Barbecue expert and Youtuber DJ BBQ offers his top tips and hacks for getting the most from your garden grill.
This week marks National BBQ Week, and having just exited a warm bank holiday, we've no doubt many have of you have just fired up the grill.
If, however, your last grill experience has left you feeling a little underwhelmed, why not up your barbecue game for next weekend?
Half and half
Set your grill up for goof proof cooking, leaving a ‘safe zone’ on the grill. The easiest way to set up your grill is the half and half technique by putting charcoal on one side and no charcoal on the other. By doing this, you can get a good charred colour on your food over the direct heat, but if the heat and flames are too intense, you can move your food to the more indirect side . This is also a great way to ensure that your meat is cooked all the way through. Putting the lid on your cooker turns your outdoor grill into an outdoor oven. Great for cooking chicken.
Let steaks relax
Before grilling steaks, make sure you take the meat out of the fridge for at least half an hour beforehand so it can get to room temperature. Steaks are a muscle and need to relax to be nicely tender and juicy – so make sure you don’t shock a cold steak with hot heat. However, make sure you leave burgers and sausages in the fridge until used, so they retain structure!
Image: Butchery Donald Russell has launched a meat box with DJ BBQ
Don’t use chemicals to clean your grill – elbow grease and a little acid work best. Get a wire brush and fire up some coals underneath your grill to make it easier to clean before rubbing half an onion or lemon onto the grill and working the brush to clean it.
Add to the flavour
To create deep, intense and flavorful grilled food, use seasoned fruit woods when grilling or smoking. You can also make fresh charcoal to add more flavour to your food by cooking the wood down and then grilling over the coals. The best woods to use are wild cherry, birch, orange, beech, and sweet chestnut. Avoid elderflower or pine wood as they let off an acrid smoke, but most importantly use what’s local – there’s no need to import seasoned woods.
Create a BBQ rub
Make your own rubs and marinades. The classic rub contains five main ingredients: sea salt, cracked pepper, onion granules, garlic granules, and brown sugar. Or get adventurous and add dry herbs to the rub, such as oregano, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, or paprika.
Add sauce at the end
Always add BBQ sauce near the end of the cook, because it contains sugar and when sugar hits the heat it can burn easily.
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