Korean barbecue: How it differs from American barbecue

Aug 04, 2021 / MIN READ

Are you craving travel this summer? If you’re ready to explore new cultures and foods, you’re already in the right place — your own backyard!

Barbeque is one of the most popular types of cuisine around the world, and each region offers its own unique spin on this summertime classic. Learn how you can take a first-class trip to an authentic Korean BBQ along with some creative cookout inspiration — no plane tickets required.

Korean BBQ versus American BBQ

Both Korean and American BBQ share a similar theme: Nothing beats enjoying delicious food with friends and family. Half the fun of both styles is hosting your loved ones for a night of great food.

Usually, American cookouts are centered around large cuts of meat that feature a full-bodied smoky flavor — just think of a traditional spit roast pig or a saucy rack of ribs. Although Korean BBQ uses much of the same meat, including pork, beef and chicken, it’s typically marinated rather than using a dry rub or being basted in sauce as it cooks. Pork is a staple in Korea, as the tender, high-fat meat pairs well with many other iconic Korean foods.

It’s not just the prep that varies, however. Rather than going for a large cut, Korean dishes use smaller strips of meat. Think pork belly, short rib, brisket or beef tongue. By cooking these cuts over a gas grill or fried on a pan, you’re able to get an even more robust flavor!

Korean BBQ is also known for its distinctly sweet taste, calling for ingredients like soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame and oil. For the ultra-adventurous, some recipes use pear and honey for an even more sophisticated flavor profile.

It’s all about the sides

When you think of your classic American BBQ, which sides come to mind?

If your head is swimming with dreams of buttery mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and corn on the cob, you’re not alone. Although the sides vary pretty significantly, they play just as important a role in Korean BBQ.

Some of the go-to side dishes in the country include rice, pickles, kimchi, banchi and just about every vegetable you can imagine. There’s no limit to your creativity when it comes to cooking up your own Korean BBQ — many sides are served hot or cold, creating the opportunity for you to try many different styles.

Bring the flavors of South Korea to you

One of the most popular styles of Korean BBQ is bulgogi, which translates to “fire meat.” Made from thin slices of sirloin, pork belly or tenderloin, the tender meat lends to an even fuller taste and is marinated with lots of spices before being cooked over a flame.

Don’t have time for a day-long marinade? Don’t stress — you can still explore a world of flavors on your table and try out new dishes.

Get the best of both worlds, bringing together American and Korean BBQ with our Honey Garlic Teriyaki Dry Rub Seasoned Pork Tenderloin. The adventure starts at home.

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