We are a nation of BBQ lovers. It wouldn’t be a British summer without an evening lighting up the grill and spending hours eating and drinking outside. While we love our traditions of sausages, burgers, and long debates over whether the chicken is done, there are many famous barbecue foods and styles that could take your garden cookout to the next level.
We have found 20 of the most unique and interesting barbecue recipes from around the world, give them a try next time you dig the BBQ out of the shed.
In Argentina, the tradition of barbecuing is known as asado. The ‘asador’ or ‘grill master’ ignites charcoal made of native wood in a huge pit. You will find blood sausage, chitterlings, and even an entire dismembered cow on an Argentinian asado.
When Brits put on an Aussie accent and say, “shrimp on the barbie”, the stereotype isn’t all that inaccurate. The main foods cooked on a barbecue in Australia are shrimp and other shellfish, alongside the likes of sausage, beef, and even kangaroo!
Frankfurters and sauerkraut are two of the most popular foods cooked on a German BBQ. It’s worth trusting them too, they are the kings of the BBQ with many foods and meats cooked around the world originating in Germany, including bratwurst, hamburgers, potato salad and, of course, beer.
Braai refers to the social occasion of barbecuing in South Africa. The main foods you’ll find cooked at a braai depend on where you live. Coastal towns predominantly cook fish or crayfish, while inland you’re likely to find sausages called boerewors or kebabs called sosaties.
Chuan’r is a trademark dish from the Xinjiang region in China. Its skewered lamb is roasted in sesame oil, salt and pepper, red pepper, and cumin. The tasty street food became so popular it is now a favourite all across China.
Mici is the national barbecue food of Romania. The famous garlicky sausage is available to buy in the UK but it’s very easy to make at home. Mici should be served on their own with a good mustard and a cold pint.
Japanese restaurants focus on a speciality rather than the something for everyone approach you often find in the UK; this applies to barbecues too. The traditional barbecue dish, Yakitori, is grilled skewered chicken, flavoured with salt and white pepper or soy sauce glaze.
Alpine countries like France and Switzerland have a unique barbecue style called pierrade or pierrer chaude. It’s a popular ski food eaten after a day on the mountains, it involves finely slicing local red meat and cooking it on hot stones.
In Chile, they cook on a parilla and use spicier meat than in the UK. Ribeye steaks, longaniza sausage and chorizo sausage are the most common meats cooked you’ll find on a BBQ in Chile, if you have a taste for spice, give them a try!
The traditional barbecue dish of Mongolia is Khorkhog, which involves cooking large chunks of potatoes, carrots, onions and meat on hot stones. The meat is usually mutton, but goat is often a delicacy saved for special occasions.
In Brazil, they use the Portugese word Churrasco to represent their tradition of grilling beef on long skewers. Churrasco is often served with chimichurri, a powerful smoke-balancing sauce made from garlic, herbs, vinegar and oil.
Shashlik is at the heart of barbecue culture in Russia, it’s believed it comes from Moscow and Central Asia. The short kebabs are traditionally made with lamb, but other meats like pork and beef are commonly used today.
In the Philippines, they have a unique way of cooking suckling pig known as Lechón. The pig is fixed on the bamboo spit and stuffed with chives, onions, garlic, tamarind and lemon grass. A Filipino Lechón is a foundational pillar of the country’s barbecue culture and is a staple of weddings, festivals and holidays.
A Mexican barbacoa involves steaming meats, usually goat, beef or sheep in underground ovens. While it’s an outdoor cookout, it isn’t barbecuing in the traditional sense of the word, it’s probably closer to slow cooking or steaming.
A tandoor is a traditional cylindrical oven that’s been used in India for centuries. It’s used to cook tandoori meat, vegetables of all kinds and traditional flatbread. The traditional fuel is wood or charcoal that exposes the foods to open flames much like a barbecue.
Hawaii have a very unique barbecue tradition where they roast pork in a huge earthen oven filled with lava rocks called an imu. Layers of tropical leaves are placed on the imu to generate thick steam, then, a whole pig is placed on the steamed vegetation followed by another layer of banana and coconut leaves. Finally, it’s covered with excavated dirt to keep the heat and steam and left to smoulder for eight hours. The result, delicious kalua pork.
Tailgating is sacred in the US, and it mainly involves packing the car full of beer and meat and enjoying a big cookout before sport events. The most common meats cooked on barbecues in the US are beef, most commonly brisket, pulled pork and hot dogs.
In South Korea they use serving-sized grills to cook thin beef short ribs that have been marinated in spicy, sweet and garlic soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil and pepper.
The indigenous people of New Zealand called the Māori, have cooked in earthen ovens called Hangi for centuries. Hangi cooking mainly involved fish and sweet potatoes, but the barbecue culture in New Zealand has evolved to include cabbage, pumpkin, lamb and pork.
In Spain, they cook a range of tasty foods in a parrillada. The most popular foods found on a Spanish barbecue are pincho ribs, ham, clams, pork burgers and grilled vegetables.
We hope good weather is just around the corner, so you can enjoy some of these delicious international barbecue recipes. Until then, if you need a safe, secure shed to store your grill, you can explore our impressive collection here.