How great is it to host your own BBQ and receive complements regarding the food you’ve served your guests? On the contrary, how awful it would be to find out that your close friends are talking about how ordinary your food tasted. Especially if you’ve just bought a new gas barbecue grill.
Preparation is the key here and you need to follow certain barbecue grilling tips so that your cooking reputation is kept intact. So, we’re going to help you out with the advice you need and offer 7 great tips to make your next BBQ one to remember.
#1 Ensure Your BBQ is Clean
You should have a clean BBQ due to the fact that it was cleaned by YOU the last time you had a Barbie, correct? Well, next time you WILL have clean surfaces to work with because you’re going to read our tips on How to Clean a BBQ Grill.
#2 Season Your Grill
Before you start cooking up a storm, it’s a good idea to spray cooking oil onto, and preheat your BBQ to warm the grill up for approximately 10-15 minutes. This will kill any leftover bacteria are scare away any creepy crawlies intending to use your BBQ as a new home. Close the BBQ lid if you have one.
Once 15 minutes is up, grab a sponge and wipe the grill clean.
Now prepare the grill for cooking. Grab some kitchen towel and dip it in vegetable oil. Hold the kitchen towel between your tongs and wipe the grill until its clean. What this does is season the grill, much like a cast iron frying pan would be seasoned.
#3 Preparing Your Meat
To marinade or not to marinade? I personally love to marinade my steaks and you can find many variations on how to do this with a simple Google search. The other option you have is to add woodchips to your BBQ to give it a smoky flavour. Woodchips can be bought at your local BBQ or hardware store.
#4 General Cooking on the Open Grill
Just a small tip to begin with, don’t salt your meat before placing it on the BBQ. This is what you do to pork fat to make it crackle. The salt will make your meat dryer as it draws out moisture.
Ideally you want to heat your sausages, hamburgers etc on the grill by searing the outside of the meat but still keeping the meat moist on the inside. So how is this achieved?
Firstly, give your meat a light brush of olive oil. This will prevent your meat from sticking to the grill. Alternatively, use a grill sheet. You can read about these here.
Now, you don’t want to complicate this, simply set your burners to a medium heat and place your meat directly between your burners. Using a high-level heat will sear the outside of your meat which is not good practice!
Steak on the other hand cooks better on a very high heat. There’s obviously a variety of ways to cook steak and everyone seems to have their own opinion. Many think that a steak should only be flipped once, others say it makes no difference. I, like many others believe that as long as you don’t keep flipping the steak it will cook well and keep moist and flavoured. The more you flip the steak the tougher it becomes.
#5 Kettle Oven Grilling
Known as indirect cooking, you’ll use your kettle BBQ for cooking roasts or fish. Kettle’s can come in a gas or coal option. If you have an older coal type kettle, make sure the bottom grill has indentations for fire lighter placement. This makes lighting your coals so much easier than smothering the fire lighters with charcoal. It’s possible to buy a new bottom grill like this from a BBQ store.
Charcoal stacking baskets are also the way to go. Stack them full of coals and they are so easy to manoeuvre. Place them on top of the fire lighters until lit, then move them to the side using a large pair of tongs, for oven cooking.
When cooking a kettle BBQ, don’t forget to open all vents. The one on top, and the vent underneath. When you’ve finished cooking, close the vents, and the coals will no longer have enough oxygen to keep alight. This means the coals will go out when they are half the original size, so you can use them again for your next BBQ.
#6 Using Racks & Foil
Foil can be used to make pouches that you can place fish or other seafoods in. Whilst you’ll have the coals placed to the sides of the BBQ, your foil pouches can go in the middle to avoid direct heat. Be careful when you remove the foil as it can stick to the grill. This is where tip #2 comes in.
You can also get a variety of BBQ racks that can help with various extremes. For instance, when you go camping you probably won’t have a toaster. There are racks that can hold bread or similar sized food a good distance away from the flames so as not to burn.
#7 When To leave Your Meat Alone
We all tend to poke holes in our meat to pierce the skin. This is not necessarily a good idea as it releases all the juicy goodness inside. Try to minimise the use of forks, even substituting them for long handled tongs to pick up joints of meat. The more natural juice left in your meat the moister it will be.
It’s always a good idea to let your meat rest after it’s left the BBQ, especially joints like pork, lamb or beef. It only needs to be for 5-10 minutes resting and will have great results if covered in foil.
To Finish Off
We can all do with a little help in everything we do. I hope these barbecue grilling tips come in valuable and you use them everytime you cook, not just the next time because you’ve read this today. Keep the information stored in the back of your mind and alert your memory to it each time a BBQ opportunity arises.
The main tip to take away would be to clean your BBQ after each and every use. There’s nothing worse than inviting friends or neighbours around for a BBQ, apron at the ready, only to find out that all the leftovers from your last great barbie are stuck to the grill, and you have solidified fat drips hanging from the grate. Not a nice start.
Enjoy your next BBQ!