BBQ season is soon to be in full swing! so, we are offering you some tips to ensure your backyard grilling is a huge success.
Don’t you think there are just too many must-have bbq accessories? Let’s get back to basics. All you really need is…
The main concept to understand about the BBQ is the difference between direct and indirect cooking. The easiest way to illustrate this concept is as follows:
Direct Cooking: similar to pan cooking, i.e. “direct” contact with the heat source. In the case of the BBQ, this means cooking on the grills, over the flames, or the charcoal. This method is preferred for finishing to create a beautiful grilled and caramelized effect on the chosen meat or protein.
Indirect Cooking: similar to oven cooking, using an ambient heat source that allows for “indirect” cooking of the food. In this case, the food is cooked on a portion of the grill that is not directly fed by the flames or charcoal. The lid of the BBQ is closed to control the desired ambient temperature. This method is preferred for long cooking times, proteins with a sweet sauce or marinade – or for certain techniques such as a reverse sear.
In order to grill successfully, it is important to understand the difference between these two types of temperatures.
Cooking Temperature: the temperature at which the BBQ heats up. Just like your oven, you must cook your food at a specific temperature for a specific time. It’s the same principle here!
Meat Temperature: this is the internal temperature of the food. In order to obtain the desired result and to be suitable for consumption, this temperature must be measured at the end of the cooking process. If the desired temperature is not reached, the cooking is not yet finished.
It is suggested that you refer to the many internal temperature guides found on the web to ensure perfect cooking. We’ve listed some below as well.
Poultry – 165 degrees fahrenheit
Beef – 145 degrees fahrenheit
Pork – 145 degrees fahrenheit
Rabbit – 160 degrees fahrenheit
We all want to make our grilled food as tasty as possible. To help you find what works best for your recipes, here are four key concepts to remember.
Rub/Dry Marinade: A blend of spices applied liberally to the protein of your choice (especially the larger ones) is the element that gives “personality” to the meat. This seasoning lends itself well to indirect and sometimes direct cooking. But be careful, if your rub contains a lot of sugar, you should avoid direct cooking to avoid burning everything.
Marinades: The best results are obtained by cooking indirectly at low temperature (low and slow) and then raising the temperature for a finish, still indirectly cooked. For a tastier meat, the protein can be sliced before marinating, allowing the flavors to penetrate better.
Sauces: According to some expert grillers, the sauce is only for finishing. Why not during cooking? Because a good BBQ sauce must contain a good amount of sugar (syrup, molasses, etc.). The sauce is applied at the end when the protein is cooked indirectly at a very high temperature in order to “lacquer” everything. Another option: heat the sauce and serve it as a side dish, for example, with chicken wings. To please as many people as possible, it is a good idea to reheat and offer two sauces at the time of serving.
Spray: This is a mixture of fruit juice, for example, pineapple juice, and a good vinegar or alcohol such as whiskey. The goal is for it to be very, very tasty. We only want liquid. The spray is particularly used during smoking and/or long cooking. This trick keeps the meat juicy.
Good cooking starts with a well-maintained BBQ. Whether it is a cast iron or stainless steel grill, you must maintain it regularly at the start of the season, before and after each cooking.
Cast Iron: As with a cast iron skillet, regular tumbling (a process that creates a non-stick effect on your grates) is required. Cleaning with water is preferred and, if necessary, a mild soap can be used. Brush before and after cooking.
In Stainless: Oiling before each cooking as well as brushing before and after.
For oiling, use a small stainless steel or glass bowl in which you pour a little neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado. Using a paper towel folded in four or a small clean white cloth, oil carefully just before cooking.
The best trick to facilitate brushing? Let the BBQ heat up for a few minutes before and after cooking to burn off the remaining food on the grates. The heat will also help to disinfect the grills.
And for the brush? Preferably a stainless brush. Avoid those with steel bristles, they can rust and contaminate your grills… and your food.
Now that you have learned to master the grill do not minimize the service of your food: people eat with their eyes first after all! You have put a lot of effort into concocting this delicious dish on the BBQ, so take the trouble to serve it well on hot plates, with fresh herbs, citrus fruits, and sauces that will enhance your backyard feast.