Let’s face it, standing out back over the barbecue is much better than standing in the kitchen over the oven during summer. It’s less hot and meals seem easier to cook.
With summer just around the corner and warmer days ahead (fingers crossed), it’s a sure bet you’ll be spending more time grilling turkey burgers than whipping up soups and broths indoors.
But, before you go diving into barbecue set, here’s five things you should know by now.
1. Make sure meat is room temperature before cooking
Taking frozen meat from the freezer to to the grill will ensure one thing: you’ll end up burning your meat to a crisp.
Bringing your meat out and letting it rise to room temperature will help with cooking meat better.
When your meat is colder, it takes longer to heat the middle of your steak or turkey breast, therefore transforming it into charcoal.
Warming it up prior to grilling it makes it easier to heat the middle. Then, you are well on the way to winning the war against overcooked meat.
2. Thin meat cooks quicker.
The more layers your meat has, the longer it needs to cook. If you know you are in a rush and just want to cook something quickly, choose thin meats.
They don’t have as much fat and will cook twice as fast. It will be easier to cook the middle without burning the outside. Look for cuts that start at 1cm in thickness; that should get you going.
Cooking Burgers – When making your own burgers, make an intent with a spoon in the centre of each burger slightly to avoid the burgers from ‘swelling’ and the burgers will cook more evenly.
3. Never walk away while cooking.
You’d be surprised how many people like to cook and entertain at the same time. You wouldn’t text while you drive or, read a book while walking, so don’t try and catch up with friends while cooking a barbecue.
Here’s a trick: bring people to you. Let them gather around the grill while you are cooking. If you do decide to walk away, designate someone else to caretake while you take meat indoors. It’s not worth the overcooked plate of meat.
Keep your eyes on the grill at all times.
4. Food hygiene.
Keep your hands washed before touching any cooked meat, especially if you’ve been rubbing them in garlic or marinade.
Always put your cooked meat on a clean plate and never add marinade that was used for your raw meats and or food to meat that was cooked.
if you drop something on the floor, there is no “three second rule”. Bin it. You don’t know how sensitive your guests’ stomachs are, so don’t risk it.
5. Clean the BBQ. Simple.
If you are going to be lazy and not clean your barbecue when you are done, the next time you have guests (or need to use it) make sure you factor in cleaning time.
It’ll pay off in the long run. Do you really want to be scraping off bits of crispy meat as you cook? And do you really want your fresh meat to wipe up all the gristle and grime? No. Clean it and your barbecue will last longer (and food will taste better).