Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Barbecue Tips and Techniques - 10 Tips to Expert Grilling

Barbecue Tips and Techniques - 10 Tips to Expert Grilling

Author: Chad Stephens

Grilling is a great way to hang out and relax with friends and family or just a good way to cook food. However, it can become a nightmare if you don't know what you are doing. To be come an expert griller, follow these 10 barbecue tips and techniques.

1. Bring Meats to Room Temperature

Before cooking meats like steaks and roasts it is a good idea to let the meat sit at room temperature before cooking. Times vary depending on the size of the meat, but in general about 20 to 30 minutes before you start grilling. By doing this, the meat will cook more evenly.

2. Use a Chimney Starter

When lighting a charcoal grill consider using a chimney starter versus lighter fluid. Many times the lighter fluid can be tasted in the meat if it is not completely burned off. Chimney starters are relatively cheap and are basically a round metal cylinder with vented holes. You place the charcoal in the cylinder and place some newspaper on the bottom. Light the paper and in about 15mins your charcoal is ready.

3. Create Cooking Zones

For charcoal grills, when cooking different types of meats, do not just fill the entire grate with charcoal. Instead create cooking zones by dividing your grill in half or thirds if you have a large grill. By using charcoal on one side of the grill, you can cook different types of meats and also have the option to move meats to a cooler spot if there are flare ups or they are cooking too fast.

4. Using Direct Heat

For meats that cook fast, use direct heat by putting those meats directly over the charcoal or gas burner. These meats include steak, hamburger, boneless chicken, thin cuts of pork and fish. Direct heat uses radiant heat to sear the meat and caramelizes the surface of the meat.

5. Using Indirect Heat

Use indirect heat for tougher meats that need to be cooked slower, like roasts, whole chicken and slabs of ribs. You cook the meat indirectly by placing it away from the charcoal or burner. You then cover the grill so the meat cooks slowly via convective heat.

6. Determine the Temperature of Your Grill

Different meats require different temperatures. Determining the temperature of your grill is good to know so you cook your meats at the proper level. An easy test to check the temperature of your barbeque is to place your hand about 5 to 6 inches about the grill. If you need to pull your hand away after about 2 seconds your grill is at a high heat and about 500 degrees. If you need to pull your hand away after about 4 seconds, your grill is at medium heat and about 400 degrees. If you need to pull your hand away after about 6 seconds, your grill is at low heat and about 300 degrees.

7. Working the Vents

Working the vents on your barbeque grill is an important aspect of controlling the temperature. The vents on both the top and bottom are used to control airflow into the grill. The more air allowed into the grill the hotter it will be. Generally you want to always leave the bottom vent open to allow air for your fire and control the temperature by manipulating the top vent.

8. Using a Water Pan

For larger roasts, low heat and longer cooking times, use a water pan. This is basically a foil pan filled about half way with water that you place next to your charcoal. You would then place your roast above the water pan which doubles as a drip pan. The water in the pan will regulate the heat to a lower temperature to allow cooking the meat slower.

9. Wood Chips for Smoke Flavor

For added smoke flavor consider using wood chips. Wood chips come in different varieties like hickory, apple wood, etc. Most barbecue grillers use hickory and it's a great choice for any meat. To prepare the wood chips you soak them in water for about 30 minutes. After the charcoal has begun to ash, add the wood chips directly on top the charcoal. For gas grills you would use a wood chip box.

10. Let Your Meat Rest

After removing meats from the grill it is a good idea to tent them in foil and let them sit for a bit. This allows the juices to redistribute back throughout the meat. For roasts and larger cuts, let them sit longer, around 15 to 25mins.

These 10 barbecue tips and techniques are just the tip of the iceberg. Learn more great barbeque and grilling tips and information...

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Who Else Wants to Discover Simple Secret Recipes for Mouth Watering, Fall Off The Bone Ribs, Chicken & BBQ Sauce So Tasty You'll Be the Envy of the Neighborhood....

Check out: The Secrets to Delicious Backyard BBQ.

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