8 Tips for the Best BBQ
- Have Everything Ready Before Grilling Starts – an essential part of successful grilling includes a clean grill and plenty of fuel; all the food prepped for cooking; salt, pepper and any seasonings on hand; essential BBQ grilling tools; serving platters; and a table set with plates, silverware, napkins, glasses and beverages, so your guests can dig in as soon as the feast comes off the flames.
- Buy Great Meat, Fish and Veggies – Find a quality butcher shop or market meat department and get to know the head butcher or meat cutter. Ask them to choose a few cuts of meat specifically for barbecue. And here’s the kicker – after you grill the meat, bring your butcher a sample, to show how serious you are about your BBQ. Finding out the butcher’s ordering schedule in case you want to make a special order is also recommended.
- Get the Right Gear – We’re talking the grill, utensils and accoutrements that are right for you aka the cook, because nothing beats a great cook. When you are looking for new gear, ask yourself how often you entertain and how many people you usually host for a barbecue, then buy a grill that can handle twice as many guests.
- Practice & Perfect Grilling Technique – Before you invite the entire neighborhood over for burgers, spend a few weeks practicing different recipes and cooking techniques on your grill, noting where the hot spots are, what happens when you open and close the lid while grilling and so on. Once you’re one with the grill, you’re ready to show off your cooking chops, so to speak.
- Learn How to Light the Grill Right – Gas grills ignite with a button. Lighting a charcoal grill takes a little more finesse. Lighter fluid is usually not recommended, although using a chimney starter is. Stuff the bottom with paper, place it on the grate, fill it with charcoal, then set the paper on fire. In about 20 minutes, the coals are ash gray and ready for the sizzle. Use a fireproof glove or mitt to dump the hot charcoal from the chimney starter onto the grate.
- Know Temperature Matters – Use the thermometer on the grill or outfit it with one specially made for grilling to keep an eye on heat output. Using a meat thermometer guarantees perfectly cooked meat every time. Keep in mind that the meat’s internal temperature will continue to rise after you take off the grill, so you may want to pull the meat off when it’s about 10 degrees below the target temperature. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to tell meat is done by touch.
- Let Meat Rest – Once you take properly cooked meat off the grill, it’s absolutely essential that you let it rest, so the juices inside have time to redistribute. Tenting the meat with aluminum foil keeps the meat warm while you wait 20 to 30 minutes’ resting time.
- Season and Sauce with Restraint – When it comes to adding flavor, a balanced combination of seasonings is key and so is the timing. Use marinade, rub or injection before grilling starts; barbecue sauce is best added during the last few minutes of cooking because it will burn on the fire before it can flavor the food. Serve additional sauce alongside the meat, if desired.
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