The 7 Things You
Really Must Do
If you are on this site, then without much stretching we assume you have been seeking the "perfect way", or at least looking, to improve your methods of outdoor cooking. Your quest will lead you to preparing consistently tastier food for your family and guests. If this is your life goal, then there are certain things which you need to either do and have (or both!) to accomplish what may be your central goal in life. The changes you need to make are really simple and don't cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, you have probably thought about them once or twice without ever taking the necessary steps to reach your goals.
Well, now is the time to take the necessary steps to move you to the "next level" of mastering barbecuing and grilling.
We have listed these steps and explained their necessity below. Take time now to review each of these items and weigh what we present. These are not necessarily tips or techniques but BASIC RULES OR SKILLS for developing better and more consistent barbecue. These are the rules we adhere to as do many of the championship barbecue contestants across the nation. They are tried and true.
|Know the internal temperature of the meat that you are cooking. Not all meat cooks at the same rate and therefore constant monitoring of the cooking process is essential to perfectly cooked meat. This monitoring is easily accomplished by obtaining an inexpensive meat thermometer. They are usually $10 bucks or less. Nice ones that read digitally are about 3 times that price and there are some that are like indoor/outdoor thermometers which constantly monitor the meat's internal temperature without ever lifting the lid. They also have new ones that read by remote sensors!
|Know at what temperature you are cooking. Your barbecue pit is different than any other. You are using different charcoal (briquettes or lump) and the temperatures due to wind and weather affect the overall temperatures. When factoring all of this into the heat equation, are you cooking at 200 degrees F. or are you cooking at 350 degrees F.? If you don't have a clue, then you are lost and have no idea when the meat will be done. The temperature of the barbecue pit affects the rate at which you are cooking. If you are cooking a brisket or perhaps ribs at 300 or 350 degrees F. then you are going to have some overdone meat that is tough. This is a "no-brainer". Some pits have several thermometers to register the proper temperatures.
In controlling the heat, always keep the upper air exhaust vent fully open. The lower air intake vent should be adjustable to regulate air flow to the fire and thus regulate the temperature of cooking.
|Always use the cleanest fuel available. Use charcoal briquettes only when it has burned down to gray ash. Use lump charcoal anytime as it contains no impurities. Use wood only when it has been reduced to red hot coals - not as a log placed in the pit. It contains impurities which will taint the meat and make it bitter tasting. Many folks say they like this bitter taste, but for professional results, avoid the raw wood in the pit. Do not use lighter fluid if at all possible. There are petroleum distillates in the fuel that will taint the taste of the meat. If you must pour on the liquid, always allow the briquettes to burn at least 40 minutes to try to remove any traces of the fumes.
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