Making an Awesome Barbecue
It’s that time of year! The time for relaxing by the pool, baseball games, and awesome barbecue. If you have a little space in your backyard or a balcony, you can become quite popular in the summer with your grill that makes tasty meals by the pool or in the shade. Barbecue is not just a type of food or a cooking style, it is a way of life for the dedicated barbecue maven. Having the right menu, a high-quality grill, and a collection of delicious sauces will make your barbecue unforgettable and encourage your friends to come back for more. Make your afternoon barbecue a celebration with the following pointers.
Nowadays, the only limit for barbecue sauce is the imagination. You can find barbecue sauce flavored with Jack Daniels, fruity essences, sweet-and-sour flavorings and a variety of spices you might not have even heard of. Never settle for an ordinary sauce. Keep experimenting with any new flavors you find in the store, or make your own from ingredients you have at home in your cupboard. Now and again it is worthwhile to improvise, but, you may want to try out your experiments alone before serving them to guests. Give people a choice of what kind of barbecue sauce they prefer. For example, some may prefer chicken legs barbecued in the chipotle sauce while some may like their meats a little sweeter. Just as you vary the kind of food you barbecue, take a chance once in a while with a new sauce that will add a bold flavor to your regular barbecue fare. Complement the taste of your barbecue sauce by throwing in some apple scented or hickory chips among the charcoal. This will add a smoky, rich and somewhat fruity flavor to your meat and chicken.
Finding the right Grill
Any grill will cook a barbecue, but, finding the right grill is tantamount to having the perfect barbecue. There are some grills that have multi-functions and are ideal for grilling burgers, chicken, and steaks, while there are other grills that are more specialized. You can find grills specially designed for slow cooking, such as those that make those succulent baby back ribs that seem to fall off the bone. Some barbecue mavens prefer a large drum-shaped grill, others use a portable tabletop version. The smaller grills are mainly for steaks, but, should be saved for the winter time. For the summer, there is nothing like a genuine charcoal grill.
When shopping for a grill, take a look at the shape and the airflow control. The proper ventilation is essential for keeping the flame going and getting rid of the smoke. Choose a grill with vents that open and close easily depending on your needs. Try a large kettle grill, which is essentially a large metal ball on legs. The round shape reduces heat loss and allows for various types of cooking. If you are a traditionalist, go for a large model barbecue grill with several levels and sections specifically designed to cook different kinds of food. While cleaning a grill is quite an undertaking, it is necessary in order to ensure optimal food flavor. Make cleaning more efficient by using wire brushes and materials specially designed to remove stubborn, baked-on food from the grill.
What’s on the menu?
The kind of meat you grill might be the main focus of your barbecue. But, you still need other foods to complement your steaks and hamburgers and can create a hearty, satisfying meal. To contrast the charred flavor of the meat, choose cool salads taken right out of the refrigerator. Try regular coleslaw, or a bold variation with purple cabbage, coriander, and sesame seeds. Make a potato salad with mini russet potatoes, chives, and hard-boiled egg sections mixed in mayonnaise. Try a variation of the old favorite baked bean recipe by using large white beans, caramelized onions, molasses, brown sugar and a touch of mustard. Grill vegetables on a traditional skewer. Turn a plain shish kebab into a unique treat by choosing pieces of pepper, onion, mushrooms and squash. For dessert, in addition to a refreshing fruit salad or watermelon, perhaps choose a richly flavored berry cobbler using grilled peaches for an original barbecue fruit sensation. Be sure to provide plenty of beverages, from cool craft beers to old-fashioned beers and soft drinks and cans straight from the cooler. Make a large jar of lemonade and throw in some mint leaves. Get creative and make a punch that your guests can perk up with a bit of vodka or whiskey.
The tools of the trade
The seasoned barbecue chef knows what kind of tools he needs to get the job done. You should look for various sets of barbecue tools. There are numerous choices, from those that contain three items to 20 piece collections for every phase of barbecuing. You can even opt for a simple set of tongs, large forks, and knives. If you like a special tool for every task, go for a larger set that also has nibs for holding corn on the cob. Look for high-quality tools made of stainless steel for durability and easy cleaning afterward. Every chef needs a special set of mitts to protect his hands from the heat. Traditional mitts can impede the tight grip and are vulnerable to burning. Choose a mitt made of silicone that stands up to the flames and doesn’t warp or melt in the heat.
For many people, barbecuing is an art and a sacred tradition. It involves substantial preparation in order to ensure the perfect outdoor feast. Make sure you have the right menu to suit your guest, a variety of meats and sauces, the right grill and tools, and don’t forget, an ice cool beverage as a reward for a job well done.