Do you feel as though your BBQ meat always comes out dry and tasteless? If so then you will know how frustrating this can be. If you want to do something about this, then this guide will help you to create the tastiest BBQ meat yet.
It’s All about the Fuel
When you look at BBQ food, you will see that it is ultimately an alchemy of wood, meat and smoke. The fuel you use does impact the flavor. If possible, you need to use lump wood charcoal. The main reason for this is because it is made out of high-quality hardwood chunks. You can also influence the flavor you are going for here by using cherry, oak or apple wood. At the end of the day, any garden center is worth checking out here. Just make sure that you avoid charcoal that has a petrol smell to it. If you don’t then it could have been made by using an accelerator fluid, and this will certainly taint your food. Stay clear of any briquettes that might have been compressed here too. They are usually made by mixing charcoal with glue and this will burn way too hot for your food.
Preparation is Key
Your grill has to be hot, but at the same time, you don’t want it too hot. If you can’t stand close to it because of the heat then this is a major sign that you shouldn’t be cooking with it. Light it early so that the flames die down before you begin cooking your food. Your charcoal should be coated with white ash if possible. At the last second, season your meat well and make sure that you don’t add any fuel to it. If the grill is at the right temperature then the maillard reaction should occur and this means that the meat will not stick.
Next up, the meat. Knowing the role of collagen in terms of your meat is so important if you want to get the best result out of your BBQ. The muscles that do the least work tend to have way less collagen and this means that you can cook them faster. Cheaper cuts tend to have much more connective tissue and this means that they are way tougher. If you want to turn a tough cut of meat into one that is melt-in-your-mouth then one thing you can do is cook it low and slow. This will turn the collagen into a soft gelatine. If you do this then you will be able to baste and moisten the meat from the inside out. Now, you may be thinking that it’s best to avoid cheap cuts when it comes to BBQ food but this is not the case at all. In fact, you can easily get a great result if you simply take the time to cook it properly.
Take any meat you have out of the fridge so that it can come up to room temperature. The main reason why you need to do this is because it tempers the meat. Ideally, your meat should be around 4 cm thick as this is the best way for you to get a nice char on it. It keeps it moist on the inside and tender. If you want to get a good char on the outside then you will struggle to do this with a thin piece of meat, so be mindful of that if you can. Wet meat also struggles to make a decent crust. If you want to do something about this then one thing you can do is pat it dry beforehand. Use a paper towel to absorb as much moisture as possible. Using Maldon sea salt is a fantastic seasoning and is far superior to table salt. Season aggressively and make sure that you don’t hold back. The reason for this is that a lot of the salt will fall off. While you are waiting for the meat to come up to room temperature, it’s a good idea for you to get to work on the other aspects of your BBQ. This could include you getting some beer in the fridge and getting to work on things like the potato salad. If you are hosting an event for business purposes, or if you are having your employees round for a BBQ then why not look into Custom Koozies? They’re beer can coolers, and great for keeping your beverages cold while the meat sears on the grill.
Put the meat on the grill and make sure that you don’t disturb it for a minute or two before you start to turn it. You then need to turn it once a minute or so, until you have the right amount of caramelization. If you notice that your meat is on the thick side then turning it on a regular basis will make sure it doesn’t burn. Don’t overcrowd the grill either. Make sure that there is plenty of space between each piece of meat as this will allow oxygen to get to the charcoal. It’s impossible for you to gain an exact cooking time here, as a lot of it depends on the cook of the meat, the animal and the cut. Controlling the temperature comes down to practice too. You will soon be able to learn where the hot and the cold spots are on your grill so you can cook accordingly. You will also be able to learn how long it takes for the grill to reach the right temperature and how long your charcoal can burn. If you have a tough cut then push all of your coal to one side and then put a lid on, with the vents open. If you can do this then it will let a lot of air pass through, allowing the hot air to circulate the meat and stopping it from cooking too quickly. Remember, you can always finish it off in the oven if you want a faster result.