Cooking is an art that can be mastered by anyone who has the desire and passion for serving great meals. Some people have never dared to take the leap of faith and prepare a meal, but the experience can be exhilarating. However, sometimes the meals we prepare do not meet the standards we desire. Grilling is a complex process that requires expertise to deliver quality barbeque. Despite its intricacies, grilling is fun and rewarding. A perfectly smoked steak has an unmatched effect on taste buds. If you wish to be a guru in grilling, whether you are using a smoker or a gas grill if you wish to be a guru in grilling, here are a few tips for your next cook-off.
The key to a perfect barbecue is cooking the meat at high temperatures for a short time. If the steak you lay on your grill is cold, it will take longer to cook. An extended period on the grill makes the meat tougher. However, pre-warming the meat before grilling ensures the cooking process takes the right amount of time. The barbecue retains its texture, flavours and consistency. Warming the meat also aids in achieving the perfect medium rare steak since the interior of the meat is a bit cool when it’s placed on the grill.
When marinading, go for the basics. Use a little acid like vinegar or lemon juice, some oil and a bunch of good flavours. The acid tenderises the meat while the oil adds moisture and richness. A short soak is enough to soften the food and let the flavours sink in. The recommended time to marinate meat is half an hour to two hours. Small and delicate meat like fish and boneless chicken only need a brief soak.
Season Your Meat
Meat has a natural taste, but a bit of seasoning adds flavour. Big thick slices need a lot of seasoning, and it’s crucial to cover them liberally with pepper, salt, and any rub. When it comes to salting the meat a rule of thumb is to salt the slice with twice as much salt as you think is required. Moreover, caution must be taken while applying the rubs. If the seasoning is rubbed too hard into the food, the meat fibres and texture may be damaged. Over-seasoning is also a potential risk that may spoil your barbecue. When applying sauce, only do it in the last 30 minutes of cooking. If you do it too early, you run the risk of destroying the barbecue. Sweet sauce, in particular, has sugars that can burn and ruin your barbecue.
Prepare Your Grill
Before placing any slice on the grill, you must ensure the grill is clean. Cleaning the grill grate removes any remains from the previous cooking session. It’s important to invest in a good grill brush that can get the job done without any hustle. Once you have done cleaning, you can evenly apply a little oil over the grill grate using a paper towel. The next step is to preheat the grill. Preheating kills disease-causing bacteria that may be found on the grill. It prevents incidences of food poisoning that are popular after barbecues. Creating heat zones on the grill will also help in cooking. If you have a gas grill, you can achieve this by leaving one burner on high and another on medium. Heat zones allow searing of food where the heat is highest while the cooler zones provide heat to perfectly cook without burning.
Let Your Steak Cook
It’s important to allow the meat to form seared crusts on the grill before moving or flipping it. This helps to prevent the meat from sticking to the grill and allows it to cook properly. If you suspect the meat is ready, do not poke it. Poking and stubbing meat cause the juices to escape making the meat drier and less tasty. When checking doneness, use a pair of tongs or a spatula to flip or move the barbecue.
When it comes to grilling, flare-ups are inevitable. However, when they occur do not panic. Move the barbecue from the hot zone to the medium zone as you wait for the flames to subside. You can also attempt to put down the lid or close the vents to deprive the fire of oxygen. A few squirts of water from a spray bottle can also reduce the flame, but caution has to be taken as the water can spread the fire. If all fails, sprinkling salt or baking soda over the flame will extinguish it.
For your next cook-off make sure you have all the necessary equipment. Get a pair of long-handled tongs, spatula, an instant-read thermometer, paper towels, aluminium foil, and a fire extinguisher. Top it up with a group of friends to enjoy a splendid barbecue.