BBQ Basics
  • | September 27, 2016
Barbecuing is a time-honored tradition among men. There is something primal about working over the grill preparing tasty, delicious meats for your family and loved ones. While many men excel at barbecue, others struggle with some of the ins and outs of proper barbecuing. When done right, barbecue can hold its own against nearly and kind of food preparation method.

There are several books, videos, and guides online that delve into all kind of barbecuing methods, here are some BBQ basics to get you started.

  1. Don’t Grill Cold!  You’ve no doubt taken some steaks or burgers out of the fridge and thrown them directly on the grill. Obviously this doesn’t destroy the flavor o the food but the best method of even cooking is to remove your meat from the refrigerator at least a half hour (an hour is ideal) before you plan on cooking. Allowing the meat to come to room temperature allows for even cooking so you can get a better read on when those steaks are really medium rare.

  2. Don’t Push it!  It makes a pleasing sizzle when you press down on burgers, steaks, or chicken while they’re on the grill but all you’re doing is squeezing out the natural juices or your marinade. Once that juice is squeezed out, it’s gone. This leads to dry food.

  3. Don’t Flip Too Much.  Whatever you’re cooking, resist the urge to flip it too often. Ideally you want to flip your food once, maybe twice while it’s cooking and that’s it. Flipping frequently might make it seem like you’re “doing something” but you’ll only delay the cooking process.

  4. Use Tongs or a Spatula to flip or move.  Don’t use a fork to stab your meat while flipping or moving it on the grill. If you use a fork and pierce the meat, you’ll lose juices and be left with dry food.

  5. Is it done yet?  One of the toughest parts about grilling meat is knowing when it’s done without cutting into it. This is a process that will take some trial and error to get down and other factors such as the temperature of the grill or meat will contribute. The best way to see where a piece of meat is at in the cooking process is to simply touch it.  Take your thumb and pointer finger and bring them together to make the “A-Ok” sign. With your other hand, press down gently on your palm (near your thumb) while your fingers are together. Note how soft it is. That is generally what a piece of steak that is rare will feel like if you touch it.  Now make the same sign with your thumb and middle finger, thumb and ring finger, and thumb and pinky. Notice how your palm gets tighter and more firm the closer you get to the pinky? Use this as a guide for testing your steaks to see if they’ve been cooked to your liking.

Barbecuing is a great way to spend the summer outdoors, enjoy time with friends and family, or celebrate a birthday or other special occasion. Experiment with different meats, marinades, and recipes and find something delicious to share with your loved ones!

Good luck.