BARBECUE GRILLING TIPS
FROM THE KITCHEN TO THE TABLE*
Recommended Grilling Times by Thickness:
Marbling Means Flavour!
Most beef has small flecks of fat within the muscles — this is called marbling, and this is what gives the beef great flavour. When the steak is cooked the marbled fat melts at a high temperature, making the beef juicy. Beef with very little marbling is often dry after it is cooked. This is especially true if the steak is cooked a long time.
Recipe for Barbecue Rib Steak
Did you know?
Putting pieces of fresh rosemary into a charcoal fire adds flavour to barbecued food.
Grilling is cooking food quickly and directly over a very hot fire, whereas barbequing is the slow, indirect cooking of meat over a low, smoky fire.
When you can keep your hand over a fire for three seconds, it means you have medium heat. At this temperature, most foods grill without burning on the outside.
The word “barbecue” is said to be derived from the Spanish spelling of the Taino Indian word “barbacoa”, which was a method of cooking fish over a pit of coals.
Prime grade beef makes up about 2% of all the beef produced in the United States and typically ends up exported or sold to fine restaurants.
Twelve cows are known as a “flink”.
Cows don’t have upper front teeth.
The average lifespan of a cow is 7 years.
General Barbecuing Tips:
- Keep your BBQ clean and free from greasy building up — this makes for good cooking and prevents greasy deposits from catching fire. Before cooking, close the lid to the BBQ for approximately 10 minutes, which will help burn off any residue, then open and brush with a good brush to clean off any remaining particles.
- Keep a spray water bottle beside the BBQ and give a quick squirt, when necessary, to prevent flare-ups.
- Be organized! Make sure you have everything you need close at hand before you begin. More food has been charred when the cook runs into the house to grab the serving platter!
- Marinating is a must in our books! Simply marinating your meat for at least 20 minutes not only improves flavour but tenderizes all cuts of meat. (Note: red meat, poultry and pork can be marinated in the refrigerator overnight, but fish should be soaked for no longer than 20 minutes, as marinating actually starts the cooking process in fish).
- When marinating, never use the marinating sauce again for basting, as this will cause contamination. If you want to use marinating sauce for basting — remove some before marinating and set aside.
- When basting, if the sauce or glaze contains sugar, only apply during the final part of the grilling, since otherwise the sugar will cause burning and charring.
- Direct cooking is what most of us commonly refer to as grilling. It is the technique where food is placed directly over the flames in order to cook. Some good choices for direct grilling include steaks, vegetables, fillets and kabobs.
- Indirect cooking is the method whereby food is cooked away from the direct flame. In most cases the burner (or charcoal) is lit and the food is placed on the other side of the grill and the lid of the BBQ is closed. This provides an oven-like atmosphere for your cooking
- Rotisserie cooking is the method of cooking your food on a motorized spit. This method is especially effective if your BBQ has a rear rotisserie burner. Rotisserie cooking seals in the juices while browning the exterior surfaces and is an excellent method of self-basting. Use the rotisserie method of cooking for large cuts of meat like roasts, poultry of legs of lamb.
HOW TO TELL WHEN YOUR STEAK IS COOKED?
If you've invested in a good quality barbecue, and more money in some great steaks, you want to ensure that the steaks are cooked to perfection. Professional chefs generally use touch to tell when the steak is done. Press down the centre of the steak with your finger.
- A rare steak will feel quite soft to the touch;
- A medium-rare steak will have some resistance but yield to the touch
- A medium steak starts to feel firm, but still have some give in the centre
- A well-done steak will feel very firm.
Another technique uses a similar method. Press the centre of the meat with your finger. With the same finger, press the fleshy part of the heel of your palm and compare firmness when the hand is almost closed (rare), when fingers touch the palm (medium), and when the hand is clenched (well done).
GREAT STEAKS FOR GRILLING:
- Rib eye
- Top sirloin
GREAT MARINATING STEAKS FOR GRILLING:
- Eye of the round
- Full round
- Inside round
- Outside round
- Sirloin tip
Grilling steaks tend to be smaller and can be cooked right away, or you may want to marinate them for additional tenderness & flavour. Marinating steaks should ideally be placed in an acidic based mixture for 12-24 hours in order to tenderize them. Ideally marinating steaks should be grilled to rare of medium-rare; anything beyond medium tends to produce toughness.
* With files from: Canadian Living; Food Network Canada & Fiesta Barbecues