Saturday 17 March 2012

The Do's & Don't Of BBQ Cooking

As summer approaches and the days get longer, sunnier and hotter, most of us will turn off the central heating, so today we're turning to our good friends at Napoleon® Grills for some great BBQ tips.

You don’t spend over thirty-five years designing grills without discovering all of the tricks of the trade to make cooking on a barbecue foolproof. Here are some of Napoleon® Grills hot tips for grilling great food time and time again:

  • Use the correct method to cook. There are two ways to barbecue – directly or indirectly. ‘Direct cooking’ is where small cuts of meat such as chops or burgers are placed directly over the heat source and turned once to cook both sides. ‘Indirect cooking’ can only be done on barbecues with a lid. The food is placed away from the coals or the lit burner.  Once the lid is on, the heat circulates, creating an oven – you can now roast or bake.
  • Keep uncooked food chilled. Refrigerate food until it is ready to be cooked.
  • Trim excess fats. Keep food healthy and reduce flare-ups, minimise fats and oils in marinades.
  • Make use of grilling videos and troubleshooting guides. If you want guidance, check out the internet for more advice.
  • Prod, poke and play with food. Piercing meats releases the juices and results in dry and chewy food.
  • Keep lifting the lid. If your barbecue has a lid it is there for a reason – to help food cook properly.  Food can be left to cook on its own while you enjoy the company of your guests.  Lifting the lid increases the cooking time and can cause flare-ups.
  • Scorch and Torch. Cooking foods at very high temperatures for short periods of time produces meat that can be charred on the outside and pink on the inside. Great if you want to sear meat (at which point Napoleon’s infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ comes into its own), but be sure then to continue to grill chicken or pork through thoroughly. Control the cooking temperature and time by checking the thermometer and using the vents on the charcoal grill and the adjustable burners on a gas grill.
  • Spray water to reduce a flame. Pouring or spraying water produces steam vapours that can scald and it ruins the finish of your barbecue. This does not apply to plank grilling. If your plank catches fire, it is alright to spray it with water.
  • Block air vents on charcoal barbecues. A fire needs oxygen, keep vents open to light your barbecue and leave them open throughout the cooking. Close the vents to extinguish the flame and save briquettes.
  • Use petrol or lighter fuel on charcoal grills. Only use non-toxic firelighters – taste the food and not the fuel.
  • Mix cooked and uncooked foods. Keep foods apart and do not re-use plates and dishes that have had uncooked foods on them.

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