Beginner's Must Know Guide to Great Grilling and Barbecuing

Apr 3


Terry Kuhn

Terry Kuhn

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If you've ever wanted to know the right way to become a successful backyard "Pitmaster", then this article is a can't miss.

There aren't too many things that are more enjoyable than getting together with friends or family in the backyard for a barbecue.  It's a great American tradition.  What better way to make lifetime memories that to spend time with people you care about in the great outdoors.  Whether the menu consists of burgers and dogs or something more,Beginner's Must Know Guide to Great Grilling and Barbecuing Articles most people agree that's a wonderful way to spend a lazy Summer's afternoon.

However, if you're new to the idea of barbecue and you are not "grill savvy", it might be a bit overwhelming.  Relax, because I'm about to let you in on a few grilling tips that will guide you on your way to becoming a real Pitmaster.

Like anything else in life, good grilling and barbecuing must have a starting point or plan.  The first thing to do is to choose the type of grill to use.  Whether it's the convenience of a gas grill, or the great smokey taste of the traditional charcoal grill, a good top quality grill is a must for any successful pitmaster.  Take your time with this decision and choose the type of grill that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Also too, there are a few grilling accessories that you'll need before you start.  Again here, top quality is your best choice for dependability and longevity.  Some of the essential accessories are:  long-handled grilling tongs, a good pair of heat-resistant barbecue gloves, a charcoal chimney (for those of you that choose charcoal), and a wire grill brush for keeping your grill grate clean.  You might also consider picking up an instant-read meat thermometer.  These are inexpensive and will insure that you meat (burgers, roasts, and chicken) is cooked to the recommended temperature.  You can usually find them in the barbecue section of most well stocked hardware stores in home improvement centers.

Now that you have all the right equipment, it's time to fire up the grill.  Start by making sure your grill is clean by using your wire brush.  If you are cooking on a gas grill, make sure you light it about 5 to 10 minutes before you plan to actually grill your meat.  This will give your gas grill enough time to get up to proper cooking temperature.  This is important because a cold grill will not correctly cook the meat and it will loose flavor and sometimes become tough.  Always start cooking on a pre-heated grill.  For a charcoal grill, begin by placing your charcoal in a charcoal chimney starter.  Use a crumpled up newspaper in the bottom to act as kindling for the charcoal.  This is the preferred way to start charcoal as opposed to using lighter fluid, which may impart a "diesel-like" taste in your meat.  Once the charcoal has ashed over (about 15-20 minutes), dump the charcoal into the grill and spread them out to form what we call a two-zone fire.  A two-zone fire consists of a double layer of charcoal (the cooking or hot zone) on the top half of the grill.  In this way,  you can control exactly how much heat your meat receives by moving it back and forth between the hot and the cool zones.  You can create the same hot and cool zones on a gas grill by turning off one of the burners.

When grilling, always be vigilant.  It doesn't take but a few short minutes to go from a great piece of meat to a charred and tough experience.  Never leave your grill.

If you're grilling something that requires a sauce like barbecued chicken, don't put your sauce on until the last 5 minutes of cooking time.  Make sure the meat is 85 to 90 percent cooked before you put on the sauce.  The sugars in the sauce will burn and leave your meat with a bad charred flavor and not very appealing to the eye.

You should always use a clean plate or platter when taking the meat off the grill.  Never use the same plate that held the uncooked meat.  You don't want your guests to suffer the consequences.

After removing the meat from the grill, always set it aside and let the meat rest for about 5-10 minutes.  This will allow the meat time to stop the cooking process and allow the meat juices to flow.  Your meat will be more tender and juicier.

I hope these pointers will help you in your quest to become a seasoned pitmaster.  Good luck and good eating.