Are you ready to step up to the hot plate and become a barbecuing king?
It’s summer and you know what that means – feasts of snags, steak and beer with mates around the backyard barbie. But without the right skills you could be left a little red-faced. There’s nothing worse than a disappointing barbecue with under-cooked or charcoalled meats; the only problem you want at your barbecue is everyone competing for more.
So if you’re pulling out the barbecue this weekend for mates, a hot date or an impressive dinner party but are feeling a little shaky on your skills, check out the top ten tips the experts at Man Law have come up with that will flip you from grilling chump to barbecue boss:
1. To Toss or Not to Toss. It’s a common misconception that flipping the meat frequently causes it to become tough. This is a myth. The last thing you want is an uneven cook on either side, so flip regularly to minimize moisture loss and toughness. Beware though, the Man Law team suggest that any steak tossed more than 150mm above the plate is showing off and runs the risk of losing said steak.
2. Be Gentle: Treat the meat with a soft touch. Barbecuing is a delicate process that requires patience, so settle down, and never cut into the meat to check if it’s ready. Use a thermometer to assess the readiness of your meat. No matter how manly the barbecuer is, this is an opportunity to show your softer side.
3. Heat Isn’t Everything. Not all meats should be thrown on a high heat and left there to sizzle while you hold the tongs and chat with your mates. The level of heat should be determined by what you’re cooking. For example if you’re cooking burgers or steak, sear with a high heat and then reduce to cook.
4. Sear For Flavour and Moisture. Cooking meat for a long time can cause it to dry out so sear the meat on a high heat first to seal in the moisture and caramelise for flavour.
5. Cooking Fish. Take it out of the fridge 10 to 15 minutes before cooking to let it warm up slightly. Score through the skin of the fish but don’t cut deeply into the flesh. Make the cuts diagonally from the head to just before the tail, about 1.5 cm apart, then do again on the opposite angle diagonal. Complete this on both sides and use a fish basket to cook so that the flesh doesn’t stick to the plate or grill.
6. Seasonings. Seasoning and marinades aren’t difficult to make but they can have a profound effect on the taste. Using these products will leave a lasting impression on your guests.
7. Pre-Cooking Temps. Take steak out of the fridge prior to cooking and allow it to come up to room temperature. This allows for a more even cook and makes it much easier to get the meat to your liking. The only things that should be ice cold are the beers and the Chardy.
8. Give It A Rest. It may be hard to resist, but you should let meat sit for approximately five minutes on a warm plate before serving. Most meats will taste better and retain more of the yummy juices, so why not have one more beer while you wait for that steak to become perfect?
9. Good Equipment Makes The Difference. You have to have the right tools for the job and that goes for barbecue cooking and cleaning too! You don’t want flimsy or faulty tools, invest in a quality set and your barbecuing will become hassle free.
10. Cleaning the barbecue. No one wants to clean straight after cooking, but you need to return to the barbecue while it’s still warm to scrape and wipe. If you scrape off the excess while it’s still warm it is unlikely to become hard. Put the excess into some newspaper and then wipe the plate clean. Beer can actually be a good aid for doing this and a barbecue is bound to have some lying around!