There’s nothing like firing up the barbecue on a warm summer day and cooking dinner over an open flame. There’s a certain challenge to the process, unless you like burnt chicken or dry ribs. For those people who master the barbecue, they can count on being the hit of any party. Everyone else has something to strive for. If your chicken consistently falls into the dry category and steaks tend to lose their fantastic flavor when you grill them, there is hope for you. Here are the tips you need to take your barbecuing skills from mediocre to mouthwatering.
Temperature is Everything
The temperature of your grill is important, but the temperature of your meat also matters. Cold meat won’t cook evenly, so you will be forced to leave it on longer waiting for it to cook all the way through. The result is meat that tastes delicious on one side and is painfully dry on the other. Make sure your meat is room temperature before cooking it to ensure even cooking and deliciously moist dishes.
Let it Sit
Don’t turn the meat too much. The professionals cook the meat on the first side and turn it once to cook the other side. Constantly turning the meat in an attempt to cook it only makes it tough and chewy. Turning it might make you feel like you’re doing more, but the only thing you’re doing is ruining a perfectly good cut of steak or pork.
Most people take meat hot off the grill and put it on the table for the guests to eat. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best way to serve the food. Let the meat rest a few minutes in a warm place once it’s thoroughly cooked. Juices that were pushed to the center will redistribute, so you can serve up mouthwatering steaks and pork chops that are moist and delicious.
Break Out the Tongs
It’s natural to grab a fork for working with sausages, but this is a huge mistake when grilling. Putting holes in the skin allows the moisture inside to escape, leaving you with dry meat that even your dog might not want to consume. Get the tongs, leave the skin intact and prepare to enjoy sausage that no one would dare share with the family pet.
Keep it Clean
You wouldn’t dream of cooking eggs in a dirty skillet, yet people will often toss fresh meat onto a dirty grill. Clean the grill after every use, and clean it before cooking if bugs or other debris have found their way to the grilling surface. Beware of cross contamination by keeping cooked food away areas where raw food was waiting to be grilled.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative. You never know what will work and taste great if you aren’t willing to experiment with new flavors and grilling methods. While you may love how a certain marinade tastes, you might find that a dry rub makes the marinade look bland. Talk with friends, try new things and experiment with recipes you find online. Your guests will be thrilled at the next barbecue with your new skills, and your family will proudly call for you to fire up the grill and prepare the next meal.