& Techniques of the BBQ Guru : BBQ Basics
you bought the new grill and are rarin to go!
Lets start with some basic grilling techniques.
I would like to define the various heat temperatures,
hot, medium and low.
used for searing meats. When we talk about searing,
it is not in regards to sealing the juices
in. That is nearly impossible on a grill. Instead,
searing is the carmelisation of the meat. That is
the process that is responsible for that grilled
between 300º to 400º
is normally what most things are cooked at. First
you sear at high temps then you will finish
cooking at medium temps.
between 225º to 275º
low temps are used on larger cuts of meat that are
laden with fat that must be rendered. The only way
to accomplish this is to cook the meat at low temps
for extended periods of time.
now review the difference between direct and indirect
heat. Direct heat means the meat is placed directly
over the flames or heat source. Lean cuts of meat will
be grilled using the direct heat method. Indirect means
that the meat is placed away from the heat source. Indirect
heat is used for larger cuts of meat that are not as
lean. See the article entitled Indirect Heat
for a full explanation of how to use these methods.
lets talk about the various meat temperatures
. . . what we call doneness temps. These are always
somewhat controversial, simply because everyone likes
their meats done a little different. These are the minimum
temps I use when finishing meats
for medium rare. All the bad bugs in beef are killed
at this temp. The one exception here is ground beef.
That should always be cooked to 160º because
of the huge surface area that promotes bacterial
for white meat, 185º for dark meat. Salmonella
is killed at 165º.
for medium rare. Dont worry about trichinosis,
it is killed at 137º
I mentioned, these are my minimum temps and if you like
your meats done a little more that is fine. Just dont
cook them too much . . . they will dry out.
strongly suggest a good quality meat thermometer. The
new digital instant read thermos are very affordable
and easily carried around in your pocket. This is essential,
especially if you are new to the grilling experience.
Once you are comfortable with the time it takes to bring
meats to these temps, then the thermo can be replaced
by feel and touch.
time to start grillin!!
are my 25 most important tips:
food with oil. This will prevent sticking. Olive oil
is my choice. Dont brush the grill, it will
burn your brush!
most meats, sear over high heat first, then move to
lower heat to finish.
often. I dont care what the experts
say! Dont let too much juice accumulate on the
top of the meat
you will only lose that juice
once you turn it over.
seasoning, larger roasts should be seasoned and then
wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Smaller cuts of meat should be seasoned 1 - 2 hours
prior to cooking.
using a marinade to baste, BOIL it first!
the spices (salt, pepper, etc) before forming into
only ground beef that has at least 20% fat (usually
ground chuck). You need it for the juices!
an indentation in the center of the patty. This will
eliminate the plumping in the middle.
6 ounce patties that are 3/4 inch thick.
only Choice or better cuts of meat.
all surrounding fat.
slicing, cut against the grain.
'Rest' the meat before and after grilling. Allow the
meat to come up to room temp prior to grilling. After
grilling, let the meat rest for 5 - 10 minutes before
just prior to grilling . . . too soon and all the
juices may be drawn out.
possible, keep the skin on. It will help to keep the
meat from drying out.
all parts of the chicken. Work your fingers up under
the skin and apply your rub / seasonings underneath.
Then replace the skin. Also, apply rub to the cavity
far as flipping, generally, bone-in pieces need not
be flipped, while boneless pieces should be flipped
half way through cooking.
all fat from exterior.
a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking skinless,
boneless breasts. 165º is done and that is attained
brining or injecting for dispersing extra flavor and
moistness inside the bird. See article on brining.
fresh when possible, but fresh-frozen
is just as good and sometimes better than fresh!
is done when the flesh turns opaque (this includes
shellfish). This is a better indicator than the old
test of flakiness. Place a sharp knife between the
meat sections and check.
grilling shrimp use the jumbo variety. You are less
likely to overcook.
use foil to cook your fish. You need to get that flame
broiled taste. There are a couple exceptions . . .
sole, dory and flounder are very thin fillets and
will need some foil.
this should be a good guide to get you going. Keep in
mind, there are always a few exceptions to the tips
above. But for starters, these will do!
The BBQ Guru
Taylor is know as the BBQ Guru on the RecipeGoldmine
website for his expertise in the art of the Barbecue
and Smoking. Over the last twenty years barbecuing has
caught on fast in the UK but for most of us it is still
an unexplored form of cuisine - a few chops and some
With the help of Kevin Hub-UK
is hoping to bring to you a series of articles and recipes
over the summer which will change your way of life and
bring great pleasure to you, your family and friends
as you enjoy the long summer evenings.
Taylor is a regular contributor at RecipeGoldmine -
here to visit the website.