5 Barbecue Tips To Get You Through The May Long Weekend.

May 18, 2018 | Cooking Tips

It’s the May long weekend, the unofficial start to summer. Without a doubt, a lot of people out there in internet world are going to be breaking out their barbecues and kicking summer off right. I love barbecue season because millions of people who say they can’t cook or hate cooking suddenly become experts in grilling. They cook steaks and burgers, hot dogs, pork chops, chicken, and whatever else they can fit on their gill. Cooking all of a sudden becomes cool because there is fire involved.

I imagine these cue kings and queens sitting in their houses all winter, staring longingly out over their snow-covered yards, yearning for the warm embrace of the gas or coals of their one and only. They sit and wait, like star-crossed lovers, refusing to even step foot in the indoor kitchen for fear that their true love, the barbecue may see them. But then, almost like a dream, the sun sits a little higher in the sky. The birds sing a little louder. The trees begin to blossom. It’s barbecue season!

five barbecue tips that will welcome you into summer

Having not cooked all winter has left these grill masters like their grills, a little rusty. And so, I offer five barbecue tips that will welcome them into summer, and get these kings and queens through the may long weekend.

One. Preheat the grill. 

This is by far the most important thing you can do to improve your grilling experience. Preheating the barbecue, for at least 30 minutes will help prevent things from sticking to the grill and will cook things more evenly. Think of it like preheating the oven. It’s the same principle. The hot grill will sear the surface of meats which will prevent them from sticking. However, you may notice that when you go to flip a burger or a steak that it is sticking an so tip number two…

Two. Be Patient. 

Be Patient. When something sticks to the barbecue most people grease up the grill. That may help, but more likely than not, you are just not being patient enough. When something sticks, it is most likely because you are either trying to flip it too soon, the grill is dirty, or the grill wasn’t hot enough. Be patient. Let the grill heat up. Make sure it’s clean. And don’t try to flip things too early. You will know it’s ready to flip because it won’t stick at all. But what if it burns while you are waiting for it to let go of the grill? Enter tip three…

Three. Medium Heat.

People often make the mistake of cooking over the highest possible heat. This causes food to burn before it’s cooked. Use the high heat to preheat the barbecue, but reduce the heat to medium-high or medium when cooking. This will reduce flare-ups, burning, and smoking out your neighbourhood.

If you are using a charcoal barbecue, wait until the coals are all white, and cook over an even layer of smoldering coals.

Four. Direct heat vs. Indirect heat.

In cooking, we talk about two different types of heat. Direct heat and indirect heat. Direct heat is when you cook directly over gas flames or smoldering coals. This is how you would cook a steak or grill corn.

Indirect heat is when you cook without direct contact with the heat source. This is great for larger cuts of meat or for smoking. If you were using a gas grill, you may have the left side of the burners on but the right side off. With the lid down, you would have the pork shoulder or ribs on the right side of the grill. This prevents burning and cooks more slowly than direct heat.

Five. Marinades.

Marinades are a great way to impart flavour to meat and vegetables and to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. However, marinades often have a high oil or sugar content. This can lead to burning pretty quickly. To prevent this, make sure you remove any excess marinade even wiping the food off with a paper towel or cook with indirect heat. (for more on marinades check out my post An in-depth guide to Marinades)

I hope that you all have a great long weekend. Be safe out there, and enjoy your first taste of live fire cooking.

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