Summer is almost here, which means it’s time to brush up on your BBQ knowledge! Here are a couple of handy BBQ tips & tricks to get you started.
Make sure your food packs a punch, and flavour it well. You can flavour your meat with glazes, wet or dry rubs, and marinades.
Glazes are brushed onto meats when they are cooking on the grill. Common glazes are barbecue sauces and honey sauces. Glazes work best with thicker cuts of meat, such as pork chops and ribs.
Dry or Wet Rubs
You can also flavour your meat with dry or wet rubs. A dry rub consists of a mixture of dried herbs and spices. A wet rub will also contain some water or oil. You get the best result if you rub the spices onto the meat 30 minutes before grilling. Steaks and loins are delicious with a dry or wet rub.
A marinade usually contains a variety of spices, herbs, sauces, and a little bit of oil. Marinades can work in as little as 30 minutes, but you get the best results when you marinate your meat overnight. However, don’t add salt to your marinade if you plan to marinate your meat overnight. You don’t want the salt to overpower the other flavours. Simply add some salt just before grilling.
2. Don’t Grill Cold Meat
Get your meat out of the fridge (at least) 20 minutes before cooking. If the meat is too cold in the centre, there is a chance that you will burn the outside while the inside remains uncooked.
3. Preheat Your Grill
Make sure you preheat your grill 20-30 minutes before you start cooking, if you want that delicious barbeque crust on your food. When a grill is heated properly, it will sear the food. This keeps your meat moist and it helps to prevent sticking.
4. Oil Your Grill
You can also prevent sticking by brushing the grill rack with a little vegetable or canola oil. Slightly dip some paper towels into the oil with some tongs, and coat the grill rack evenly.
5. Food Hygiene
Just because you are cooking outside, you shouldn’t forget the “inside kitchen” rules! Use separate cutting boards, utensils and plates for raw and grilled foods. You don’t want to make your guests sick by contaminating cooked food with raw food bacteria! After all, you want it to be a BBQ they won’t forget for the right reasons…
6. Temperature Control
Make sure you know your grill’s hot spots. Usually the heat is highest in the middle of the grill. Sear your meat in the centre, and then move it to the outer edges of the grill to get the best results. You don’t want to overcook or burn your food!
7. Keep it Clean
Food hygiene is important, so make sure your grill is clean. It’s easier to clean your grill when it’s hot, so brush your grill with a wire grill brush after preheating. After you are done grilling, brush it again.
8. Hands Off
When your meat is grilling, give it time. Don’t flip, poke, or stab it too often. You do want all those tasty juices to stay in the meat, right? Also, it takes time for that delicious BBQ crust to develop. So, only turn your meat once or twice.
9. Give it a Rest
Leave your grilled meat to rest for a bit before attacking it with your fork. When you rest your meat, the meat sinews will reabsorb the juices. If you don’t rest your meat, the juices will run out when you cut it. You can rest the meat under perforated foil to keep it warm or you can serve it on a warm plate.
10. Is it done yet?
Make sure you don’t serve undercooked meat by checking its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It is safer to use a thermometer than to do the old poke and prod.
I had my first BBQ of this year this past weekend. How about you? Do you have any BBQ plans? If you do, don’t forget to memorise our tips and to check out all the delicious marinade and dry-rub recipes we will be posting this week!
Let your friends know how to BBQ!