Top Barbecue Tips Monmouth County
Let’s face it – most of us are terrible barbecuers. If we’re not cremating sausages, we’re probably poisoning our friends. It’s strange that we pick the method of cooking that needs possibly the most concentration on days when all we want to do is kick back and have a beer.
Cooking well over fire takes some skill, but mastering those techniques will give you a special seat of honor among your friends. Here are our top tips, equipment and techniques. Armed with these you will be Lord of the Tong, Master of the Flame, the guy stood next to a screaming heat source on an already-hot day. Get fired up New Jersey, it’s grilling time.
Get The Right Barbecue
It may sound basic but there are two crucial things your burner needs if you want to make great barbecue food. The first thing is, it has to be a charcoal one. There’s nothing wrong with gas barbecues, but you won’t get any extra smoky flavor. You might as well be cooking in the oven, flavor-wise! The second thing you need is a lid. It locks in flavor, keeps the temperature constant and can be used as an extra technique. Without one you can’t do beer can chicken, or melt cheese on burgers, or smoke ribs.
Get The Best Tools
We’ve all accidently lost a sausage down a grill or flipped a burger over the edge. Well, get yourself a decent fish slice, a heavy-duty oven glove and maybe even a fish grill (clamp/clip/basket thing – we’ve no idea what they are called). The one bit of kit you simply must have is a decent pair of tongs – they give you the most control, and reduce the chances of dropping anything between the grills.
Make Your Own Burgers
Homemade burgers are better. Even if you make them from nothing but salt and pepper and good-quality meat, they will beat anything in the shops. Buy mince with plenty of fat, or get your butcher to give you some minced flank or chuck– you’ll get juicy, flavorful burgers whether you like them pink in the middle or cooked right through.
Fish Is Great On Barbecues
Why do people forget fish? Fish and smoke are such great friends (think smoked salmon!). So get a whole trout or side of salmon, throw some oak chips in and cook like the caveman you always knew you were. If you’re feeling fancy, slice a whole fish open and stuff with lemon, dill and pepper.
Marinade, Marinade, Marinade!
We all know the phrase “leave for a few hours, ideally overnight”. Well that applies doubly to barbecues, to make sure the flavors aren’t overridden by the addition of the smoke. In fact, it’s best to save some marinade when you make, and brush your meat or fish with the marinade every 10 minutes as it cooks. That way it will add moisture, trap the smoke flavor and caramelize gently as it goes.
Don’t Ruin The Vegetables
I know barbecues are an excuse for us all to turn into carnivores, but fire does wondrous things to vegetables too, if you get the technique right. What you want is that lovely charring along the bars – it looks amazing, and tastes even better. So slice thin, then grill straight away – no oil, no seasoning. Once cooked you can add the flavor in some quality olive oil and a bit of vinegar, like in these griddled veggies.
Get The Sides Right
Sides should never be an afterthought! They will make up two-thirds of what you eat if you’re trying to have something that resembles a balanced meal. You could go for a classic potato salad, get some cheeky corn on the cobs on the grill, some simple and delicious couscous or, my favorite, some Navajo flatbreads – awesome made on the barbecue and great for mopping up marinades.
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