How To Become A BBQ King Or Queen
To rule your grill, you need a high-quality barbeque, a little knowledge and a whole lot of reliable tips and tricks!
We've all had BBQ disasters! Chicken wings burnt to a blackened crisp outside and raw in the middle. A giant T-bone steak so tough your teeth hurt. Dry snags that even your dog turns his nose up at and walks away in disgust.
But have no fear; we're here to get you going and help you on your way to greatness!
Master these BBQ methods, and you'll never cook a bad barbeque again! It may take a little practice and experimentation, but once you master the flame, you'll indeed be the kings and queens of the grill!
• First Up – Your BBQ
You need a high-quality BBQ, this is really important, and if you have an AlfrescoKing 6-Burner BBQ sitting in your alfresco area, then you've already conquered the first hurdle in your quest to become a BBQ hero! Now it's time to get to know your BBQ and how it works.
• Grill Configuration
Your AlfrescoKing outdoor kitchen comes with two cast iron grills and a cast iron reversible BBQ plate. The plate is flat on one side and a solid grill on the other. Like those grill pans you buy from kitchenware shops, only better!
The solid grill is perfect for produce or proteins that you want seared grill marks on, but that might fall between the spaces of an open grill plate. Or that might need a more delicate touch, and you don't want fire to touch it directly.
• Understanding Heat And Fire
Next up, we come to the subject of heat and fire and understanding what's happening under those grills.
When barbequing meat with high-fat content, a flare-up can occur. To help minimise BBQ flare-up, keep another burner on low flame so that if flare-ups occur, you can move the meat to a different part of your BBQ while the flame subsides. This means your meat will still be on a hot grill rather than moving it to a cold one where the cooking will be interrupted.
Understanding that your barbeque doesn't need to be on full flame all of the time is another important step in getting to know your BBQ. For example, chicken and fish are better suited to a medium or lower flame. It's not always go-hard or go-home when grilling on your barbeque.
• Why Do I Need A Hood On My BBQ
Hooded BBQs open up a wide world of cooking! When you close that lid, you create an oven-like environment where you can pretty much cook anything!
There's a thermometer in the middle of your AlfrescoKing's hood that tells you exactly what's happening temperature-wise inside your BBQ. Once you get the hang of how many burners to light to achieve a consistent temperate, you can go for gold. Roasting, baking and even slow cooking are no match for your BBQ.
To start, turn on 4 burners, close the hood, wait for 15 mins, then check the barbeques internal temperature and adjust the flame to suit what you're cooking. You will find a lot more on this in our free e-cookbook.
If you want to use cermaic, stone or teracotta in your BBQ, place the cookware in the BBQ before it heaps up to avoid the pot or pan cracking from heat shock.
• How To Clean Your BBQ Plates
Keeping your barbeque clean makes the difference between a beautifully seared vegetable or piece of fish and an oily blackish one.
Although cleaning your grill when you've finished cooking is recommended by every BBQ manufacturer in the world, we understand that cleaning is the last thing on your mind once you've finished cooking.
You want to grab your plate and a nice cold drink and enjoy the meal with your family and friends, basking in their compliments on your BBQ finesse.
So, if you are one of the above, make sure that when you next ignite that flame, you will need to give those grills a really good clean. It's much easier to clean them once hot. A wire brush works a treat, so does scrunched up newspaper and a few halved lemons. Check out our FREE e-cookbook for in-depth cleaning methods, the weird, the wacky and the wonderful!
While you should always buy the best meat and veg you can afford, we don't always have access to top-shelf ingredients, particularly meat. We don't all have a fantastic butcher in our local area. So knowing how to tenderise your cuts is essential.
We have a future blog post that will go through all of the methods to tenderise all of the beasts we cook with, but here's a couple of good ones to get you started!
Tenderise beef with soy sauce or tamari. Tamari is non-GMO soy sauce - it works well, believe it or not, and you can't taste a trace of soy sauce once your meat's cooked.
However, if you're not convinced or not prepared to give it a go, a good old meat mallet will also do the trick!
The best way to tenderise any cut of chicken is with buttermilk! The bonus with marinating chicken in buttermilk comes if you want to crumb your chicken. The crumbs stick right on. No egg or flour required! A bonus tip, add some spices to that buttermilk for extra flavour.
You'll have to come back in a couple of weeks to learn how to tenderise pork and lamb!
Ultimately, getting to know your BBQ and how it works is the most important first step. Pay attention to how hot your BBQ grill plates get on low, medium, or high flame.
We have many more tips and tricks to share with you! Sign up to our blog with your email, and you'll receive our best tips and tricks, recipes and updates once a month. Plus, you'll get a FREE copy of our e-cookbook!