Different countries, different people, different barbecue styles

Greetings, Everyone! Today I want to talk about my barbecue experiences in the different countries I have lived in.

I have traveled to many different destinations in my lifetime, and I’ve lived in four different countries throughout my life. Here, I would like to give you an idea of the different barbecue styles I have had experienced in these counties….

South Africa. Photo by Flickr SA Tourism

A South African ‘Braai’: Using the Best Barbecue Grills

Barbecue or ‘braai’ in South African culture is related to specific social norms and traditions. Built-in barbecues and free-stand barbecue grills are commonly used for grilling in South Africa. South Africans usually pick the best barbecue grills on the market for outdoor grilling. They take very pride in their special grills!

The men would gather around the ‘braai stand’, charcoal barbecue grill, to barbecue or ‘braai’ the meat. One person will attend to the fire and cook the meat. Guests are not allowed to interfere with the person who is cooking the meat. This is etiquette!!

Women will see that the side dishes like ‘pap’, salads or vegetables are prepared in the house. A barbecue meal is usually eaten with ‘pap’ (an authentic South African dish prepared from maize flour) and other side dishes around the barbecue grill (braai stand).

‘Braai’ is a social event with conversations around the braai stand while having a drink. ‘Braai’ is not only reserved for a special event. It is included in most celebrations. South Africans ‘braai’ at any chance they get, on Christmas day, birthdays, or any get-together family event. …….They will find any reason to say, ” Let’s braai”.

In South Africa, we use hardwood or briquettes for our barbecues. In some parts of the country, people prefer wood over briquettes, and it is common to find you in an argumental discussion over what is the better of the two. In the southwestern parts of the country, people ‘braai’ mainly with wood, whereas, in the eastern parts of the country, people prefer briquettes.

Nevertheless, we respect each other’s different barbecue techniques and enjoy the festival events immaterial of where we find ourselves in the country.

Most of us make our own bbq sauce. My uncle and his wife make the best barbecue sauce I have ever tasted, and I use their sacred recipe to this day.

built-in bbc
South African style built-in barbecue
South-African free-standing BBQ grill made by my brother in law
South African style free-standing custom-made barbecue made by my brother in law
SA style bbc chops, sausage, chicken
SA bbc variety; the finished product

The D Dual Chamber Stainless Steel Charcoal BBQ Grill is one of those great Charcoal BBQ grills South Africans adore. (Tag G1)

Philippine Style: The Best Barbecue Sauce

The Philippines

Barbecue in the Philippines, as I have learned, is always a gateway to having family bonding. BBQ is related to the term Lechon (roasted). Open fire pits or portable charcoal bbq grill stands are used to grilling meat in the Philippines.

Roasted whole pig, skewered pork, bbq chicken are the center of the barbecue culture in the Philippines.

lechon pig
Lechon whole pig and chicken

Lechon whole pig is cooked by slow–grilling a whole pig on a rod over an open fire pit turning it slowly. This is commonly prepared on specific occasions when families gather to celebrate special events like weddings, anniversaries or birthday parties.

In the Philippines, I have tasted the best chicken barbecue marinade Filipino style food! Most BBQ restaurants will make some of the best barbecue sauce, too. Super delicious!….now that I am thinking about it!

Fish is also popular to cook on charcoal barbecue grills, mostly at beach gatherings.

Phil bbc fish and skewers

Bananacue, skewered grilled bananas, is another popular barbecue dish.

Bananacue. Photo by Flickr Andrew Abogado

All in all, barbecue has been Filipinos all time favorite dish. One of many reasons I love the Philippines!

phil bbc
Homestyle bbc in the Philippines

The Stainless Steel Charcoal Kebab BBQ Portable Grill is one of those very useful portable grills for grilling lovely skewers for the family or friends while enjoying an outdoor picnic. (Tag G2)

South Korean Style: The Best Barbecue Restaurants & Soju


South Korea

Koreans love to barbecue as well. Their style differs totally from how I know a barbecue should be done.  A Korean barbecue is mainly an indoor event, and it takes place mostly in one of their best barbecue restaurants, not at home.

