The beginner's guide to BBQ
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The barbecue season has begun and it is high time to buy your first grill. Being an absolute beginner in grilling is the same as being a beginner in cooking - requires little skill, knowledge of the tools you work with, and following safety precautions.
One thing is guaranteed: even beginners can grill! Here are some questions about grilling you've always wanted to post or do but wanted to avoid looking stupid. Let's get started!
Which barbecue to get?
Before you start asking questions like - How to grill fish perfectly or which barbecue sauce to use, think about which type of grill would suit you. Two types of grills are the most common: electric and charcoal grills. The electric grill is the simplest one. A charcoal grill is a basic grill but requires charcoal. The electric grill is easy-to-use but offers a less authentic grill flavor than a charcoal grill.
On the other side, charcoal grills are usually less expensive and more portable so you can use them in backyards or while camping away from home. Charcoal makes a smoky taste! Isn't the most important thing about barbecue just delicious food? If we look from that side, then the charcoal grill wins. Charcoal is what gives your food an extra smoky taste. To get the most delicious grilled ribs, you should use a charcoal grill.
What to use for roasting marshmallows?
If you are not very talented at grilling meat, you can always practice with roasting marshmallows. It’s pretty simple: just put a marshmallow on a stick and hold it over a fire. Basically, anyone can roast a marshmallow. A low fire or hot coals are enough for roasting, but make sure to use a “fire-safe” tool when roasting marshmallows.
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What are the essential grilling tools?
First, a real grill. If you have chosen that, then it is time to get some more tools that you will need. If you’re a total beginner, you will need barbecue gloves. Also, make sure to gather knives, tongs, aluminium foil, a timer, hot pads, a grill brush, plates, grill basket, wipes, and chimney starter (for charcoal grills). Don't forget to have a prepared plate of raw food and vegetables, as well as sauces, salt, oregano, and more.
What can I grill?
Sure, we all know sausages and burgers can go on the grill, but what else? Although you are allowed to experiment, since you are a beginner, stick to some proven foods. Grill meat, fish, vegetables, but also cheese, sausages, bread, onions, and much more.
How to grill burgers?
It’s always best to grill homemade burgers. Brush them first with a grill brush and oil. If you’re using a charcoal grill, grill them for 3 to 8 minutes (depending on thickness and meat). Make sure to flip them and add cheese when they’re almost ready.
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How to grill pork?
If you’re using direct heat, a thick-cut pork chop will be done in about 12 minutes.
How to grill chicken?
It’s best to use indirect heat for grilling chicken breasts. Grill chicken for about 10 minutes and make sure to flip them at the halfway point. Also, keep in mind that wings, for example, cook faster, so you can keep an eye on them to avoid them becoming dry or burnt.
How to grill veggies?
Grilled vegetables can be just as tasty as meat, after all, grilled meat should always be served with vegetables. But what can we grill? Zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, olives, corn, onions and asparagus, are just some of the veggies you can try. To grill them properly, you will need olive oil, salt, pepper, and lay them on the grill. They need just a few minutes and make sure to turn them halfway through.
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How to grill fish?
Before grilling fish, make sure it’s gutted and scaled, and the gills and fins removed. Also, try to buy fresh fish and wash it inside. Salmon is one of the best barbecue friends, but you can also grill tuna, trout, rosefish, shrimps, sea bass, and more. If you’re about to grill salmon, leave the skin during grilling to prevent overcooking. Use direct heat and it will be ready in 10 minutes.
How much charcoal to use?
This question often bothers beginners who use a charcoal grill. The amount of coal depends on your grill’s size and how much food you want to cook. The simplest way to measure the right amount of charcoal is to use your chimney starter. Fill the starter to the rim with 100 standard briquettes and that’s usually enough to grill a couple of courses for four to six people. If you’re about to grill for 45 minutes or more, you will probably need to add more charcoal.
A beginner should use barbecue gloves.
If you have never lit a barbecue before, try to wear barbecue gloves. Barbecue gloves are well-insulated so your hands can be protected and safe from any burns.
How to ignite the charcoal grill?
Learning how to ignite a charcoal grill can be difficult for beginners, but luckily they can always ask someone for advice or watch tutorials online. However, if you want to try, use a few pieces of newspaper underside of the chimney starter, then fill to the top with natural lump charcoal.
Make sure to have a chimney starter on the lower grate of your charcoal grill and light the newspaper. Be patient as it will take to 45 minutes for coals to be very hot. Once the coal is hot, replace the lid and wait 10 minutes for the cooking grate to heat. Then you can start cooking. Before putting meat on the grill, oil the grid.
How do know when it’s done?
Many people do not know how to recognize when the meat is grilled enough. Experienced grillers will say that they know from experience when meat is ready. If you are a beginner please use a meat thermometer. These thermometers cost about $10 but it’s a good investment. If you use it, you will be sure that you have grilled enough meat and vegetables and no one will stay hungry!
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How to make the perfect flavor?
The smell of smoke that the meat takes in is great, but the sauces are what make grilled meat special. As a beginner, you can’t go wrong with any barbecue sauce. Whether you’re barbecuing chicken wings or ribs, make sure to apply sauce toward the end of the cook. It will take a few minutes to caramelize. Besides, you can always add more just before serving.