Tips for A Better Tasting Barbecue
When you’re planning a party or event, there’s one thing that everyone wants – good food. And when you have an outdoor grill set up in your backyard, not only can you feed your guests delicious meals, but you can also make them even more memorable by adding personal touches such as barbecued vegetables, meat dishes, and desserts.
There’s no reason why you need to settle for boring hot dogs and hamburgers when you know how to add some flair to these classic favorites. You’ll find out here what you should really consider before buying any new barbecue equipment. Once you’ve got everything assembled, don’t forget about yourself! Have fun and try making something different this time around.
We promise that anyone who tastes your dish will be impressed.
We want to give special thanks to our friend John Lott from Top Secret Recipes, whose original idea inspired us to write this article. He is a chef at a local restaurant and he knows his barbecue inside and out. Keep reading to learn ways of preparing meats and fish so they taste especially tasty.
Preparing Meat For The Grill
Let’s start with a variety of meat dishes. You’ll find out how to prepare special marinades for beef, chicken, and pork so you can really impress your guests.
The first step in making an excellent tasting barbecue is to choose the right meat. For a detailed guide to choosing meats, you can see this guide from Pat’s. You should choose cuts of meats that have plenty of fat content, such as pork ribs or loin, or beef steaks. You should also choose cuts that are flavorful and tender, such as pork ribs or brisket.
The next best thing to cooking meat on the grill is to marinate it first. Marinating meat results in more flavorful and tender meat, which is exactly what you want when grilling. To make your food more delicious, marinate it for at least 8 hours before you prepare it for the grill. Mix together your choice of ingredients and add salt and cayenne pepper according to taste. After you add the marinade to the meat, you should cover it with aluminum foil and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Cooking Meat On Your Grill
No matter if you are using charcoal or gas for grilling, there are some tips that will help you get perfectly cooked meat. Pat from Pat’s Bar and Grill has offered some of his top grilling tips for us below.
- Sear The Meat: If you’re using charcoal, remove the charcoal from the grill and place a handful of seasoned wood chips on top of the lit coals. Wait until they become hot, then return the charcoal to the grill, close the lid and let it cook for at least 5 minutes before removing any meat that’s ready to be grilled.
- Don’t Overdo it: Try not to get the grill going too high or too hot. You don’t want to risk burning any of your food, so you should always lower the heat a little bit if you feel there may be a problem. Low heat cooking is ideal for most of your meat cuts, from steaks, burgers, and pork chops to chicken and fish. Most of these types of meats rarely require more than 400 degrees in order for them to be perfectly cooked through.
- Let Meat Rest: The reason why you need to let meat rest after it’s grilled is that the heat may still be trapped inside the cooking meat. By letting it rest during this time, this trapped heat will help the meat become even more tender and tender.
- Don’t Overcook: Cooking meat until there’s no pink left on it is a huge mistake. When you cook meat until it’s too dry, you lose all your flavor and all the fat will be squeezed out. You won’t be able to chew it or cut it with a knife. So, always use a meat thermometer to test if your meat is cooked through.
- Don’t Over-Flavor Your Meat: If you’ve marinated your meat for at least 8 hours, then you do not need any extra seasonings on top of the meat while cooking it on the grill.
- Don’t Over Flip: The most common mistake people commit when cooking on their own grills is getting impatient and flipping too often. While grilling, it’s best to leave the lid closed as much as possible to reduce evaporation loss which causes moisture buildups. Avoid opening the lid once the food is already cooked due to potential oxygenation and oxidation.
- Wooden Skewers FTW: Do not use metal skewers in order to hold pieces together. They tend to bend or break causing fires. Consider purchasing long wooden kebab sticks that work well and won’t melt. These are available in many markets now.
How To Make Your Own Barbecue Sauce
A lot goes into creating a quality sauce. Not only must you pick out premium ingredients, but you also need to pay attention to preparation methods. First things first, choose the right kind of barbecue sauce. Look for recipes that call for apple cider vinegar, ketchup, or brown sugar-based sauces. Each recipe will differ depending on the amount of liquid added, thickness, and spiciness level. Some sauces are thick and sweet, others thin and tangy. Pick according to preference and availability.
If you truly want to make your own barbecue sauce, here are a few suggestions to consider. You should start off by looking at different recipes that you can choose from and decide which one sounds best. Once you have chosen a recipe, figure out what ingredients are needed and get them all in the same place so they are easy to find when the time comes.
Choose your saucepan. It needs to be big enough for all the ingredients but not too big because it will be a pain to stir if it’s too large. A saucepan with a straight side is the most desirable because it’s easy to stir. You want to make the sauce in this pot rather than a skillet because the direct heat from the stove will cause your sauce to burn at a faster rate.
Make sure you can easily read measurements on your cooking equipment. This is not only true of your measuring utensils, but also of your cookware. If it takes too long to measure ingredients or find them, then you will end up wasting time and energy and be prone to mistakes.
You will need approximately 3 cups of ketchup and 2/3 cups of any kind of vinegar. These are the staples in most barbecue sauces. Here are some additional spices you might want to add to your own sauce: sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and paprika. For a spicier sauce add cayenne pepper or chipotle chili powder. Add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to give the barbecue a unique taste.
Making A Great Summer Salad
Summertime calls for lighter fare. Most salads aren’t appropriate for warmer weather but luckily, there are plenty of healthy alternatives that still satisfy hunger pangs. With a bit of creativity, you can transform standard lettuce mixes into salad superstars.
Try substituting iceberg lettuce for butter leaf varieties. Although both types provide ample nutrients, the iceberg tends to lack flavor compared to the latter. Additionally, look for greens made specifically for salads like spinach, romaine, red cabbage, and arugula.
Salad dressings are another area where variety reigns supreme. Opt for vinaigrette style dressing for mild-flavored foods, and mustard, citrus, or creamy vinegar for stronger ones. In terms of sweetness, go for extra virgin olive oil mixed with balsamic or lemon juice. Experiment with various combinations until you discover what suits your palate.
Fresh fruits and berries are key components of summer salads. Select seasonal produce to create a balanced dish. Berries lend vibrant color and texture to salads, plus they pack loads of antioxidants. Other options include pineapple chunks, melons, honeydew cubes, mandarin oranges, and strawberries. Fresh fruit should be washed, trimmed, and cut into bite-size pieces to preserve nutritional value.
Don’t skip the toppings either. Cracked nuts, seeds, olives, feta cheese, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts offer protein, fiber, and calcium. However, beware of calorie-laden additions such as bacon bits, crumbled sausage, and fried tofu. Just stick to fresh, whole ingredients.
Even though there are many other delicious meals out there, for most people, barbecued foods are the very best. It’s not just about eating food that tastes good; a lot of people feel closer to nature when they grill food. The fresh air, the smell of the charcoal, and all of the spices create a kind of “la-la land” effect for many people.
Once you have learned the basics of barbecuing and how to grill, you can start experimenting with different flavors and recipes. Soon, you will be able to create amazing tasting meals without ever having left your yard.