Home > Barbeque, Grilling & Cooking Tips
|Competition Barbeque Team
The following is what works for me. Much of this I'm sure you've heard before but if you follow my tips you will do better.
- Direct grilling
Use direct grilling for thin things like steaks, fish and veggies. (For thick steaks over an inch and a half or so use a combination. Sear both sides and thin finish on a cooler part of the grill.)
- Indirect grilling
Use indirect grilling for large hunks of meat like a rib roast or leg of lamb. To grill indirect place your coals on opposite sides of the grill and place your meat on the grate in the center.
- Start with a clean grate.
Food is less likely to stick if the grate is clean. Just heat up the grill and scrape with a wire brush.
- Oil the grate
This is just common sense. You oil the pan when you cook on your stove top don't you? Just pour a little oil on a paper towel and wipe the grill grate just before putting on the food.
- Don't poke holes in your meat.
This can't be mentioned enough. A lot of people poke holes in meat (Primarily steaks) to tenderize them. I guess the theory is to tear apart some of the fibers. Or maybe it's to allow marinades to seep in to the meat. Nope, all that's happening is you are creating little drains for all the juices to run out. Like a dry steak? Grab a fork and poke a bunch of drain holes all over both sides and then overcook it.
- Get a long blade spatula
While your standard kitchen "egg flipper" will work, I have found that a longer blade on a spatchula is easier to work with.
- Under cooked is better than over cooked
Ok, maybe under cooked chicken isn't a good thing but...
- I'm sure you probably hear this from your mom: Don't play with your meat!
Put your meat on the grill and flip it once. The only exception is to turn it 45 to get those diamond shaped grill marks. These are optionl. Do anything more and you're just playing with your meat.
- Don't crowd the grill
You need room for the heat to move around your meat. You also need to be able to turn or flip your meat. For example, if you are grilling a bunch of burgers grill them in stages. If you find you are frequuently cooking in stages you need a bigger grill.
- Your grill has a lid. When do you close it & when do you leave it open?
A general rule of thumb is that if your meat is thicker than your hand close the lid. Also keep in mind that the lid will hold in the smoke adding more flavor. I almost always close the lid.
- Soak the wood Chips
You add wood chips for flavor not for fuel. To get the most flavor out of the wood it needs to burn slowly. Soaking them will prevent them from burning to fast and sending the flavor up in flames. (Soak chips for at least 20 minutes. You can soak longer if you want but anything longer than about an hour won't change anything.)
- After your meat comes off the grill it needs to rest
Cooking releases the juices from the muscle fibers. If you cut into it right after taking it off the grill the juices, and much of the flavor, will pour out. By letting it sit a few munutes the juices can seep back to where they belong.
- Barbeque sauce should be added at the end
Tomato based sauses have a high sugar content. Sugar burns. If you add sauce to early it will burn and ruin an otherwise great piece of meat. Add it toward the end of your cooking time or even after you take the meat off.