BBQ Traps and Tricks
As far as BBQ tips go, I know this may seem obvious BUT you would be amazed at how many barbecues I attend where the chef starts the grill with a big can of lighter fluid. I don't care how long that fire burns, I can still taste the aftermath of the fluid. Use an electric coil, charcoal chimney, or in a pinch, paraffin starter cubes to get the best result. AND in all cases, the fire starts just as fast!!! Half of knowing how to barbecue is knowing what not to do and this is one of those charcoal grilling tips that you need.
If you choose to "grill" your steaks over a hot flame to char, I have a great how-to grill tip for you; do not to close the grill top. You will char the outside faster but you will also be baking the meat at the same time and may overcook the inside. It will cook twice as fast and the outside may get burnt as well. To cook a steak properly, get nice marks on it, and have a delicious charred crust, place steak on the hot grill with the top up / open. Fiddle with the steak as much or little as you wish to get the char that you want. Rotate and flip as you wish to get an even char. If you need more cooking time, move it off the direct heat and to the side, now close the lid, and let it bake for a minute or two until it finishes up. Don't forget to stop cooking a little early and rest it (see "Tips").
If you are looking for great charcoal grilling tips, this is an easy one. If you are grilling over high heat using charcoal or hardwood, DO NOT spray your grill with water from a squirter bottle or douse the fire with water to cool it down. The ash will fly up into your food as the water evaporates and cools the fire down. You may not be able to see it but it will be at the bottom of the food. If you need to cool the fire down, take the food off and close the lid or dampers and slow the fire down (which is another how to barbecue tip in itself). After it has burned down, some put the food back on.
Add this one to your list of BBQ tips: You can add another layer of flavor to almost any meat by putting it on your cutting board before cutting the meat. For example: Melt some butter in a small pot over low heat and add a couple of sprigs of rosemary or thyme to the pot while it's melting. While your steak is resting (see "Tips"), paint a layer of that flavored butter or BBQ sauce onto your cutting board. Place the meat on top of the melted butter on the board and slice or cut it as you wish. The extra flavor will transfer onto the individual pieces. You can do this with almost anything: rosemary, thyme, garlic, parsley, BBQ sauce, etc... You won't believe it!!!!
Ever dry-out a thick pork chop on the grill? I'll bet you have. So have I. Brining or injecting thicker cuts of pork will yield a great result and you will never dry one out again. There is chemistry to the ratio of salt to flavored liquid in a brine or injection but I will guide you through it. Look for my brining techniques and recipes attached to all my pork recipes. You don't have to tell your friends, they will just have to guess how you made the greatest pork chop, roast, or shoulder they have ever had off a grill.
Whenever possible, use cuts of meat that have the bone-in, or if you don't like the bone, leave it in during cooking, and take it out for presentation. The bone adds a density to flavor and another layer to the entire experience in barbeque. Professional chefs all over the world use bones to make stocks, sauces, and glazes because the bone holds a tremendous amount of flavor. Your job is to coax all that flavor out as you barbeque. "Bone-in" is more "Flavor-in". So, LEAVE IT IN!!!
For more flavor and to keep the moisture levels high when grilling or smoking "pork", use a spray bottle filled with natural apple juice. Spray the meat every time you need to peek, it will keep your pork moist and sweet.
After you have cooked your meat of choice, rest it, loosely covered with tin foil for about 5-15 minutes. This will redistribute the juices throughout the meat and leave you with a "moist" and "juicy" result. Please remember: Stop cooking your meat a little before it has reached the desired doneness. It will continue cooking for a minute or two. Resting the meat will finish the cooking while redistributing the juices. If you're looking for important how to grill suggestions, this one is easy.
Anytime you finish grilling leave the heat on high and close the lid for 10-15 mins. to burn off any charred bits that have stuck to your grill grates. After they have had time to burn off, scrape and brush with your grill brush until clean. Then with a bunched-up clean cloth dip in vegetable oil and lube up those grates. Your grill will be ready from next time and you will have taken good care of your equipment.