Barbecuing is a historic way to cook food. It originated in The Americas after the Spaniards landed there in 1492. They found the people of Taino roasting meat on a wooden framework above an open fire.

The word Barbecue comes from the Spanish word ‘Barbacoa’, used to describe the slow cooking of meat over an open flame. Since then, modern inventions have made having a BBQ easy.

There are plenty of variations of barbequing that have spread across the globe from America.

In the UK, a traditional BBQ consist of mainly burgers and sausages and is usually served with an array of side dishes such as salads, potatoes, corn on the cob and other cold dishes. Cooked when there is finally a sunny day outside with friends and family, it is a popular summers get together.

Here is how 10 different countries have adopted the BBQ technique:


BBQ is used for popular street food dish, Yakitori in Japan. Bamboo skewers are piled with either chicken meat or chicken innards and grilled over a white charcoal. This type of charcoal burns for longer at a lower temperature and doesn’t produce smoke. This BBQ dish is usually served with alcohol.


Korean Barbecue, often referred to as KBBQ, is becoming very popular, with restaurants specifically catering to this cuisine appearing all over the world. They cook cuts of marinated meats coated in a variety of flavours such as soy, sesame oil and gochujang. It is different from typical BBQ as the meat is marinated as opposed to using a dry rub.

An example of a popular KBBQ dish is bulgogi- thinly sliced beef marinated in sesame and spring onion and soy sauce. It is often served with fresh vegetables and herbs.

South Africa

Braai refers as much to an event as it does to a specific dish. A Braii centres around cooking meat which is usually contributed pot-luck style, with a woodburning ‘braai stand’ or grill. It originated in South Africa’s Afrikaans speaking white settlers. Popular dishes include lamb skewers and boerewors, a South African sausage. Commonly served with a corn based porridge named Pap.


In Mexico, Barbacoa refers to meat, specifically goat or beef, which is wrapped in maguey leaves and slow cooked in a pit underground. Served with lime and fresh coriander, the meat flaked apart. It is often put in a burrito bowl with rice or on fresh tortillas.


A Cantonese delicacy is Char Siu- which translates to fork roast. Its cooking technique includes spearing pork that has been flavoured with five spice and honey on long forks and cooking them over a fire. A thick, sticky sauce is served over the top of it, which is commonly infused with red food colouring to give it a its traditional fiery red hue.


Brazilian BBQ is another take that has become globally popular. ‘Churrasco’ is where an skewer of meat is unloaded onto the plates of those dining in an all you can eat fashion. Various meats are consumed in this way, but most commonly beef, cooked at a high heat over a grill. It Is frequently served with chimichurri, French fries, salad or eggs (depending on where in the world it is being consumed.)


A clay oven is used to cook many Indian cuisines, including skewered and marinated meat. Tandoori chicken is an example of this, where chicken is seasoned with a variety of ingredients including yoghurt, garam masala and other spices.


Similar to a ‘Braai’, in Hawaii they have something called Luau, which refers to a social gathering where traditionally, a whole pig is cooked inside a mesquite-fuelled oven that sits underground, named an ‘imu’. This dish is called Kālua. The meat is stuffed with hot rocks and is wrapped in banana leaves and covered in wet sand before slow cooking for hours.


A Turkish dish renown across the world is Shish Kebab. The concept is simple- huge chunks of meat skewered onto a giant rod and grilled. The meat used is lamb, distinguishing it from other similar kebab dishes. Frequently, vegetables are added to the skewer too.


A BBQ style dish which originated in Spain, is now most popular in the Philippines. Lechón, is a whole pig, skewered onto a wooden stick and spit-roasted for several hours. Due to the high maintenance and long cooking process, it is a dish generally consumed in celebration of special occasions. The outcome is extra crispy and extra tasty.