BBQ on a Budget: 10 Things for the Perfect Cookout

In the wake of Memorial Day weekend, barbecue is on the minds of many Americans. But, for those who simply are passionate about grilling, it’s just another day. For many, though, grilling is something that’s done without much care. Most people will just fire up the grill and throw the food over the fire. For quality barbecue that will help to create an atmosphere of delight, knowing the proper steps and techniques is important.

The first step in grilling is selecting your fuel. There is the choice between charcoal briquettes and lump charcoal. The coals need to be stacked inside the grill in a pyramid shape. This allows the coals to burn evenly without creating unsightly and hazardous smoke.

The average person takes charcoal, tosses it in the grill, and strikes a match. This is not the correct method. Once the charcoal is properly stacked inside of the grill, spraying a light layer of lighter fluid will allow the goals to catch fire and heat up quickly and evenly. Then, it has to soak in for a few moments. Some charcoal is sold with fluid into it and would be hazardous to spray more fluid. The simplest and safest method for light would be to use old newspapers with a match or long-neck grill lighter. Trying to quickly light opposite sides of the charcoal stack is the best method of even burning. Let the coals light and burn for at least twenty minutes.

Before beginning to put food onto the grill, the coals should be hot and glowing. They should look ashen white all over to show when it’s time to start cooking! If there is smoke, then more time is needed. Fanning the flames or putting the lid on the grill may help in this regard.

Once the coals look nice and ashen, with gloves on, using long-handle grilling tongs to spread the coals even over the grate. If any flames begin to rise, it is important to wait to die down before placing any food on the grill.

One of the biggest mistakes that a newbie griller can make is cooking on a dirty grill. Before putting food on the grill, one should use a grill wire brush.

Using cooking spray far away from the flame, spray the grid with a brush or spray a wad of paper towels and wipe the grid. Using cooking spray on the grill will make the food come off the grill easier and make it easier when done to clean up.

Monitoring the temperature is also an important skill set to have. Knowing how to properly use the vents is going to be helpful. When beginning to grill, both top and bottom vents should be wide open. The top vents are used to trap or release smoke. If there is too much smoke, open the top vents and close the bottom ones. This allows the fire to die down and also allows the coals to burn longer.

Now, comes the fun part: putting the meat on the grill. Keep in mind the type of food being placed on the grill. The thicker cuts of meat will take longer to cook whereas thinner meats need less time or else they will burn. Most foods will cook in thirty minutes or less or else they will be dried out. A grill thermometer on hand to make sure that the food is the proper temperature is pivotal in this regard. Making sure that food is the right temperature will help avoid food poisoning which may result from undercooked food.

Whether it is a special occasion or just a relaxing day, grilling can put the perfect touch on any day. In order to make sure that this happens, knowing the proper steps to preparing delicious food is important. By practicing these techniques, one can be prepared to barbecue just in time for the Fourth of July.

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