1 – Asses Your Kit
-Use what you have got to the best of it’s abilities. If you have a smoker, break out the brisket. If you just have a small, discount supermarket grill then learn how to make the most kick-ass grilled meats, burgers and vegetables.
2 – Fuel
-Use the best fuel you can get your hands on that is suited to your needs. Charcoal and wood are your two main contenders here. If you are going for a grill, a high quality charcoal and a few woodchips soaked in water is your best bet but if you are planning on a long slow smoke then big pieces of oak and beech will be your friend.
3 –The Main Event
-Whatever you decide to cook, again go with the best quality you can get your hands on. Think about what you want to cook. If you want good ribs, get good ribs. If you want burgers, get chuck steak mince with a high quantity of fat. If you want a huge spread of salads get fresh fruits and vegetables from the market. It’s not every day we roll out the grill (unfortunately) so when you do push the boat out a little.
4 – Prep your food.
-Salt your courgettes/aubergines for ten minutes before cooking. Oil squashes well. If you are using big, slow cuts like Jacobs ladder, then trim a good bit of the thick, white fat off of them. Fat is an insulator and if you leave too much on there the meat below won’t cook evenly.
5 – Seasonings and Rubs
-Make up a good quality rub for all of your barbecuing needs. I would recommend some combination of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. For barbeque rubs I don’t think you should go with more than four/five ingredients. The flavours will just get lost with the strong tastes.
-If you want to up your game, make up a different rub for all of your favourite dishes. Chicken, fish, beef and even vegetables can get a serious boost from a great, individual rub.
6 – Cooking Prep
-When heating your grill, make sure to set up the fire and coals about forty minutes before you want to actually start cooking. This will allow the coals to heat up properly. You know they are ready when they all turn white with ash.
7 – Basting.
-There are many schools of thought here but my personal favourite way to keep food moist while cooking is an arousal spray. I use equal parts water, cider vinegar and apple juice. This helps keep the outside moist and develop a great bark of flavour with the seasoning.
8 – Cooking process.
-While cooking slow cook meats it is important to make sure they don’t all dry out. The best way to combat this is wrapping them. I find wrapping in foil does the job for me but you can wrap in butcher paper or even cloth if you have some around. Wrap meats for the final third of the cook time to balance the smoke flavour with the internal moisture.
9 – Sauce
-BBQ Sauce is one of the most important things when laying out a smoky spread. I recommend finding a simple recipe online (might I recommend this one, or this one.) and playing around with it yourself. Everyone has their own tastes when it comes to sauces and it all about finding your own.
10 – Serving
-When serving up your wares it is importing to stick the landing to seal that perfect Ten from the judges. Let beef and port rest for twenty minutes. Serve chicken and fish as soon as possible. Let vegetables rest in a simple dressing for five minutes.