Summer is fast approaching, and nothing says “summer” like barbecue. Whether you’re smoking some succulent ribs or grilling up a thick, juicy T-bone steak, few of life’s pleasures match barbecue done right.
But as ubiquitous as barbecuing is in American culture, there are still tons of things the average cook doesn’t know about getting the perfect cook on their food of choice. From minor missteps to glaring errors, there are plenty of ways for even a skilled cook to fall short of their grilling potential.
Our new guide 20 Ways to Better Your Barbecue Today (and They’re Easy) was written with that in mind. It contains a variety of tips aimed at cooks of all levels of skill and experience, each guaranteed to up one’s barbecue game.
Here are just a few of the guide’s suggestions. Check out the full 20 Ways guide for the complete list of indispensable barbecue tips!
Properly Heat and Clean Your Grill – A clean grill always results in better food than a dirty one. Before grilling, scrub your grill’s grate with a wire brush. Dip a paper towel in oil and gently brush the now clean grate. If using a charcoal grill, concentrate coals in the center, allowing you to move food between high and low heat as needed. If using a gas grill, set one burner to high and the other to medium. Afterwards, give the grill’s grates another wipe down. Make cleaning the grill before and after cooking part of your routine!
Cook Steak to Perfect Doneness - Once you fire up the grill and put the meat to the heat, be sure to flip multiple times for a faster, more even cook. If available, use an instant thermometer to get your steak to the perfect doneness. The instant thermometer is an investment that pays dividends in the form of perfectly cooked meat. 130°F for rare, 135°F medium-rare, 145°F medium, 150°F medium well and 160°F for well done.
Know the Difference Between Baby Back and Spare Ribs - Everyone has heard of both, but surprisingly few know the difference between baby back and spare ribs!
Baby back ribs, perhaps popularized in American culture by the catchy Chili’s advertisements, are leaner and less fatty than spare ribs. They weigh less and cook faster than spare ribs. Their size means that one slab will often be enough for one adult to eat entirely, though a half slab should suffice for those with smaller appetites.
Spare ribs are fattier than baby backs and contain more meat. They are meaty enough that one slab will often be enough for two adults. They take longer to cook than baby backs due to their heavier weight. Choose whichever type of ribs best suits you and your family’s palates and appetites.
Learn to Butterfly a Chicken – Butterflying a chicken is easy, but surprisingly many cooks have never tried it. To get started, remove the backbone from each chicken and split into two halves. Place the chicken breast side down with the tail facing you. Using kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone, then repeat on the other side of the backbone. Turn the chicken breast side up and spread it out on the cutting board. Press down on the breastbone with the palm of your hand to flatten the chicken. Use a chef’s knife to split the chicken into two halves if you like. Trim any large pockets of fat. Season both sides with olive oil and rub.
Bonus tip: Use a chef's knife after reviewing what the best knife set is for your needs. You may consider the cost of the knife, the sharpness and resilience of the blade, and the quality of the metal used to manufacture the knife. Whatever your priorities are, make sure to read plenty of reviews and opinions before selecting the perfect knife for you.
Guest Author courtesy of Jim at www.radacutlery.com