BBQ 101: Tips and information to get off to a good start

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You’ve been thinking about buying a barbecue for years and you have finally turned your dream into reality. Now you’re dying to taste a succulent piece of barbecued meat. Curb in your enthusiasm a little and try not to be too hasty. Take time to read some useful tips and information to help you get it right the first time!

Accessories

When you get a barbecue, you inevitably need accessories to go with it. In any case, all beginners need the essentials. First, buy a long-handled steel brush. Although there are different views about grilling methods, everyone agrees on how important it is to barbecue on clean grates. Also a pair of tongues and a brush specially designed for barbecues are indispensable. Tongues help you to turn your food and remove it from the heat, whereas the brush bastes your food to give it extra taste. Also, consider buying a pair of oven gloves to protect you from the heat and burning yourself. Although not as essential, a steel spatula is useful to help you to handle the barbecue grills themselves.

If you’ve already got most of these tools and you’re looking for additional inspiration, Napoleon has a few good ideas such as a pizza stone and a rotisserie kit.

Some basic tips for barbecue success

  • As already mentioned, don’t forget to clean your cooking surfaces for hygiene and to avoid flame flare-ups. Use the brush to clean once the grill is hot before you cook and immediately afterwards. It’s easier to remove food deposits at higher temperatures.
  • It’s a good idea to preheat your barbecue as food placed on a hot surface is less likely to stick. This is particularly important when you want to get that famous crisscross effect on your meat. You’ll know your barbecue is ready when you can’t hold your hand over it for more than a few seconds or when the meat spits when it touches the surface.
  • Use the barbecue’s lid to help you cook. When closed, a lot less heat will escape and this works a little like an oven and is particularly good for cooking minced meat.
  • When lighting a gas barbecue, follow safety procedures. Open the lid then turn on the gas and light your barbecue.

Clearing up common myths

Meat introduced at room temperature gives better cooking results: This is true and, although not mandatory, it’s the preferred method. If you get the meat out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking, it will cook more evenly, preventing the outside from overcooking and the inside from being underdone.

The higher the temperature, the better the cooking: A few professionals out there say this myth isn’t true and that you shouldn’t always keep your heat on the same setting. Some meats cook best on a high heat, others on a medium heat or by combining both high and low at the start and the end of the cooking period.

Salting meat before barbecuing will make it harder: This is partly true. Salting food can enhance the flavor, but if you don’t want firm meat, salt it right before cooking and not an hour beforehand.

To find out more, get in touch with a WE LOVE FIRE dealer near you. Also, check out our  blog as we’re going to post more tips and advice on cooking soon.

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