Tips & Tricks

How to Barbecue like a Pro

Barbecue is one of the greatest food cuisines that our world has to offer. Cooks use grills and smokers to create mouth-watering items that keep people coming back for more. However, a lot of people think it is too hard to barbecue on their own, so they don’t even try on their own. When they could be preparing the food on their own, they give up and go out to the nearest barbecue joint. Do not believe the lies that you can’t create a succulent barbecue dish because you can!

Start Clean

One of the biggest challenges for people who barbecue is the fact that they do not clean up after they have grilled the last time. Nothing can ruin a barbecue than if the racks of a grill are covered with a mess. Clean the rack after you barbecue, so your next grilling opportunity will be a great one. By scraping off the excess, heat will have a better chance to reach your food the right way. Also, it is imperative that grease is cleaned from the grill every so often because this creates a trap of grease that could catch fire. This trap could end your barbecue sooner than you expected, so be proactive and get this cleaned after each grilling. One final tip: the best time to clean is when the grill is hot; this allows the left-over substance to come off easier, so get a grill brush and get to work.

The Temp Matters

It is really important you understand that temperature is king when cooking barbecue. There are a few ways that you can measure heat while barbecuing. First, you can use a traditional thermometer. Low heat measures out at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, medium heat ranges between 350 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, while high heat is between 450 and 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Another way you can test involves your hands. Now, be careful not to burn yourself, but the longer you can hold your hand over the flame, the lower the heat level is. If you can barely stand the heat, you literally have high heat on your hands! By having the temperature to its appropriate level, the barbecue will turn out loads better. Nothing is worse than not having your grill hot enough and the barbecue does not turn out the way it should have.

Types of Heat

There are two types of heat you can choose from: indirect and direct. Indirect heat occurs when using a grill, but only when using heat on one side of the grill and putting meat on the other end. This is the same with coals, which can be placed around the edges of the grill, but not directly under the meat. On the other hand, direct heat is when a flame is directly under the meat, either from coals or gas.

Sensational Smoking

If you are looking for something a little different from the traditional gas or charcoal, smoking might be the way for you. Smoking uses chips or chunks of wood to add flavor to any meat. Wood that is great for smoking includes oak and hickory, when it involves cooking beef, and cherry chips when cooking chicken. Smoking does take a lot longer than typical propane and charcoal cooking options, but the flavor will speak for itself. For every two chunks of wood you use, estimate it will burn in about an hour. Also, if you decide to use wood chips, they usually last an hour or less for every cup used.

Recipe Ideas

When looking to cook your own barbecue, you only need a few ingredients. First, pick you meat. Choose from pork, poultry, brisket, ribs, etc. Do not defrost your meat and do not leave your meat choice in the fridge. Taking the meat out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling will assure that it will start out at room temperature when it hits the heat. Next, pick a spice rub. You can create your own or pick one from the local marketplace. A marinade is also a great option because it adds to the lovely flavor of meat with spices, herbs, vinegars, and wine choices. However, if you do choose to use a marinade, make sure that you have made it the night before. Marinades need time to soak together overnight for them to be effective the next day barbecuing meat. Lastly, consider using some wood chips and you will be good to go with your ingredients. Next comes the fun grilling portion. Rub the meat with your choice of spices, and let the meat breathe for at least a half an hour. While you wait, prepare a smoker for best results. Then, cook the meat on low heat for at least 10 hours.

Practice, Practice, Practice

These days, people just think that they can become a barbecue professional overnight. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is hard to barbecue at a pro level. It takes time and practice. Barbecuing practice may look like a burnt piece of steak every so often, but it will show that you are trying to get better. Be gracious with yourself. Learn from the people around you. Talk to your neighbors and friends. Bounce ideas off one another and barbecue for each other. That is one area that many people feel self-conscious about. Some people are afraid to share their barbecue with others because they are nervous it will not be liked. To become a barbecue professional, you have to get yourself out there. You have to take feedback to make your barbecue even better. The more you barbecue, the more you will be able to show that you know what you are doing.

Barbecuing may seem like a long, drawn-out process, but real meat lovers understand that good barbecue comes at a cost, and that cost is time. To be pro, you need to be patient. Use the steps above to help get you there, and good luck!

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