10 Amazing Tips for the Perfect BBQ
Summer is coming, and you know what that means: it's time for BBQs!
It's just around the corner and we're starting to think about perfect summer evenings filled with friends, family, beers, and before long happy thoughts of a barbecue.
You've been working hard all year to perfect your recipe. Now it is time to perfect the environment in which you cook.
Follow these 10 tips for a perfectly delicious BBQ this summer.
Tools of The Trade
If you’re looking to take your grilling game up a notch, invest in some high-quality tongs.
The long-handled design will make it easy for even the most novice of grill masters to flip and turn their food easily and safely without getting too close to any heat sources or flames that may be present on top of the barbecue.
It's hard to tell if your meat is cooked through, especially when you're cooking outdoors.
A good idea for this situation is a DIY herb brush that can be used on grilled meats before and during grilling.
Simply gather some herbs (rosemary, thyme, or parsley) at the end of a wooden spoon with twine then coat them in olive oil while they are still attached to the spoon.
Once finished brushing over your food just remove it from being stuck together by hand and store so that next time you grill out go ahead and take advantage of all those extra flavours.
There are many tools that a barbecue connoisseur should have in their repertoire, but the most essential one is gloves.
You'll be scared to touch your food again if you've been burnt on the hands!
At first glance it may not seem like this would be necessary, because surely we all know what can happen when dealing with flames and hot items?
But, these aren't just any old pair of BBQ mitts - they're actually made from heat resistant material so you don't need to worry about getting burned as long as there's some distance between them and the coals or cooking surface.
The Art of Preparation
Start with good quality meat. It's easy to buy cheap cuts of meat and they'll be very affordable, but you're not getting the best flavour.
Invest in a good quality cut that will make your bbq go from average to fabulous.
If you are hosting a party and want to impress your guests with delicious meats, then the key is knowing how much meat they will need.
There should be one sausage per person if it's just adults who'll be attending while kids like sausages too so double that amount for them.
One burger per adult plus another patty or two for hungry children equals about four burgers total on average in such cases but do not forget extras of other items as well!
For bbq skewers instead, there should also go around six pieces for each guest (four large ones) which might seem excessive at first glance until you realise many families have more than three people - something most caterers don't take into account when calculating portions!
Sausages are always a hit at any barbecue, but if you want to guarantee that everyone is satisfied with their meal then chop them into more manageable pieces.
It's also important to have sides for your guests like cold meats, salads, pies, or cheeses so they can mix things up as much as possible before the main course arrives.
Marinade that Meat
You can inject instant flavour into your cuts by marinating them.
Whether you want to do this overnight for maximum flavours or keep it simple and add some of our pre-marinated options, that is up to you.
Sticky BBQ Chicken Thighs will be sure to please even the pickiest eater in your household with their succulent blend of sweet smoky taste.
Add some Teriyaki Beef Kebabs if you're looking for something more subtle, but still equally as tasty on the grill (or steak).
If fire is what gets you going then Piri Piri Chicken Drumsticks are calling out just for YOU!
However, you may want to shake off any excess marinade before throwing them on the grill, or you'll be left with a sticky mess.
Avoid fridge chill
If you want your meat to be cooked thoroughly, it's best not to put the raw pieces out on the grill too long after removing them from the fridge.
Although this may seem counterintuitive at first because of how hot grills get and their tendency for scorching food, letting meats come down in temperature before putting them on will ensure that all parts are heated evenly as well as keep any bacteria from growing or being introduced into other foods present nearby.
This is really important with chicken products like sausages where there could be a higher risk of bacterial growth if left uncooked long enough due to already pre-existing pathogens inside these types of animal proteins which would make handling unsafe territory should they remain cold throughout the preparation process when cooking elsewhere.
Choosing your charcoal
Charcoal has many uses and benefits, but choosing the right type of charcoal can be a little confusing.
Lump Charcoal is fast-lighting with an hour burn time; it’s perfect for cooking meat that spans different types like chicken thighs or ribs.
Briquettes have consistent heat over three hours making them ideal to grill roasts without worrying about flare-ups from dripping fat on coals below you in your smoker box.
There are more choices than just lump and briquette though.
You might want options such as applewood which infuses subtle cinnamon notes into poultry, oak tree varieties that impart caramelised flavors reminiscent of pecan pie filling while orange trees create deep malted tones good for duck or turkey meats due to their high sugar content.
Direct and Indirect Cooking Methods
One of the main advantages of cooking on a barbecue is that it's easy. Just open up your grill and flip whatever you're grilling over when one side becomes cooked.
The high temperatures ensure that flavors are sealed in and the fat from skin or meat is rendered so that your food isn't just sitting there waiting to be cooked.
It is also the perfect condition for searing.
While it does take some time for the grill to heat up, a good rule of thumb is that you should use a lower-fat food on the first side and then switch over to something like steak or chicken breasts.
The reason being: as fat is rendered from meats during cooking, they can start dripping down onto other foods and cause flareups as well.
This can be prevented by inverting the food to keep all of that fat on one side, and then flipping it over for even cooking with less risk of flaming up.
Test the meat
There’s a huge difference between medium-well and well done when it comes to barbecue. And we all know the weird looks you get for cutting into your perfectly grilled dish
So, invest in an instant-read thermometer before committing to that third rack of ribs - then those pesky overcooked bits will be no more :)
Rest the meat
Once the meat is cooked to your liking, we recommend resting it for a few minutes. This allows the juices that have been reabsorbed by the meat to become more tender and flavorful than they were before cooking.
The larger cuts of meats should be rested for longer periods of time so you get maximum flavor from all parts. Rest large cut beef ribs on a warmed, foil-covered tray away from direct heat.
Have kitchen pans and oven available for backup
One of the most common mistakes you can make when hosting a barbecue is forgetting to prepare for different weather conditions.
You should have everything ready, from griddle pans and ovens in case it rains unexpectedly to waterproofing your tablecloth with plastic wrap or tarp so nothing gets ruined if there's another sudden downpour.
When you’re out shopping for your barbecue supplies, be sure to have lots of ice on hand in order to keep things cold.
Having plenty of food storage space will make having people over much more enjoyable Also, make sure that you not only get enough paper plates and cups but also napkins, utensils, etc. - without these items, it's going to be pretty difficult to eat or drink outside.
We find oiling the grates before cooking means the food won't stick, and it's less likely to produce ash.
Also, If you are grilling with charcoal, use a metal tray or disposable foil roasting pan under the food for easier clean-up. You won't believe how much trouble this will save you when you finish cooking.
Include a variety of sauces, dips, condiments, etc. that will complement whatever meat or veggies you're cooking up
It’s always good to keep an extra set of tongs close by just in case your old ones get dirty and a good quality grilling brush.
To have great-tasting meat, make sure you marinate it the night before and allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight. This will ensure the flavors are absorbed into the meat.
Brush your food with oil before grilling - this will help create a tasty, golden-brown crust on the outside of your food without making it greasy.
If you have any leftovers, use them to make delicious sandwiches or wraps for tomorrow's lunch.
You should now be able to host the perfect bbq with these tips.
If you know of any other tips to host the perfect bbq, please feel free to leave a comment below.