Preparation Is Key
You can't just throw whatever on your grill and expect it to turn out right. Before putting anything on the grill, you need to prepare both the grill and the food. Make sure there aren't any holes in your grill or other things that could cause problems (like grease leaking). Also, make sure that all of your utensils are clean (use a paper towel or wax paper) and undamaged. You will also need to make sure that the grill is clean, and often it is easiest to clean a grill once it has been lit. In regards to the food, simply make sure that all your food prep is done and that things are within easy reach.
Trim the Fat off Your Meat
This is somewhat of a personal choice. However, it is a good idea to trim some of the excess fat off any meat that you are going to barbecue. While fat is extremely flavorsome, we know that too much is unhealthy. Furthermore, it is flammable, which means that very fatty foods could be difficult to cook a barbecue.
Marinate Your Meat before Grilling
The best thing about marinating your meats is that it helps make them tender and juicy. Marinating can be done a few days ahead of the barbecue, but it is best to give the meat at least 4 hours to absorb the flavors. The longer you marinate, the better the results will be. Marinating will make a big difference to the taste and texture of the meat, helping to make it juicier and tenderer.
Most marinades contain either some form of acid, such as lemon juice, vinegar or wine, or dairy, such as yoghurt. These help to breakdown the outer layer of the meat and tenderize it. You will also want to add flavors in the form of oils, spices and herbs.
Make Sure It's Cooked Thoroughly
Another tip for ensuring that your meat is cooked thoroughly is to check whether it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius). This is best done by touching it with your bare hand (don't use metal tongs). If the meat feels warm but not hot, it is probably not fully cooked yet! If you are unsure, you can purchase a meat thermometer, which will allow you to quickly and easily check the temperature of everything cooking on your barbecue.
Let Your Meat Rest
After you have cooked meat, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to relax. The resting time also helps the meat absorb any juices that have run out during cooking. Resting time can be as short as four minutes when using a grill or smoker or longer when using a stovetop or oven. The time your meat needs to rest depends on how long it takes for heat from the cooker to dissipate after it's turned off or turned down. The longer you cook, the more intense the heat will be, and the less time your food needs to rest after cooking.
Sides and Sauces
Sides are a little different from sauces and condiments because they're more of a group of food items. A side consists of an item served with the main dish, such as fries, onion rings, coleslaw, or potato salad. Sauces are made of ingredients such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. Condiments include things like relish and pickles. Some of the most popular sides include:
Potatoes are a classic barbecue side that can be prepared in several ways, including baking or boiling. You can of course cook them on the barbecue wrapped in aluminum foil. Alternatively, you could make mashed potatoes or hash browns.
There is no limit to the variety of vegetables you can add to your barbecue menu! Choose from onions, peppers, mushrooms, and more to create unique flavors that complement any meal. You can prepare salads, grill the vegetables, make vegetables skewers and far more.
A truly successful barbecue does require a fair amount of planning. However, the results make it all worthwhile. Hopefully with the help the above tips, you will be able to enjoy delicious barbecued foods time and time again.