Cooking on your BBQ can add an array of flavours to your food and in today’s tip, Jamie Gibson from http://www.butterwouldntmelt.com gives us some advice on allowing yourself plenty of time on the day of your cook to get prepared and also some great advice on different ways to add levels of flavour to your food.
Jamie is a professional rugby player with an undeniable passion for food. He share’s his cooks with the world on his website http://www.butterwouldntmelt.com through easy to follow recipes and some of the most stunning photography you will see on a BBQ website.
After a few minutes browsing through Jamie’s website (and undoubtedly drooling on your keyboard) you will see Jamie’s passion for using good quality ingredients and simple techniques to create stunning home cooked BBQ meals that would be at home in any restaurant.
Give yourself plenty of extra time for the cook. Light up your BBQ before you start any of the day’s prep so you’ve got your temperature settled before anything goes on.
Resting is key: give yourself 10-15 minutes for small cuts, steaks, etc. But larger joints and anything on the bone can go for 30 minutes to an hour after you have removed it from the BBQ.
There are a few different ways to cook on the bbq. This works from small cuts, steaks, etc all the way to large joints on the bone or full briskets.
brine – leaves the meat extra juicy and tender. Great for lean meats like Turkey, Chicken and Buffalo. Can go really simple with salt/sugar solution or add a little extra flavour.
marinade – softens and imparts flavour throughout the meat. Great with lamb, kebabs, chicken breasts and salmon.
sear and baste – gives a lovely charred note especially ‘dirty’ in charcoal, with the baste imparting flavour on the outside only. Great for steaks, and also work with larger cuts of beef – sear, roast then baste while it rests or sear, baste then roast. The first will have a stronger more punchy flavour on the surface. The latter will be more subtle.
dry rub – for long smokes like brisket, ribs, etc. Go for a dry rub. The earlier you add the rub, the more the flavour will infuse. This will give you a lovely bark. You can then brush sauces on later but you won’t lose the bark.
To help maintain a relaxed atmosphere on the day of your cook it is crucial that you give yourself enough time to deal with any little bumps in the road that may occur throughout the day. By lighting your BBQ early, you can deal with any temperature issues you may have and still stay on track to finish the cook on time.
On the other end of the cook, allowing some time for your meat to rest will ensure all that hard work doesn’t go to waste. It’s recommended to factor in some resting time (for the meat, not for you) and I would even give yourself a little extra. Larger cuts of meat can sometimes take longer than expected to cook so allowing yourself a window of safety will stop you from stressing and keep the hungry mob at bay.
Jamie’s final tip on the different ways to impart flavours into your food shows how many different techniques you can use to add different levels of flavour. Any one of these on their own will give you a different intensity and also change the texture of the meat.
One of the best tips I learned, even before I started to cook on a BBQ, was to brine pork chops for a couple of hours in a salt / sugar solution before cooking them. Even thin cut pork chops stay tender and juicy after brining for such a short period.
Try out some of these different methods and experiment with what stage of the cook you use them. Over time this will let you discover your go-to method for achieving a specific flavour.