Nothing beats a good piece of barbecued meat, but you need to use the right techniques to get the results you want. If you’re the type of cook who tends to serve overcooked or undercooked meat or even if you just want to find out more, the following tips are just for you. Moreover, your next meal is likely to be a great success.
You need to prepare your food before barbequing as this is an important step that will affect the end result. In our June blog, we mentioned that allowing your meat to reach room temperature before cooking helps in making the cooking process more uniform. Also, we revealed that adding salt won’t necessarily make your meat go hard. But did you know there’s even more you can do for greater success?
Your choices begin when you go to the grocery store or the butcher’s shop. If you want a very tender, juicy piece of meat, go for cuts that have fat on them as this will inject flavor into the meat during cooking.
At home, if your meatballs keep falling apart on the barbeque despite your best efforts, simply press them a bit more when they’re raw. If you like cooking whole chickens and roasts, you really need to get an efficient rotisserie kit that cooks your meat inside and out. While the rotisserie spindle gets very hot and cooks the meat internally, the barbeque itself cooks the visible part of the meat as it rotates.
Direct and indirect cooking
When barbecuing, you should switch between direct and indirect cooking. Indirect cooking is better for larger cuts that need to be cooked more slowly. Simply place the meat over a burner that you’ve just turned off. For best results, sear it first. If you have a raised grate on your small appliance to place your meat, this is ideal.
When cooking, turn your meat as little as possible - ideally only once. Different types of meat need different degrees of cooking. For example, a medium to low heat is best for fish and chicken. Also, avoid sticking a fork or other kind of sharp implement into your meat as this will cause the juices to escape.
Is your meat ready or not?
Using a thermometer is a must to tell whether your meat is ready. If you don’t have one, here are some great workarounds.
- You can tell that your meat is ready to turn over if it lifts easily from the grill.
- When you touch the sides of your salmon and the flesh feels firm, this means it’s cooked. You can also use the touch test for steaks and check the meat in the same way. However, a ‘blue’ (rare) steak will be soft to touch.
Resting - a step that’s often forgotten
Allow your meat to rest and retain its juices for a few minutes. If you’re worried it will cool down, wrap it in foil. This step is often forgotten, but ensures the best combination of tenderness and flavor.
To find out more about barbecuing, stay tuned to our blogs.