In Texas we are serious about our barbecue. We are also serious about having a good time sharing that barbecue with friends and family. There’s nothing like having people gather to enjoy a fantastic meal, some games, and great conversation. To do this though, you need to have a plan to be sure everything goes smoothly. Here’s some ways host a great barbecue.
Heat Things Up
Do some research before you get your grill going. Depending on the type of meat you’re grilling, your grill temperature will vary. Just like preheating your oven, you need to have your grill preheated as well. If you’re grilling chicken, the best temperature is around 425-450 degrees. For steaks, the temperature of your grill should be hot- around 450-550 degrees. Adjust your temps if you want to slow things down a bit. If you’re using a smoker, the temperatures will vary by the weight of the meat and how long you want it to smoke.
Use the Right tools for the Job
You may have the best kitchen utensils money can buy, but that doesn’t mean they should be used when grilling food on the grill. Grill utensils are generally made of metal, are longer than traditional kitchen utensils, and are always more heat and fire resistant. Remember, grills generally cook hotter than kitchen stoves so you, as well as your food, can wind up being burnt.
Quality barbecue tongs are a great tool to have while grilling. It makes turning food a breeze. Again, tongs specifically made for grilling are going to be heat resistant and much longer than the ones we use when we’re in the kitchen. This is to help us keep our distance from the hot grill while still being able to access the food we’re preparing.
Oil up the Grill
Before you place your meats or veggies on the grill, be sure you have it oiled up. The worst thing that can happen is for your food items to stick to the grates, having to be scraped off. Do your scraping first. Generally when you do the preheat, you can set your grill on a very high heat so it can burn off any food particles that have been left from the last time you grilled. Using a grill brush, scrub the grates clean. Then, while the grill is hot, using those long tongs we discussed, take a paper towel dipped in a high heat oil like canola or peanut oil and rub the grates.
Juice up those Flavors
Keep a spray bottle handy when grilling so you can add moisture back into your meat. A bottle filled with half water, half apple juice is the perfect mix. Apple juice will help tenderize your meat as well as adding a subtle sweetness. It will also improve the texture and appearance of your food. You can also spice things up by adding this spicy mayo recipe.
Adding a refreshing beverage is also a must. Leave the apple juice to the kids and get the grown ups a drink that will cool them off when the temperatures get a little warm.
Keep an Eye on Things
When entertaining your friends during those back yard barbecues, be sure to not get carried away with conversations and games. You need to keep an eye on the grill. Foods can finish cooking fully faster than you think. If you’re not careful, you might wind up with a surprise blackened dish. Unless that food is covered in great Cajun spices that are supposed to be blackened, nobody wants to eat food that’s unintentionally charred. Keep your flame down. If you’re grilling with charcoal, be sure your coals have all tuned gray and aren’t still flaming. Move your food around on the grill no matter if it’s gas or charcoal. The temperatures can vary from one spot to the next. Meat thermometer probes are a great way to monitor where you are in the cooking process.
Being a great host means you’re serving a well-prepared meal with plenty for everyone. Buy the best cuts of meat and the freshest veggies if you want your friends and family to have the best time possible. Preparation is the key.