Hi everyone. Well Memorial Day is just around the corner and the outdoor season will kick into high gear. I thought I would share with you some of my thoughts on how to pull off a great BBQ. Please feel free to get back with me on any questions and I will be more than happy to help if I can. Contact me at ChefBryan@pigstybbq.com
- Be the Good Scout.
Be prepared. Make sure you have everything you need organized and within reach. First off is the food of course. Have an idea how many you are cooking for and plan accordingly. Have any marinades you may need along with basting sauce, plenty of seasonings, as well as tongs, spatulas, and brushes.
- Come On Baby Light My Fire
The worst mistake you can make when you are grilling is running out of charcoal or gas in the middle of grilling. For charcoal, make sure that you have at least a chimney full to start. If you are smoking for a longer period of time, have at least another amount of that on hand. If you are using a gas grill, make sure the tank is at least one-third full.
- Start me Up
To sear your meat properly you must start with a very hot fire. Ok, so what do I mean by hot? What if you don’t have a thermometer? Here is an easy way to tell how hot your grill is without using one. Hot – you can only hold your hand over the grill at a distance of four inches for no more than two seconds, count one Mississippi, two Mississippi. Medium Hot – you can only hold your hand over the grill at a distance of four inches for no more than three seconds, up to three Mississippi. Medium – You can only hold your hand over the frill at a distance of four inches for no more than four seconds or count to four Mississippi.
- A Clean Grill is a Happy Grill.
Take care of your grill and it will take care of you. Nothing looks more unappealing to your guests than wheeling out a dirty grill. You should clean it before you begin cooking and again after the food comes off. After your grill heats up, this will loosen any food you missed from the previous time. In addition, a clean grill will produce great grill marks.
- Use Oil to Prevent Sticking
To keep your food from sticking to the grill, put a little bit of oil on a paper towel. Rub it back and forth on the grill using your tongs. Be careful of flare ups though.
- Don’t Poke at your Food
Like your Mother used to say. Don’t poke your food with a fork when you are turning it on the grill. Use a spatula or tongs when you turn your food. When you stab your food to turn, you release all of the juices in the meat.
- To Baste or Not to Baste. That is the Question.
If you are using an oil & vinegar, citrus, or a yogurt-based bastes or marinades you can brush it on the meat throughout the cooking time. If you are using a sugar based BBQ sauce, wait until the end of the process before applying the sauce. Because of the sugar content, it will blacken the meat if used over a longer period of time.
- Keep the Cover On
The best way to control your temperature and prevent flare ups is to keep your lid on. This way you can limit the oxygen and give you a more consistent temperature. If you lift the lid you are adding 10-15 minutes to the cooking time.
- Take a Chill Pill.
Your first temptation when your food is ready is to remove it from the grill and cut into it straight away. Fight that temptation and let the meat settle for a few minutes. This allows the juices to come back to the surface.
- Pay Attention
Always make sure that you are aware of what is going on with your food and your grill. If you are using charcoal it is even more important. If you must leave your grill, only do so for a short period of time. My favourite thing is to use timers. This way if you do get distracted, you don’t lose track of time and possibly ruin your dinner.