Skip to content
Stores Contact

BBQ Grill & Smoker Glossary

BBQ Grill and Smoker Glossary

Here at Barbeques Galore, we understand that not everyone understands or knows everything about the world of barbecuing. For newcomers, it can be hard to know just what every term and phrase means, and as new terminology develop as time goes on, even the most seasoned professional may not know everything. So, we’ve gone ahead and put together a glossary to help you out just a little bit. Listed below are the most relevant terms and definitions that will help you on your grilling journey. We recommend utilizing our Learning Center and resources to expand your grilling knowledge so you can show up at your next cookout like a barbequing genius!


Asado Grills/ Argentinian grills

Asado grills are simple and effective cookers whose grates are stationed over a wood fire and are often adjustable. They create an immersive grilling experience with high heat and add smoky flavors to the food.



A BTU is a British Thermal Unit. 1 BTU measures the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by 1 Fahrenheit. BTUs Do NOT measure how hot a grill can get, it’s simply a factor.

Built-In Gas Grills

Grills can be inserted into an existing structure, such as a BBQ island. They often serve as the centerpiece of outdoor kitchens. Also referred to as a drop-in grill, grill head, or grill insert.



A BTU is a British Thermal Unit. 1 BTU measures the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by 1 Fahrenheit. BTUs Do NOT measure how hot a grill can get, it’s simply a factor.

Commercial-Grade Multi-User

Gas grills are designed for apartment complexes, hotels, or any large community common areas. Multi-user grills are built to withstand extra use and abuse from multiple grillers of all experience levels.


The way a gas grill is arranged in your outdoor setting. Freestanding grills that can be moved around your backyard on a cart and built-in grills that are installed directly into an outdoor kitchen island.

Conversion Kit

A set of equipment is used to convert certain grills from natural gas to propane, or vice versa. Not all grills can be converted and the warranty for some can be voided if conversion is attempted

Cooking Grate/ Grill Grate

The actual cooking surface of the grill is typically arranged as a series of parallel metal rods. When hot, the grates transfer heat to your food and provide those beautiful sear marks everyone craves.


Direct Cooking

A cooking technique where the chef places food directly over the heat source. In the case of a gas grill, this is done by putting your food above a lit burner, generally on high heat to create a sear.

Drip Pan

Gas grills are designed for apartment complexes, hotels, or any large community common areas. Multi-user grills are built to withstand extra use and abuse from multiple grillers of all experience levels.


External Material

The exterior material of a grill covers everything on its outer body, including the lid, control panel, and housing. Stainless steel is the most common type of exterior material found across our gas grill.


Flame Tamer

The barrier between the burners and cooking grids inside a gas grill. A good flame tamer system will help keep flare-ups to a minimum, shield the burners, and evenly spread heat across the cooking surface.

Flash Tubes

A backup ignition method in case your primary ignition system fails. Flash tubes extend from the grill surface to the burners. All you need to do is place a lit match by the tube, and it will suck the flame to the burner.

Flat Top Grill

Grills with large flat cooking instead of grates. These grills are also known as gas griddle, teppanyaki, or hibachi. They are used for various cooking techniques that can’t easily be done on a traditional grill.

Freestanding Grill

Freestanding grills are grills that are mounted on a stand or cart. They can typically be moved from one location to another if needed, so long as they can be hooked up to their fuel source.

Fuel Type

Grills have several types of fuel sources: charcoal, electric, natural gas, pellets, and propane. The fuel type that’s best for you likely depends on whether you have the proper hookups and personal preference.


Grease Pan

See drip pan. [A container that catches grease and other drippings that result from grilling food. Drip pans can be removed and washed, to make cleanup after grilling easier]

Grilling Surface BTU

The combined BTU rating of all burners used to heat grilling surfaces on a BBQ pit. The industry standard for BTUs is between 75 and 100 BTUs per square inch, but this isn’t a perfect rating for a grill.


Heat Zone Separators

Components are placed between burners in your grill to isolate specific zones, allowing you to cook different foods at the same time. Heat zone separators give you better temperature control while grilling.



The device is used to ignite the burners in a gas grill. These ignitors can be automatic and use an automatic spark, a heated surface to ignite the fuel, or simply use a flame. You also can be a manual ignitor with a match.

Ignition Type

There are four primary ignition types among gas grills: flame thrower, hot surface, manual, and sparks. The main difference between each method is the kind of igniter used to light the grill.

Indirect Cooking

A cooking technique where food isn’t placed directly in contact with heat. You can cook indirectly by positioning food on a low-heat or unlit burner, placing an adjacent burner on high heat, and closing the lid.

Infrared Main Burners

Burners send out heat waves that travel in a straight line until they reach the food, heating the air around your meat. These burners tend to preheat quickly, cook food faster, and provide even heat.

Insulated Grill Jacket

A protective covering necessary for most grills is built into a combustible island, which can catch fire from the grill. To avoid the cost of an insulated jacket, never build your island from combustibles, to begin with.


On Post Grill

Post-mounted grills are simply grills mounted on posts. They're very popular in places like public parks, campgrounds, apartment complexes, and sometimes even at beaches.


Portable Grill

Portable grills are small grills that are built for travel. These grills are lightweight and collapse into a compact form factor. They are typically used on trips to the beach, campouts, hikes, and tailgating.

Power Burner

Additional burners that have higher heat outputs than traditional side burners. Power burners are great for boiling large amounts of water, and they typically hold larger pots and pans than a traditional side burner can.


Rear Rotisserie Burner

Also known as a back burner, these are infrared burners usually located at the back of a grill. When coupled with a rotisserie, these burners create mouthwatering, slow-cooked dishes.


The part of your propane grill setup that controls the flow of gas from the propane tank to the heating element within your grill. Regulators are typically sold with the hose that pumps propane to your grill burners.

Rotisserie Kit

An accessory set that allows you to roast meat by rotating it rotisserie-style above a grill’s cooking surface. These kits include a spit rod, forks for holding food in place, a counterbalance, and a motor to power it all.


Sear Burner/Station

Usually, in the form of ceramic infrared side burners, sear stations offer direct, high-heat searing. They’re among the best ways to recreate restaurant-quality steak in your backyard.

Side Burner

An additional burner is attached to your grill. They are smaller than power burners and often used like a conventional stovetop with normal pots and pans, side burners give you versatility.

Smoker box

An accessory that lets you smoke with flavored wood chips in your gas grill. Some grills come with a dedicated box or drawer for wood chips, while others can be outfitted with a separate smoker box accessory.

Spring-Assisted Hood

A grill hood that includes a lightweight spring designed to make lifting easy. These will help prevent accidental wear and tear to the grill. Spring-assisted hoods are a notable feature of many Luxury grills.


Wood Chips

Small pieces of wood are used to provide heat and smoke when smoking food. They can be placed in a smoker box or a foil packet over a low-heat burner to produce delicious, smoky flavors within a grill.

Behind the grill

Professional recipes from incredible chefs!

Christie Vanover - GirlsCanGrill Nick Hill - SaltFireBBQ Chuck Matto - ChucksFlavorTrain Derek Perry - FreedomSoHard Jason Glover - DadsThatCook Chris Apple - WhiteBullsBBQ