Whether you're a home cook or someone that is interested in learning more about barbecue and grilling, we have a lot of helpful information for you. We'll teach you how to make the perfect barbecue sauce, how to prepare your meat or your steak for grilling and smoking, and give you some helpful tips on what equipment you need for your backyard BBQ.
Tips to Help You Get Started With That Grill and Meat
Grilling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while making delicious meals. However, getting started with grilling can be intimidating, especially if you're new to it. In this blog post, we'll provide some tips to help you get started with grilling and cooking meat on the charcoal grill.
Choose the Right Charcoal
The first step in grilling is to choose the right type of charcoal. There are two main types of charcoal: regular mangrove charcoal and solid briquette.
Regular Mangrove Charcoal: Regular Mangrove Charcoal is a type of charcoal that is made from burning mangrove hardwood. It is commonly used in outdoor grilling and smoking due to its high heat output and long-lasting burn time.
Solid Briquette: Solid Briquette Charcoal, on the other hand, is made by compressing charcoal powder and binding agents into a dense briquette shape. It burns hotter and longer than regular charcoal, making it a popular choice for professional chefs and pitmasters. Solid briquettes also produce less ash and smoke than regular charcoal, making them easier to use and clean up after cooking.
Light Your Charcoal Without Making a Mess
To light your charcoal, consider using a chimney starter. This is an easy and mess-free way to get your charcoal going. Simply pour the charcoal into the chimney starter and add a couple of fire starters below. Wait until the charcoal is about 70-80% ashed over before setting up your grill.
What if I don't have a chimney starter?
- If you don't have a chimney starter on your smoker or griller, you can still light your coal without making a mess. One option is to use an electric starter, which plugs into a power outlet and heats up the charcoal.
- Another option is to use lighter fluid, which can be poured onto the charcoal and then lit with a long match or lighter. However, be careful when using lighter fluid as it can be dangerous and can affect the flavor of your food.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and use caution when lighting your charcoal.
Prepare Your Meat
When grilling meat, it's important to choose thick cuts. Thicker cuts of meat are easier to cook and give you more leeway in terms of cooking time making a juicy outcome. In a wooden cutting board, lightly oil your meat to prevent it from sticking to the grill. Season your meat with sea salt, pepper, and spices of your choice. Use tongs to transfer it into a pan. Don't forget to let your meat rest for a few minutes before serving.
Set Your Heat Zones
Setting heat zones when doing BBQ is essential because it allows you to control the cooking temperature and avoid overcooking or undercooking your food. Heat zones refer to different areas of your grill that have varying temperatures. By setting up heat zones, you can cook different types of food at the same time and achieve perfect results.
Hot Zone: The Hot Zone is the area of your grill that has the highest temperature. It's usually directly over the charcoal or gas burner. This zone is ideal for searing meats, creating char marks on vegetables, and cooking food that requires high heat.
Cool Zone: The Cool Zone is a great feature of your grill and is particularly useful when cooking delicate foods or cuts of meat that require longer cooking times, such as certain cuts of beef. It's typically found on the opposite side of the grill (the low heat side) from the hot zone, where the temperature is the highest.
Pre-heat the Grates
Before you start grilling, pre-heat the grates for a few minutes. This will help prevent your meat from sticking to the grates.
Get the Right Temperature
It's important to get the right temperature when grilling meat and not to put your meat on a direct heat right away. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat. The USDA recommends cooking beef to an internal temperature of 145°F, pork at 145°F, and chicken at 165°F.
Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
If you are feeling fancy and want to get your hands busy in the kitchen, why not try making your own BBQ sauce from scratch? This easy home BBQ sauce recipe requires only a handful of ingredients and can be made in just 30 minutes.
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon garlic shallot puree
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
In a sauce pot, combine the ketchup, cider vinegar, water, light brown sugar, and molasses.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, ground cloves, turmeric, and garlic shallot puree.
Mix everything together and turn the burner on to medium-high heat.
Stir the mixture until it starts to simmer.
Continue to cook the sauce for about 30 minutes until it thickens up, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning.
Once the BBQ sauce has cooked down to the desired consistency, turn off the heat and add a good teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper.
Give it a stir and let it cool down.
And there you have it, your very own homemade BBQ sauce that is tangy, sweet, and just what a BBQ sauce should be!
Can you use a smoker grill to barbecue meats?
While the simple and right way to do BBQ is using the usual charcoal barbecue griller, you can also use your smoky equipment to do your BBQs. A gas grill can also do the trick, as it is very common for many to use a gas bbq griller when doing barbecue. You can either leave the lid open or close the lid for a better smoky flavor.
What's the difference from smoking and barbecue?
Barbecue is a pretty straight forward cooking of meats. You just need to use a charcoal bbq grill and some wood chips to get the smoky flavor you want. When smoking, you need to add smoke or steam inside your smoker grill so that the meat will absorb all the flavors of the smoke. You need a specific time to cook your meat inside, check for doneness from time to time, utilize the vent, and regulate the temp insider the smoker.
Barbecuing is also a faster process of cooking compared to smoking. Regardless of the type of meat, whether rack of ribs or a whole chicken, barbecuing is done in less than an hour. Smoking on the other hand takes hours. You will not get the same smoky flavor if you only barbecue your meat.
Learning how to BBQ right is a skill that takes time and patience, but it is one that will pay off in the end. If you are looking for ways to improve your barbecue game, make sure to follow this guide and you will be well on your way to becoming a BBQ master.