The way Koreans barbecue is different, and the meat they use are very different from what we use for a South African ‘braai’, too. A Korean barbecue is done on a small barbecue grill (gas or charcoal) which is situated in the center of the restaurant table. There are extractor hoses on top of each barbecue table to extract the smoke.

Korean BBQ restaurant
Korean style BBQ. Photo by Bionic Bites
Korean barbecue meat. Photo by Flickr fmpgoh

My favorite is Korean beef or pork, called ‘Galbi’. Then there is the soju (a popular Korean alcoholic drink made from rice, wheat or barley). And, I am not kidding, Soju is so strong, it quickly knocks you off your feet!! Koreans love to have soju with their barbecues. In fact, they ALWAYS have soju when they socialize. The meat is eaten with several side dishes and kimchi, a popular fermented cabbage dish.

Korean Soju Alcoholic drink
Korean Kimchi

Koreans live in high rise apartments and will seldom invite you to their homes for a barbecue. Instead, they will take you out to enjoy a Korean barbecue at one of the thousands of BBQ restaurants available everywhere in South Korea.

Sometimes foreigners, living in South Korea, will get together on the rooftops of apartment buildings to have a ‘barby’.

Rooftop BBC in South Korea – Korean style

I must admit, I enjoyed every barbecue event in South Korea, and I have made some great friends during these special barbecue gatherings.

If you are fond of grilling outside on your favorite patio table, or going on picnics, then the Table Top Portable Charcoal Grill will be ideal. (Tag G3)

 A Saudi Barbecue: Camping In The Desert

The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia

In Saudi culture, barbecue is a male dominant occasion like many things are in Saudi.

Saudis usually barbecue when camping in the desert. Men will leave the big cities to go camping in the outskirt desert areas on a weekend…a men only event.

Saudi campfire in the desert

They will erect special tents and stay over for a night or two in the desert. For dinner, they will cook meat on a portable charcoal grill. Beef or chicken are usually cooked while they are chatting the night away.

Nothing else really happens around a Saudi barbecue;…….chit chat, drinking Arabian coffee, smoking hookah, eating and using mobile phones are common activities Saudis will keep themselves busy with around a barbecue. Very different from what I will do around a barbecue fire.

As a Westerner, I am not used to men-only gatherings at a barbecue. Saudi women are not allowed on these occasions, as per Saudi culture. So, you need to leave your wife at home as well.

In contrast, in my culture, my wife’s culture as well as in Korean culture, it is pretty much an event involving men, women, and children, everyone together.

Unfortunately, I don’t have unique photos to show here, as I never took photos during my desert barbecue trips with my Saudi friends. It was not plausible at the time,

……….Now, I actually regret it. I should have stolen some shots.

Lastly, if you are looking for a high-quality portable charcoal grill with a secure lid to control heat, then the New Weber Portable Rectangle Charcoal Grill this is a good choice. (Tag G4)

 Final thought….

Wel, this is in short what I would like to reveal about my barbecue experiences in those parts of the world where I resided in during the years.

I keep learning more about barbecues in these different countries every time I visit them, and I keep teaching people about South African ‘braais’ wherever I am around the world.

I would love to hear about your style of barbecue in your specific country!

Just leave a note below to let me know how YOU guys (..and girls) barbecue in your culture or place of living.

Till we meet again here!



6 thoughts on “Barbecues”

  1. hello mr BBQ master jacob I dont know how I stumbled upon your site but i did and you have now received a bookmark in my computer the info on this site is very intriguing and i love they way you have good grills that you recommend i like reading reviews like that before i make a purchase

    1. Greetings, Stacey. I am glad you found my page intriguing. Apprciated. Please keep in touch here for more deals. Cheers, Jacob

  2. I simply love BBQ and especially what other cultures use them for with all the different flavors. Charcoal is the way to go, it gives so much uniqueness to grilled meat. I like to try many different things, I personally use a charcoal bbq with a cast iron grill instead of stainless steel and I simply love it.

    Thanks a lot for the share!

    1. Thank you very much for visiting my page, Marc. I agree 100%, charcoal is the way to go! I always barbecue on charcoal!! The best! Appreciate your comments. Please visit again. Cheers, Jacob

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