Barbecue is a universal language during warm weather. It’s where we can gather with family and friends, relax after a long day, crack open a cold drink and, most importantly, refuel! Enjoy some tips we have gathered through our barbecuing days to make sure your next backyard or patio gathering is a hit.
Burgers Done Right
If you press your burgers with a spatula, stop right now! That spit and sizzle may sound exciting but your burgers juiciness is going up in smoke.
Choose lean meat, make your patties ahead of time and chill for at least 30 minutes to help them not break apart while cooking. Preheat the grill to medium and then sear on one side. Never press them flat! A one inch burger takes 6-7 minutes to cook on each side. Flip and, if you wish, add a touch of barbecue sauce a minute before they are ready, or a slice of cheese in the last minute.
Try not to turn the meat too often, this is especially true of beef. You should be aiming to cook the meat 40% done on one side, flip it once and then cook the rest of the way done.
Beef is about 40% done when it becomes slightly brown about halfway up the edge of the meat.
Give Your Meat a Rest
Consider options for ‘resting’ your meat. Resting your meat means to let it sit after it has been barbecued for varying amounts of time, depending on preference. Unrested meat will have juices running out everywhere whereas a cut of barbecue that has sat for awhile before being cut will look juicy and tender on the inside without any juices on the plate.
It’s all about letting the muscle fibers relax, taking back the juices after the intensity of the heat.
Skin and Bones
Always leave the skin on chicken when grilling, it helps to retain the juices and can always be removed afterwards if necessary.
Bone-in meats will always be juiciest. Grill bone-in chicken, bone side down until it is no longer pink in the center. Skin-on pieces should be seared skin side down for a few minutes before turning the piece bone side down.
Bourbon Bacon BBQ Chicken Kebabs
8 oz barbecue sauce | 1/8 cup bourbon | 2 lbs chicken breast | 2 teaspoons kosher salt | 1 teaspoon ground white pepper | 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder | 1/2 teaspoon onion powder | 2 tablespoons paprika | 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar | 1 tablespoon smoked paprika | 6 slices uncooked bacon cut into small pieces
Instructions: Light grill on medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the bbq sauce and bourbon. Mix well.
In a food processor, combine the kosher salt, white pepper, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, dark brown sugar, smoked paprika, and bacon. Mix until smooth.
Rub the bacon paste onto chicken pieces and thread through skewers. Place kebabs on preheated grill. Cook for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Brush kebabs with bourbon bbq sauce.
Low and Slow
The secret to tender barbecue ribs is a long cooking time over a low temperature. If you roast these slowly, the collagen in the meat will transform into gelatin and the meat will be tender and flavorful.
You want to keep the heat between 250 and 300 degrees. Anything lower than 250 and you risk drying out the meat, higher than 300 is getting too hot for tenderizing cooking.
Maple Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs
1 8 oz can tomato sauce | 3/4 cup brown sugar | 1/2 cup maple syrup | 2 tablespoons worcheshire | 1 tablespoon soy sauce | 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar | 1 tablespoon sriracha | 1/2 teaspoon onion powder | 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder | 1/2 teaspoon chili powder | 1 teaspoon paprika | 1/2 teaspoon salt | 4-5 pounds pork ribs
Instructions: For the sauce, combine all ingredients in medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil and stir. Set temp to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup for dipping.
For ribs, preheat oven to 250F. Salt and pepper both sides of ribs and lay on baking sheet. Brush both sides with bbq sauce and place in oven. Flip every 30-45 mins and brush with more bbq sauce. 3.5-4 hours until done.
Shrimp on the Barby
Shell and devein the shrimp, if desired, then arrange them in a grilling basket or thread them on skewers and place on the grill 3 to 4 inches above a moderately hot fire.
Brush the shrimp lightly with oil, if not marinated and cook until pink. Turn and grill on the other side. Allow 5 to 7 minutes total cooking time, half on each side. When done, the shrimp will be pink and the flesh an opaque white.
Pesto Grilled Shrimp
1/2 cup basil, packed | 1 small clove garlic | 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted | 2 tablespoons parmesan | 2 tablespoons olive oil | 1 tablespoon lemon juice | 1 pound shrimp, peeled | salt and pepper
Instructions: In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, garlic, nuts, parmesan, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Marinate the shrimp in pesto for at least 20 mins up to overnight. Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Walk the Plank
Soak plank in water for at least 60 minutes, or as long as overnight, pat dry, then place directly on rack and preheat for about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for about 20 minutes with the cover closed. This will provide a tasty, smoky flavor.
Use untreated cedar that is made for cooking and do not leave unattended or the plank can start on fire if it hasn’t been soaked long enough.
Oil Them Up
Roast or grill your veggies with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. This concentrates the flavors in a wonderful way. It often works best with the vegetables whole or in larger pieces.
Vegetables dry out when they hit the heat without a touch of oil. Before they hit the grill, toss them with a light coating. Also, tossing them in oil helps your seasoning stick more uniformly.
Parmesan Chive Corn on the Cob
5 ears sweet corn, husked and cleaned | 1 tablespoon unsalted butter | kosher salt and pepper | For topping, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter | 1/4 cup grated parmesan
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400F. Place foil on baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place corn on baking sheet and salt and pepper. Top each ear with a pat of butter.
Bake corn in the oven for 35-40 minutes until it begins to brown, turning occasionally. Remove from oven.
In a small pan, melt 1/2 stick unsalted butter. Once melted, stir in parmesan cheese and chives. When mixed, remove from heat and drizzle over corn.
Tell us your favorite barbecue dish in the comments below!