BBQ 101: A good barbecue isn't easy and there's no substitute for experience but we've all got to start somewhere. First lets talk about the patience that’s required when it comes to lighting the grill and the need to heat up the coals and eliminate the flames. Remember, “coals are hot, flames are not!” and we’re on the road to a successful BBQ cookout.
This same rule applies to gas grills as well as charcoal, gas grills may be more or less instant but it's still important to ensure that the lava rocks are fully warmed through and this usually takes about 15 minutes. Charcoal of course will be more like 45 minutes before it's ready to cook on.
So what’s the next step? The best tip I can give is to take time to plan the menu, think carefully about what you’re going to cook.
But isn’t it easier just to do burgers and sausages? No! In fact burgers and sausages are quite difficult for to reasons:-
1. Relatively speaking they’re high in fat compared with other foods. Now I know we need fat to drip onto the coals to create the smoke to give the flavor but too much fat and the BBQ will flare up – a sure fire way to cook up a burnt offering.
2. They’re made from ground beef and that means they must be cooked through. Food poisoning is generally caused by the bacterium e-coli that grows on the surface of the meat. Cook the outside of a steak and you can safely eat the inside raw but think about a burger, with ground meat, the meat that's on the inside has also been on the outside.
So if you’re not yet convinced about your man’s BBQ capabilities choose a meat that doesn’t need to be cooked through to be safe. Try barbecue beef, barbeque lamb or BBQ fish.
Back to the “coals are hot, flames are not” theme it’s important to light up the grill on its highest position away from the coals. This means that the meat will be cooked slowly therefore giving you the best guarantee that it will be cooked through and should there be a “flare up” you are as well protected as you can be from burning. Of course if it’s going too slow, lower the grill step by step until you get the sizzle, in other words start gently and slowly work up the heat.
Finally to make for a really flavorful cookout, why not try a marinade? Marinades not only add flavor they also tenderize and all that’s needed is a little thinking ahead for preparation time. There’s a good few websites out there offering free barbecue recipes so it’s easy to find different menu ideas.
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