crispy lump from the scorched sugar. The miner’s mix can make barbecue rub with an amazing flavor of these sauces which is called kits.  

This BBQ mainly focuses on a wide mest-range, like chicken, pork, beef, lamb, and pork ribs.

You need to dry-rub the meat and put it in the BBQ smoker. The BBQ is served fresh with sweet, thick table sauce and french fries.

Kansas City Style is the most dominant and familiar style in the local groceries of the wild west where you hardly find Texas or Carolina style sauces.


Memphis-style BBQ is much similar to Kansas City BBQ, but it does not contain much sugar, so it tends to be a little spicier than Kansas City-style.

The primary meats of Memphis BBQ joints are pork butt and ribs that are usually served without sauce. The meat sometimes is threshed while cooking. 

As the sauce isn’t used, Memphis style is not as juicy and messy as Kansas City style, so you may not get as much pleasure to eat.

However, sometimes sauce is served to the table for pouring over the pulled pork, but the sauce is usually more tangy, runny, thinner, and less sweet than Kansas City style. 

Memphis style also uses rubs, but the sugar is greatly reduced or absent in the rub. Memphis BBQ uses both dry and wet ribs.

The wet ribs are soaked in the delicious sauce before putting it in the smoker, while dry ribs are rubbed with seasonings. Both of them are smoked at low temp. so that it will melt within the mouth. 

Memphis BBQ is also used for pulling pork and making sandwiches. Also, you can put the pork on pizza, salad, spaghetti or anything you want. 


It is beef-focused barbeque style but maybe some pork ribs or chicken topped as a garnish. Beef ribs and brisket are cooked with chili-based rub and dry mustard and no squeal or cackle.

The sauce is like mop or basting sauce and is bold, thin, and heavily flavored of various types of ground chilis, onion, cumin, meat drippings, hot sauce, coffee, or even beer. The meat is dipped into mop sauce before plating in case of wet barbecue.   

Texas is also sub-categorized into multiple reasons– Central Texas, South Texas, East Texas, and West Texas. The South Texas BBQ is the most popular option as cooking cow-head underground is in the BBQ pit trailers.


What food should you purchase for BBQ?

Answer: There are two categories of food you will need to buy for a BBQ–

The essential items— sausages, mixed salads (basic salad, potato salad, couscous, etc.), burgers, chicken wings or thighs, cheese slices, burger garnish (tomato, onion, lettuce, etc.), hot dog rolls. 

The other BBQ menu— pasta salad, coleslaw, potato salad, corn, berries, watermelon and other fruits, vegetables for dipping, potato chips, tortillas, dinner rolls, pitas, etc. 

What is the easiest meat for grilling? 

Answer: You can easily get delicious BBQ by spending less on grilling.

Some affordable meats for easy grilling are– chicken drumstick and thighs, pork shoulder, ground beef, beef back ribs, chicken wings, a whole turkey, hot dogs, etc.

Also, the meats that are good for barbeque are— pork: tenderloin or pork chops; beef: top loin, porterhouse, sirloin, flank steak tenderloin, T-bone steak, 90% lean ground beef; lamb: loin; veal: trimmed cut. 

What should I cook first on a BBQ?

Answer: If you put meat while you’ve lit the barbecue, it will become parched outside but raw inside. The steaks or cooking chops and everything else like chicken drumsticks and sausages should be placed on after the flame has died down.

The best cuts, like cuts from the tenderloin, leg, loin, and sirloin are needed to be roasted at a high heat within the oven. 


As you have read all about the types & styles of BBQ, now tell me which style of barbecue is your favorite one?

Or did I miss covering anything that you need to know? 

Let me know by leaving a comment in the comment box. I will come to you with the answer ASAP.

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