The Magic of Barbecue

Whether you’re grilling or barbecuing, there are a few important principles to bear in mind in order to ensure success.

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One of the best things about BBQ is that it is accessible to almost everyone in the world. Whether by a fire pit dug into the ground or a flashy grill top, there are dozens of ways that people get their cookout on! 

GRILLING VS BARBECUE

Cooking meat with fire is a tradition that goes back about 1.8 million years ago and is believed to have originated in the Caribbean. Barbecue refers to a cooking method, a style of food and also the name of a gathering, at which this style of food is served. Though grilling and barbecue are often used interchangeably, it is important to distinguish the two. Grilling refers to a fast cooking process over high heat while barbecuing refers to a slow process using indirect heat or smoke. 

Whether you’re grilling or barbecuing, there are a few important principles to bear in mind in order to ensure success. Let’s break them down by protein. 

Grilling refers to a fast cooking process over high heat while barbecuing refers to a slow process using indirect heat or smoke.

BEEF

Beef is a great protein for novice grillers because it's the most forgiving meat and can be enjoyed at a wide range of temperatures. If it’s steak you fancy, then flank steak is a good cut of beef to start with because it absorbs marinades well and carries a lot of flavor. 

When it comes to grilling steak, remember that the thickness of the cut will determine the cooking time. If grilling a thin cut of steak you generally want to leave the lid of the barbecue open, whereas a thicker steak, like a ribeye, will cook faster with a closed lid. 

Beef burgers are a wonderful option for summer grilling and a combination of beef and pork is really tasty. For juicy burgers, which is always the goal, look for an 80/20 mix of meat and fat. Any leaner, and your burgers will be very dry. When assembling the patties, stick to just meat, salt and pepper and make a shallow dimple in the centre of the burger with your thumb. This will ensure that the patty doesn’t bulge in the center. 

For juicy burgers, which is always the goal, look for an 80/20 mix of meat and fat.

CHICKEN

Grilled chicken is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to get your barbecue fix. It is a versatile protein that can be enjoyed chopped and added to skewers, grilled and served with a salad or as a burger. Without a doubt, one of the best preparation methods is Beer Can Chicken. Propping a whole chicken on top of a beer can (Pilsner works well!) ensures even cooking and results in a crispy skin and juicy bird. The beer also acts as a steaming agent which helps keep the meat moist. Just be sure to keep a meat thermometer handy, because nobody likes overcooked chicken! 

PORK

There are endless ways to enjoy pork, when it comes to barbecue. Apart from burgers, racks of pork ribs are commonly slathered with barbecue sauce and grilled. While grilling ribs can seem intimidating at first, if you buy a good cut and they’re prepared properly, they’re simple enough to master. We recommend starting with baby back ribs, which are the most common type found in grocery stores and are smaller, meatier and leaner than other types. Pulled pork is an American barbecue staple, made by slow cooking a pork shoulder over wood, combining it with a vinegar-based sauce, and enjoying it as is or on a burger bun.