Whether you are a beginner or expert at barbecuing, there are 10 easy tips that lay the foundation for great results. Continue reading to learn how you can achieve great barbecue by sticking with the basics.
❶ Choose Quality Meats
Barbecue is known for using cheaper cuts of meat, like pork shoulder, ribs, and chicken. But “cheap” does not mean low quality. Quality meats are local, fresh, and properly stored. Be sure you are not shopping at the clearance section of the meat aisle, nor opting for packaged meat that has been sitting in your deep freezer for the past two years. If you want truly great results, make sure your meat is fresh and safe for consumption.
❷ Do Not Reuse Your Marinade
Using the same marinade more than once is a big mistake. Used marinades contain illness-causing bacteria from the raw meat that was soaking in it prior. The residual bacteria will spoil or contaminate anything else you put back into the bag, which can make everyone very sick.
❸ Season Your Meat With a Quality Rub or Sauce
Never be afraid to spice up your cut of meat before barbecuing. In fact, a quality rub, marinade, or sauce can really enhance the flavor of your smoked meats. Learn from others by looking up recipes online, and asking friends and family for their barbecue recipe secrets.
❹ Use the Proper Wood
Using the proper wood to smoke your meats is crucial to achieving great results. Different woods will render different levels of smoke, so choose one that will compliment your cut and your palate, perfectly. Read our blog that discusses The 4 Most Popular Woods for Smoking Meat to get some ideas.
❺ Soak Your Wood Chips in Water
Soaking wood chips in water prior to smoking is an age-old barbecuing tip handed down from professional pit masters. Soaking wood chips will prolong their life in the smoker, which promotes longer periods of smoldering, thus producing more smoke. Keep some extras soaking in water to toss them in periodically as they old ones burn up.
❻ Always Clean Your Smoker Before Using It
A clean smoker delivers the more honest and natural flavors of your barbecued meats. If you want great results, you have to start with a clean slate, literally. In fact, most manufacturers suggest cleaning smokers and grills after every single use. Read our blog to learn How to Clean a Barbecue Smoker.
❼ Never Add Lighter Fluid Directly to a Lit Grill
You never want to add lighter fluid directly to a flame, whether on a grill, in a bonfire, or a spit roaster. This produces carcinogens that cause immediate flare ups, which can catch the trail of liquid from the bottle and come back at you.
❽ Always Thaw Your Meat Properly
Improperly thawed meats will not render the same taste, texture, color, or quality as meats that are properly thawed from the freezer. Furthermore, they can pose a long list of health risks since they generally stay cold and raw in the center, thus promoting heightened bacterial growth when left sitting out.
❾ Practice Proper Temperature Management
While smoking your meats, it is imperative to maintain proper the proper heat levels in order to save time and money. Purchase a simple grill gauge to monitor your temperature to get even cooking results. Read our blog about Recommended Tools for Smoking Meats.
❿ Maintain Safe Temperatures After Cooking
Once you have removed your cooked meats from the heat, it is important to keep them at safe temperatures to prevent food borne illnesses and digestive discomfort. Read our blog about Food Safety Tips for Smoking Meats.