Food safety BBQ tips
· Remember basic food hygiene rules. Thoroughly wash your hands and chopping boards after handling raw meat and remember not to mix up plates and utensils used for raw and cooked meats.
· Do not leave the meat out at room temperature for longer than an hour, especially on warm days. This will make bacteria grow at an exponential rate. If you need to thaw meat, do so overnight or all day in the refrigerator.
· Always cook burgers well done. More bacteria is present in minced beef, so it’s important to thoroughly cook these types of items. If in doubt, grab a meat thermometer and make sure the temperature reaches no less than 75c degrees.
Food cooking tips
· Have a spray bottle full of water nearby your grill to control any flare-ups and keep the BBQ under control and at the correct temperature you want it at.
· For the best results, remember to light the coals about 30 minutes before to cooking.
· Only start cooking when the charcoal is mostly whitish-grey in colour with a little bit of glowing red underneath.
· The best pieces of meat to BBQ are those with a good ratio of fat. Try to pick cuts of meat and especially steaks with thin specks and strands of fat in between the muscle tissue (This is called marbling). Whilst cooking, these small bits of fat will melt and make the meat juicier.
· Don’t pierce your meat with a fork or prongs. The juices will escape, making the meat drier and less flavourful. Use a spatula or tongs to move and flip your food.
· After removing your meat from the grill, let it sit for a few minutes. This seals the juices and keeps the meat from drying out! Do not cut until you are ready to immediately serve and eat.
· The proper technique for cooking barbecue can be summed up with three words: “low and slow.” Be patient. “Try not to check the temperature more than every half an hour at most since it cools things off when you do,” writes John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed in Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. “There’s really no reason to open the cooker for the first couple of hours unless you think things are going too fast. As the saying goes, if you’re looking, it ain’t cooking. After that, every hour or so you can mop the meat with your sauce and check the temperature while you’re at it.”
· If kebabs are on your summer menu, make sure to soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes before use to keep them from burning. That tip comes from Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond, by the minds behind Brazilian barbecue joint Cabana, who add: “If using metal skewers, wipe them with a piece of paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to stop food from sticking to them.” Jamie Purviance, author of Weber’s Way to Grill.
· To reduce the amount of browning and stop the meat burning, only apply barbecue or other sugar-based sauces during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
· Remember to experiment with different types of marinades, seasonings and rubs to give your food unique and delicious tastes
· Most marinades will also tenderise the meat. For the best results, marinade the meat and leave in a fridge overnight.
· Everyone loves eating BBQ but not so much the cleaning ! While the grill’s still hot, give it a good rub with a cut onion – its moisture and acidity will help to break down grime and grit. A spritz of lemon juice or vinegar will help too. Or starting from cold, if you haven’t got a BBQ brush crumple up some tin foil and scrub.