Perfecting Your BBQ Techniques
Technique is a huge part of BBQ
, and the BBQ competition masters of today all rely heavily on their own techniques to set their food apart from the rest. If you’re just starting out in creating and mastering your own techniques, there are some basics that you’ll want to learn and incorporate into your grilling.
First and foremost, when looking at your technique, consider the method you’re about to use. Charcoal grilling will require some different techniques than gas grilling, and smoking will be an entirely different experience altogether, so amassing techniques that favor your particular method is often recommended.
While some will have one preference to one method over another, each has their own distinct benefits, and it really boils down to what you like best and what you think will work best with your meal.
A few techniques, tips, and tricks used by professional BBQ masters and backyard BBQ enthusiasts alike are:
Use your tongs – Some may decide that using a fork or a poking device is simply easier if you want to flip your meats on any type of grill, but this is something that should never be done. When you stab and flip, you’re losing all the juices and flavor you locked in with your rub or marinade, so tongs should always be opted for instead.
Don’t over flip – Ideally, you’ll let your meat rest and cook on its own, and over flipping can lead to uneven cooking and the loss of flavor. As you master your technique, try to get your method down to only one flip per cooking session.
Save your baste – Basting all throughout a grilling session may seem like a good idea, but it can actually cause the sugars in your sauce to caramelize and change the flavor of your food. If you want to baste, try saving this step for close to last, so the sauce has time to soak in but not change under the heat.
Herbal infusion – Fresh herbs can go with just about any sauce or rub, and a little herbal infusion is possible and recommended for grill cooking. If you’re using a charcoal grill, try tossing herbs right onto the charcoal while grilling, or soak herbs in water and place right on the grate if your prefer gas.
Don’t press – It can be tempting to press down on your meat while grilling to hear that telltale sizzle, but that sizzle is actually the sound of the death of your flavor. When you press, you lose juice and taste, so make sure to leave your meat to rest as it cooks!