We all love a good barbeque, but, how good are your bbq preparation skills? Most of us have grilled at least once in our lives, be it by ourselves or with the help of family or friends. But, it’s not that difficult to notice that somehow, our own grilling sessions never turn out top quality. Either something is burnt, or the juiciness is incomparable with the bbq that you purchase from a restaurant. This is only natural as many different parameters need to be taken care of while preparing bbq. Cooking, without a doubt, can be complicated – but sometimes you just need a few tips to upgrade the dish that you want to perfect.
Having all that said, if you want to learn how to prepare a perfect bbq dinner for whatever occasion, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will find the pro tips and hacks that will help you prepare barbeque like never before. Let’s dig right in!
Add Wood Chips for a Smokey Taste
Who doesn’t love that smokey taste in their grilled meat and vegetables? Well, while this effect can be achieved with different methods, adding wood chips to the mix is probably the easiest way to do so. What you need to do is to mix some wood chips with your charcoal. Once you add charcoal like you normally do, make sure that you add a layer of wood chips on top of the charcoal. Start the fire, and wait until the wood stops flaming. You want to reach the moment when the wood starts to release steady streams of smoke. Once that happens, the setup is ready for you to start grilling.
An interesting thing with this method is that different types of wood will come through differently in your grilled meat and veggies. So, once you’ve made sure that you have enough charcoal for the summer, go and find some wood chips of different varieties as well. Good charcoal mixed with some hickory or cherry wood is a winning combination!
The Two-Zone Technique
There are dozens of different techniques when it comes to barbequing, but some of them are more effective than others. That said, one of the most common mistakes when BBQing is leaving meat directly over the flame. Sure, it looks cool, but it doesn’t result in the best taste for your meat. Instead of keeping your meat directly over the flame, it would be better to use the two-zone technique to avoid burnt meat.
The two-zone technique is conducted as follows: you want to separate your grill into two different zones. This can be done in two ways, the first one being by crowding your charcoal to one side, ensuring a gradient of heat throughout the grill. If you’re cooking with gas, you can do this by using a weaker flame. In any case, once you have established parts with direct and indirect heat, you have more control over the temperature when you grill. If you only have one zone, this level of control doesn’t exist. A great thing about this technique is that it allows you to grill both thin and thick cuts. In general, even the thicker cuts are best cooked for a longer period of time, which can only be achieved at lower temperatures.
Never Press Onto Your Meat!
An incredibly common mistake when grilling is when people constantly poke and press their meat. The problem with doing this lies in the fact that you will only release the juices from the meat. Ultimately, the meat will turn out to be dry instead of deliciously juicy. So, don’t compromise the flavor of your meat and keep the spatula away until it’s time to flip!
Don’t Move the Meat Around Too Much
Additionally to poking and pressing, moving meat around is another common mistake. On the contrary, what you should do is to leave the meat alone. Allowing the meat to just cook undisturbed will ensure that it’s properly seared. If you didn’t know, Searing on the outside is absolutely critical when it comes to keeping the protein juices on the inside. This process is what ensures the crispy outside with the delicious, juicy inside.
The same idea should be applied after you have finished cooking – leave the meat to rest before serving. Muscle fibers are incredibly tense after cooking, and giving the meat time to relax for a few minutes makes a big difference in the texture.
Seasoning: When Should You Do It
Seasoning is imperative for a perfect BBQ, but did you know that timing plays a big role here? The best time for seasoning your meat is a couple of hours before – at least an hour. Seasoning your meat for a shorter than an hour would impact the protein negatively, as it will just pull all the moisture out. So, if you don’t have the two hours to season, just do it immediately before setting meat on the grill. Finally, it is important to note that you should always season meat for the grill more than you regularly would. The reason for this is that a large percentage of seasoning falls off the meat during cooking.
This hack is a great one, and yet not so many people know about it. Next time when you grill, add butter to the center of your burger. Not only does doing so help with preventing your meat from overcooking, but it will also ensure a deep sear on the outer sides of the burger. If you want to take it a step further, you can prepare herb or garlic-flavored butter beforehand and use that.
The Right Time to Add the Sauce
It is important to know when you should add your sauce, as doing it too early can be problematic. If the sauce cooks too much, it will overcook. In the end, you end up with a burnt taste rather than that delicious bbq sauce taste. To avoid overcooking, add your sauce in the range of 5-15 min before you are done with cooking. This is a perfect timeframe to ensure slight caramelization that is just right.
Finally, when it comes to cooking in general, versatility is one of the best things that come with it. You get to be as creative as you want to be, so, have fun with it! In this article, you were able to learn more about helpful tips that are going to help you elevate your BBQ skills, but don’t stop here! Continue experimenting, learning, trying out different things. There is a wide range of possibilities that come with preparing bbq, and there’s no reason for you to stick to only one way of doing it. In any case, the next time that you prepare a barbecue, make sure that you try out something new. Bon appétit!