Tips & Tricks

Barbecue 101 Guide for Beginners

Are you looking to barbecue, but you do not know where to start? Is your view of barbecue to be left up to the professionals? Well, do not fret because you too can create a great barbecue that will keep you coming back for more. Barbecuing really is not about the equipment, but has more to do with the time it takes to do it right.

Start Prepping

The first thing you should begin to do is the preparation work. A great barbecue is one that takes time and patience for it to be done right. If you do not have the time available, then you should look to doing something else instead of barbecuing for an evening meal.

It’s All About the Meat

A great barbecue starts and ends with the meat. You may be in the mood for BBQ chicken that melts in your mouth or pulled pork that you can make a sandwich out of. Ribs are always a cornerstone of barbecues but do not just pick any ribs for your barbecue. It is very important that you make the right choice with meat because not all meat should be created equal. There are baby back ribs, but shoot for the spare ribs, and your taste buds will thank you later. Or how about a tasty brisket with a variety of sauces to compound the taste to excellence? Picking the choice meat for the evening might be the most difficult decision of the evening, but it also is the most important one.

Ways to Barbecue

There are a few ways that people like to cook their meat. The top three are purchasing a grill, cooking over a fire, and smoking the meat. Let’s start with a grill. There are a huge variety of grills that people can choose from in this day and age. With major brands like Weber, Char-Broil Performance, and Napoleon, there is a lot to like about these grills. They can cook meat effectively and efficiently by using charcoal or propane. In no time, your barbecue will be ready to go. Next, cooking over a fire can be a great method of barbecuing. If you have a fire pit, adding a rack over the top of a fire can give you some all-natural heat. Wood choices abound and can be picked just as if you were using a smoker for your barbecue. Lastly, you may want to consider smoking your meat. With chunks, chips, charcoal, and propane used to cook meat these days, stick to the wood chunks and charcoal with added lighter fluid when you are using a smoker. When it comes to wood, look for wood like apple and hickory that does not have added flavorings. Natural wood will be flavor enough for your meat. Also, use coals to heat the fire and get the wood burning strong. However, remember it may take a minimum of 7 hours for even a small fire when smoking, so do not procrastinate.

The Right Rub and Sauce

There are so many rubs to choose from on the Internet, barbecue cookbooks, and cooking shows, but don’t be alarmed. You can definitely pick the right one for your meal. Consider using items like salt, brown sugar, lemon pepper, black pepper, chili flakes, and more to enhance the flavor of your meat. Cover your ribs with sweet, spicy, and salty substances, and you will want 7 hours to go by a lot quicker. As the process comes to a close, it will be time to add your savory sauce to the party. Choose a sauce that has a sweet texture, or you may want to use one that adds a little kick to the barbecue.

Understanding the Smoking Process

You should be looking for the heat of the fire to be exactly 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Add more coals to the fire to get your fire to the right temperature. However, don’t get the fire above or below that level or your meat will not cook properly. Having a temperature gauge on hand or a laser heat gun can help you get the right reading for your fire. To keep the fire at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, add coals every half an hour to keep pace. Next, don’t touch the smoker. It might be tempting to take a peek, but you must wait four hours before you open up the lid to look at the ribs. At this point, check to see if the meat is starting to come off the bone. That will be a great sign that your meat is cooking properly. Lastly, as your hours of smoking come to a close put a little glaze on top, and your masterpiece will be ready to serve. By using the low and slow process, your barbecue will be one to remember. Never steer from this method because low heat and a long time cooking equal something that is quite marvelous.

Know How to Finish With the Right Accessories

When your barbecue is ready to eat, be sure you are all prepared with the right accessories. Having a cutting knife on hand will be great to separate the meat apart and serve to whoever is joining your feast. Tongs are great to move meat from one location to another or to rotate the meat to make it even when cooking. A temperature gauge is fantastic for seeing if your meat is done. These gauges can be thermometer based or electric. No matter the technology, this piece of equipment sticks easily into the meat and gives you a very accurate reading to see if it needs longer over the heat or not. These accessories are indispensable items that everyone should have at their disposal.

Barbecuing is something that everyone can do, but it takes hours of persistence and fortitude. Give yourself some grace as you prepare your barbecue and see what you come up with. You may surprise yourself and the people who eat your barbecue!

Planning a BBQ at home or away? With our ultimate Barbecue Checklist template you will definitely not forget anything.

Happy Grilling





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