BBQ Tips and Tricks!
THE 5 BASIC RULES OF BBQ
1. Tongs instead of forks – piercing the meat will drain its natural juices and dries it out
2. Turn it down and Take your time
3. Tan the hide of beef – sear beef, then turn it down and cook slow and on low
4. Take it easy and Turn it frequently – for chicken and pork start low and keep low
5. Tasty toppings at the end – Add sauces during the last couple of minutes, when it is basically done
- When basting on the BBQ it is best to do it during the last five minutes or so to avoid scorching the marinade or BBQ sauce.
- Instead of discarding the marinade, transfer it to a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. This will kill any possible lingering bacteria from the raw chicken, making the marinade safe to use for basting the chicken or as a sauce for the finished dish.
- BBQ sauce will burn easily, so turn the grill down, turn the meat frequently and be careful not to scorch.
- Liquid smoke used in small amounts is a great way to make meat taste like it spent all day in the smoker.
- Whenever you use an aluminum foil to cover your food, make sure to put the shiny side in toward the food.
- Turn meat with TONGS instead of a fork. When you pierce the meat with a fork, you will let out the meats natural juices.
SMOKING ON A GAS GRILL
- Pick up the already chipped – “smoker” wood chips from your local sporting good store. Place the chips of wood in a shallow (throwaway) tin pan/can, or something similar. Preheat the grill and place the tin with wood chips preferrably on the rocks or charcoal or on the lower rack.
- Then cook your meat on the lowest temperature possible and let the wood chips go to work.
- Larger cuts of meat will not fair as well as smaller cuts (like a small rack of pork ribs, chicken, fish, etc) when using your grill. If you want to smoke larger cuts of meat (e.g., full sized salmon filet’s) use an actual smoker.
MAGIC OF MARINATING
Marinade is the quickest way to tenderize meat and add additional flavor.
- A quick 30-minute soak in a Marinade will give your meat an added flavor, but a longer marinate will give you even more flavor.
- When you are marinating meat, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before you grill.
- When marinating, make sure to remove it from the refrigerator a few hours before grilling. Meat that is at room temperature cooks quicker and drains fat better.
- As a general rule, use approximately 1 1/2 cups of marinade for every 1 to 2 pounds of meat. You want enough marinade to completely surround the food.
- I like to put the meat and marinade in a Zip Lock type bag, and squeeze out all the air before sealing – double bagging will help ensure your marinade doesn’t leak in your refrigerator. This method also, helps save refrigerator space and reduces the amount of marinade needed.
- When basting meat, it will maximize your flavor if done during the last 5-10 minutes of grilling.
- There is also, something magical about adding a can of cola to your marinade once it is complete.
- Put a bag of your favorite chicken soaking in marinade in the freezer, and you will always be ready for the emergency house guest BBQ.
3 factors that affect the tenderness of cooked meat:
- 1. Meat is always more tender when cooked at a low temperature – no matter how high the grade of meat.
- 2. Meat cooked to “medium done” is usually more tender than “well done”
- 3. Also, meat served hot is usually more tender than meat served cold.
Cooking Chicken: The trick is to cook chicken on a grill, is do it SLOW, and turn it frequently.
- When cooking chicken with skin on it, put down a layer of foil on the bottom rack, and cook the chicken on the middle or top rack.
- A trick to checking to see when chicken is cooked well enough is to squeeze the chicken. When it doesn’t bleed, it is probably done – then double check to see if it is done by cutting one of the bigger pieces open.
- To use barbecue sauce as a marinade: Mix the BBQ sauce with a can of cola for each bottle of 12 oz. barbecue sauce.
- Never marinade meat with full strength sauce, except when marinating gourmet teriyaki chicken.
- The trick to cooking fish on a grill, is NOT to turn it and remove it immediately when it is no longer opaque – DON’T OVER COOK FISH.
- Leave the scales on bigger fish and cook it skin-side down.
- Salmon on the grill is best cooked in foil.
- Trout is best cooked over the direct heat to add a little of the hearty, smoky flavor and delicious blackened edges the grill can impart.
- Other fish like; swordfish, tuna, mackerel, and bluefish are great choices because their natural oils help keep them moist and flaky.
- The thicker fillets stand up to the heat of the grill better than thin ones do.