Last Updated on February 4, 2021 by Ed Joven
Secret Hacks and Tricks That Will Make You Better At Cooking Barbecue
Summer is coming, and with it comes the lovely smell of barbecue in the air. Any food made on the grill tastes better than home-cooked food in the kitchen, not only because of the taste but because of the memories it brings back with it. Of course, we all have memories of burnt burgers and dry steaks.
This shouldn’t be the case this summer, as with these hacks and trips you can learn to make your next barbecue very memorable.
Warm the Steak Up
Hunger can force us to make bad decisions, and when we are longing to smell that sweet scent of a barbecue, we tend to rush grilling the steak. Steak is usually cooked at a high temperature for a short time, but the colder it is, the longer it will stay on the grill which makes it tougher. After taking the steak out of the fridge, let it warm up for around 20-30 minutes at room temperature. This way when it hits the grill, it will be warm enough from the inside.
Be Prepared with Tools
Preparation is the key. How many times did we lose a chicken breast to the charcoal? Or flipped a burger off the grill completely? With the right tools, you’ll avoid these accidents and maneuver the food much better. Your main weapon here is a pair of tongs to get a firm grip on your food without ruining the meat itself. Other tools that may come in handy are:
- Heat resistant gloves
- Paper towels
- A spice kit with salt, pepper, and oil
- Fire prevention kit
Use The Hand Test Method to Measure Heat
How can you tell which part of the grill is hotter than the other? With your hand, of course. Don’t worry, you will not burn your hand or touch the hot grill, you’ll just hold it above the grill grate by 4 to 6 inches. It’s at high heat if you can hold your hand above it for 1 to 3 seconds, medium heat if you can withstand the heat for 4 to 6seconds. If you hold your hand still for 7 to 10 seconds, then it’s low heat.
You should consider sectioning your grill with different heat temperatures, as this will help you in controlling your barbecue process better. You can allocate a zone to high heat to sear the food, while a medium to low heat zone for thorough cooking. Some people prefer using a reverse flow smoker which is usually on low heat that helps with thorough and slow cooking. It’s better for beginners but you can’t have different heat spots with it.
Some food like chicken, shrimp, and other meats tend to curl while cooking. To solve this problem, use two skewers instead of one and spread the food on them to stay flat. It’s preferable to keep the skewers separated, leaving space between food pieces to allow better hot air circulation. Try to separate vegetables from meat if you’re cooking shish kebab, vegetables would be burnt by the time the meat is done. Finally, you can try an edible skewer, so nothing goes to waste.
To Sauce, or Not to Sauce
We always put sauce on grilled meats, but the question is when to put the sauce? It’s better to keep the saucing till the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. If you put sauce for a long time, it will most likely char or burn the meat. This is even more important if you’re using a sauce that contains sugar, then it will burn even faster. Instead, brush the food with sauce in the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, and use the rest of the sauce during serving.
Let It Rest
Towards the end of the grilling time, everyone would be anxious to taste that juicy meat. However, try to resist this urge for about 10 minutes, then you’ll get a much better result. After you take the food off the grill, it will continue to cook on the residual heat. Resting also allows the juices in the steak to be evenly distributed, and also you don’t want to cut the steak and let the juices go to waste on the cutting board or your plate.
Those are a few hacks and tricks that will help you at the next barbecue to create tasteful and enjoyable dishes. The rush and hunger can make us forget some essential steps, but if we fight the urge, we would come up with outstanding results that will be worth the wait.