Quick Recipes and Easy

10 Steps to a Perfect Barbecue

There may be no such a thing as a perfect barbecue, but there are steps you can take to make certain the next barbecue party you host flows smoothly.

1. Make sure your gas tank has enough gas. Nothing ruins a barbecue quicker than running out of gas while grilling. It’s nice to have a backup tank on hand but it’s even better to know there is plenty in the tank you are using.

2. Have all cooking utensils on hand, including a meat thermometer. You should have your serving trays nearby. Nothing is more frustrating than having the meat ready to come off the grill and not being able to find a dish to place it on.

3. Meats should be completely thawed ahead of time and ideally should be sitting at room temperature for about a half an hour. This will help the meat cook evenly.

4. If grilling tougher meats, such as flank steaks, you should marinate before hand to tenderize the meat. To tenderize, the marinade must contain some lemon juice, vinegar or wine. The tougher the meat, the longer they should be marinated, so you may want to marinade overnight to play it safe.

5. Try to keep the meat cuts at similar thickness, especially when grilling steaks. Too many different thicknesses will make your grilling chore much tougher.

6. If you are grilling chicken or pork, you need to be certain the inside is thoroughly cooked. Use a cooking thermometer. The inside temperature should be about 175 degrees.

7. Reduce flare-ups by trimming your meat ahead of time. When you are cooking a lot of meat at one time, it gets harder to keep the flames from burning your food. Grilling at a lower temperature can help, particularly with the control you get with the new gas grills. If you have 3 burners or more, it may help to turn off one burner. When a flare-up starts, remove the meat from that area of the grill to the unlit burner. Of course, when the grill is crowded with meats, it may take some shuffling. Go the meats to the warmer rack if possible and, if all else fails, remove the meats from the grill, close the cover and let the flames burn off.

8. If you are using barbecue sauce, don’t apply it until the last 5 minutes of grilling. Turn down the heat and add the sauce. This will minimize the chance of burning.

9. Timing is vital. Although meat will continue to cook once removed from the grill, turning off the grill and letting the meat sit in the grill to keep it warm while waiting for side dishes to cook can dry out the meat. It’s much simpler to keep the beans warm a small longer than it is to try to keep the meat from overcooking. If you figure it will take 20 minutes to grill, don’t start grilling until the other dishes are about 15 minutes from completion.

10. If you need to grill a second batch of meat, start it immediately before you start to eat. The grill is hot and ready to go. Get the next batch on so you can end about the time the first batch runs out.

Follow these tips and your next barbecue party will be your best.

Bob Blick is the owner and webmaster of the realmencooking.com Barbecue Tips at RealMenCooking.com website. You will find lots of information and barbecue tips at this site to help you make your next barbecue sizzle.
You can also keep up with the newest barbecue techniques and recipes at his blog realmencooking.com/realmenblog Barbecue Blog



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