12 tips to become a Barbecue Master

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Hold Me, Grill Me, Eat Me, Thrill Me 

With barbecue restaurants popping up all over the UK and anybody that can, offering a pulled pork sandwich – we all need to step up our personal barbecue standards. Burgers and sausages are fine, they’re the corner stone of every great barbecue, but what can you do to really rule the grill? We’ve pulled together a few tips on how to become a barbecue master.

1. Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail
Your grill needs you full attention for the best results. Even the most impromptu barbecue needs some prep. Gather all your tools, meats, marinades and sort out your barbecue workstation before things get going. That way you’re ready for optimum cooking temperature.

2. Clean before you start

If your grill has black crust on it from previous barbecues, clean it off. Failing to clean the grill will make your food stick to it and cause you problems when cooking. Get a wire brush to remove the crust, or even use the ‘onion method‘.

3. Purchase a pair of tongs
Tongs are what you need to for turning food over, stabbing with a fork or knife will cause essentuial flavour juices to be lost, and will likely cause you to have more to clean after.

4. Become an expert at lighting the coals
Have you spent a long time trying to light coals quickly? You may be over-packing your grill. A chimney starter will quickly become your new best friend.  Stuff in some paper and your coals, light the paper and you’ll have glowing coals quicker than before.

5. Getting hotter
A big barbecue mistake is often cooking too early (usually because everyone is staring at you with hunger in their eyes) optimum cooking temperature is when you can barely hold your hand just above the coals.

6. Invest in woodchips
Don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a ‘must-have’ but outside the gas versus charcoal debate, it’s actually wood that will give your food more flavour. You can pick up flavoured wood chips to throw in with your briquettes that will flavour the smoke and take your food to the next level.

7. Utilise your grill zones
Some foods cook better with direct or indirect heat. Check out the diagram below for more tips on grill zones.

Image: foodrepublic.com

 

 

8. Line up, Line up
Line up your food in neat lines in the order they went on the grill, this helps you keep track of cooking time.

9. Manage your marinade
A lot of sauce contains sugar for taste, which is fine but suagr burns very quickly compared to how quickly meat cooks. If you don’t want your food to look burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, apply your sauce near the end of the cooking time to ensure the sugar cooks out as the meat is finishing cooking through.

10. Stop flipping flipping
Meat should ideally only be flipped once during the cooking process. Cook thoroughly on one side before turning over. This will help ensure the middle cooks properly.

11. Let it rest
As tempting as it is to throw the burger in a bun straight from the barbecue, it’s best practice to let any meat rest for roughly half the time it took to cook. Covering in foil will help to keep heat in, but letting the meat rest means that juice won’t go everywhere when you cut into it.

12. Clean when  you’re done
It sounds like a given, but clean your grill properly after use to make sure it’s in a usable state the next time the sun is out.

 

Use Great Recipes:
Step out of your comfort zone, there’s so much more to the barbecue than just burgers and hot dogs, we got together with some  of our favourite bloggers to bring you  some fantastic outdoor cooking recipes in a FREE TO DOWNLOAD printable outdoor cookbook.

To print the cookbook head over to: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/camping-recipes

Featuring recipes such as:

 

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