BARBECUE COOKING TIPS

When barbecuing, try not to place the meat over an open flame. Instead, position over glowing coals or if using propane, to one side of the flame. A flame on the meat will tend to discolor it and impart off-flavors.

Barbecue with meat and sausages

When using wooden skewers for shish kabob, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes before placing them on the grill. This will help prevent the skewers from burning or smoking.

Wait for the charcoal to turn white (ash color) before beginning to cook. This will produce the hottest fire.

It is easy to over cook steaks on the BBQ since the heat is difficult to control. Over cooking is one of the largest causes for tough steaks. Check often if they are done and remove from the grill as soon as cooked to your preference.

A little non-stick cooking spray on the grill rack prior to cooking will prevent meat from sticking and ease the clean up afterwards.

Probably the most flavorful cut of steak is the Sirloin and New York steak, but they are not always tender. The most tender cut of steak is the Rib-Eye and Tenderloin (and the most expensive).

Marinading Meat

Marinating the meat before grilling will add flavor and tenderize it. Meat should always be marinated in the refrigerator. Any left over marinade that has been in contact with raw meat should be disposed of. Do not save or re-use marinade.

Here’s an easy recipe for making a marinade:

* 1 Small Onion (Minced)

* 4 tablespoon Olive Oil

* 5 tablespoon Soy Sauce

* 1 tablespoon brown sugar

* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

* 2 tablespoon white Vinegar

* 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (in the BBQ section of your grocer)

* 1 teaspoon Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Cool before using.

Marinading overnight is most effective, but if this is not practical, marinade at least 3 hours, turning the meat periodically.

How to Tell When Your Steak is Done

The surest method is to use an instant-read meat thermometer. For medium rare cook to 145 degrees F. For medium 160 degrees F and for well done cook to 170 degrees F.

If you do not have a meat thermometer, you can get a fair idea using the following method:

Hold your left hand in front of you with fingers closed together and thumb extended. Use the index finger of your right hand and push on the fleshy part of your left hand between your index finger and thumb. It will feel fairly soft. This is how a steak cooked rare will feel to the touch.

For medium to medium rare, extend the left hand but spread out your fingers and poke the same spot with your right index finger. It will feel a little firmer. This is how a steak cooked medium to medium rare will feel.

For well done, make a fist with your left hand and poke again. It should have very little give. This is how a well done steak will feel.

Final Thoughts

Always use thongs for turning your meat. Do not puncture the meat with a fork. Holes in your steak allow the juices to escape, resulting in a tough steak.

After removing meat from the grill, allow it to rest (sit) for 5 minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to settle and keeps the meat tender and flavorful.

Finally, stand up BBQ’s can tip over and cause serious burns. Keep children and pets at a safe distance.