When I was a kid, my neighbors use to barbecue in the summer. I use to look out the door or window salivating, hoping someone would come over and invite me. We had a screen door, so i could smell the food cooking from my vantage point. At my house, we rarely did any grilling. When I say rarely, I really mean never. That would have been hard to do considering we never had a grill.
Now that I’m an adult, you better believe that I will be making up for all the barbecues that I wanted to attend. Long gone are the days of me looking outside wishing that I was a participant in the best part of spring and summer. My time is here. After needing several years to hone my craft, I have a system in place to make sure that the day turns out as planned. So let me share my 3 fundamental steps for having a successful barbecue.
Everything has to be thawed, so freezer items should probably be taken out in the morning. After everything is thawed, I season and/or marinate everything being grilled. Meat needs at least 8 hours to absorb all the added flavors. Cover everything up then store them in the fridge.
I always cook on a clean grill. My brother says that the heat will kill all the germs, but I need more of an assurance than that. First I make sure that the inside of the grill is clean. If you are using charcoal, make sure there is no left over charcoal from the last session. Then heat the grill up nice and hot. Since I only use charcoal my temperature has to be at least 250 degrees. Use the grill brush to scrape and brush off any food that hasn’t burned off the grates.
Next, liberally spread vegetable oil over the grill grates. I wait about 5-10 minutes then wipe off any excess oil.
Temperature is alway going to be the biggest factor to make sure that the food is nice and juicy. I never cook above 225 degrees. The slower the food cooks, the better. I always cook the most expensive items last. That way you keep the chances of burning up those items highly desirable to a minimum.
We all have distinctive ways that we like the gradation of doneness. So keep an eye on your food while it’s cooking. Palates will always be different so use your judgement on seasoning. The main thing is to make sure that you have a familiar system in place. Don’t get a reputation for being a grill hack.