It’s summertime, and you know what that means – it’s time to break out the barbecue! Whether you are a seasoned expert when it comes to seasoning, or a novice grill-master in the making, we’ve got some tricks and tips to help you cook up the perfect smoky meal for your friends and family.
Plan Barbecue Cleanup Now
To make cleaning a breeze, line the inside bottom of the cooker with a few sheets of aluminum foil. This means a quicker cleanup of used coals and ash when you are finished barbecuing.
Don’t Confuse your Tools
Beyond your grill, there are two must-have tools: two types of BBQ tongs – one with insulated handles and one set with grips. Use the insulated set to handle and turn coals, and the one with grips to turn and handle food. Make sure these two tools are easy for you to visibly identify (that way the food grease won’t cause the coals to flare up, and your meal won’t get ashy).
Gas vs. Charcoal
Although there are a number of ways to cook ‘cue, (charcoal, wood chips, split logs…) a purely gas grill is not the best way to go. That’s because the smoke produced by burning wood is an ingredient in itself. Without smoke, you’re heating your meat but missing out on flavor. If you use gas, think about adding smoking chips the next time you hit the grill.
To handle any flare-ups, keep a spray bottle full of water nearby.
Ready to Grill:
Grease Up The Grill
Before you add anything to the BBQ, make sure to grease the grill. Not only will it help the food cook, it will prevent residue from adhering to the grill and stop your food from getting stuck. This means you’ll hold on to the charred flavor that makes barbecue so tasty. To grease the grill, you can use garlic-marinated oil to add a touch of flavor to the food.
Cook Slow and Low
The perfect barbecue meal takes time and patience when in doubt aim for a lower temperature and a longer grill time. Once you’ve decided on a set temperature and time try not to check on the meat more than every half an hour.
Have a Secret Ingredient
As your meat cooks, spray it with a squirt bottle full of apple juice. This adds an extra kick to the flavor and keeps the meat moist.
Don’t Play with Your Food
Piercing your meat with a fork will cause the juices to escape, making the meat less flavorful and drier. Instead, use tongs or a spatula to flip or move your food.
Serving your Barbecue
Serving Grilled Meat
When you remove your meat from the grill, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. That way the juices will seal and the meat will be prevented from drying out. In fact, you should refrain from cutting until you are ready to serve and eat immediately.
Get Creative with Sauces
You can flavor it with booze, by adding bourbon, beer, wine or rum to your standard sauce, branch out with new sauces you haven’t tried like jerk sauce, teriyaki or hot sauce, or add in lemon juice, red peppers or chopped onions for an extra kick.
To master the art of barbecue, you need an adventurous spirit and a good deal of trial and error. Use these tips and hacks to experiment, and you’ll be an expert in no time.