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The W - Random - What are some good BBQing tips?
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Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
We recently purchased a BBQ and, with my first attempt not exactly going smoothly, I was wondering if the more experienced BBQers had any good tips - since it looks like I get another chance to ruin perfectly good meat on that grill this Wednesday.

(edited by Leroy on 2.7.07 1906)

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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Gas or Coals?




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Since: 24.4.05
From: San Diego, CA

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.10
Gas or charcoal?

What kind of meat are you planning on ruining this Fourth of July?



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Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
Coals. No self-respecting grillmaster uses gas.

Or so I am told.

    Originally posted by The Guinness.
    What kind of meat are you planning on ruining this Fourth of July?


So the first time I tried the grill, I thought tri-tip would be the way to go. That was not such a good idea, as I really had no idea how to cook it - and I guess the grill was a little too hot. We did manage to salvage it, but I probably should have started with a thinner cut.

I would like to try it again, however, as it serves quite a few people, and the marinade was quite tasty.

What kind of cut would you recommend? Any particular seasoning techniques?

(edited by Leroy on 2.7.07 2206)

"Oh my God! They have a shit-load of Cockapoo stuff!"
-Jennifer's greatest quote... ever.
Kevintripod
Boudin blanc








Since: 11.5.03
From: Mount Pleasant, Pa.

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
    Originally posted by Leroy
    Coals. No self-respecting grillmaster uses gas.

    Or so I am told.


Not by Hank Hill.



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samoflange
Lap cheong








Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.30
Buy "How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques" by Steven Raichlen. It's about 14 bucks at Amazon right now. Some friends of mine have this and I was looking through it at their house on Sunday, and it's worth every penny.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.40
I just barbequed steaks and chicken last weekend. I grill over coals and am a big believer in making sure I flip the food every five minutes or so. I'm really paranoid about charring up the meat, but I can't remember the last time I did that.

The thing about marinating is a typical marinade like teriyaki or barebecue sauce has a lot of sugar, and sugar burns and leads to charring, so you want to be extra diligent in flipping the meat to prevent that, IMO. I usually forsake marinating in favor of a rub.

(edited by JayJayDean on 3.7.07 0603)


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Since: 24.4.05
From: San Diego, CA

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.10
I am a novice BBQ man myself. Over the past year though I've just about perfected my Tri-tips (based upon the opinions of guests). I also use this method on any cut of meat that is thick like a roast. It works every time.

First, get a drip pan and fill it up with water. Ive used the disposable tin trays that you can find at the grocery store. It needs to be at least the size of the meat.

Place the water pan on one side of the grill and charcoals on the other. Light coals. Once coals are ready spread them out on their side of the grill all the way up to the drip/water pan. (creates steam to keep the meat moist)

Place meat over the drip pan and cover the grill with the vent opening barely open. After one hour flip meat and recover.

This method is a way to slow cook it fast. I cook my tri-tip to an internal temp of 160 degrees. Typically takes 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Also I strongly recommend a BBQ thermometer for this. As a beginner I still need it.


Some, more experienced griller's may dispute this. All I can say is that it works great and that it is a great way to start learning about how the grill works.

As far as seasoning goes. I usually use a Santa Maria style rub. You can usually find this with other season packets at the grocery store or look up a recipe on line. Don't go with a marinade. Rubs are much much better for big cuts of meat.





(edited by The Guinness. on 3.7.07 0811)


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wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    I just barbequed steaks and chicken last weekend. I grill over coals and am a big believer in making sure I flip the food every five minutes or so. I'm really paranoid about charring up the meat, but I can't remember the last time I did that.

    The thing about marinating is a typical marinade like teriyaki or barebecue sauce has a lot of sugar, and sugar burns and leads to charring, so you want to be extra diligent in flipping the meat to prevent that, IMO. I usually forsake marinating in favor of a rub.

    (edited by JayJayDean on 3.7.07 0603)


Honestly you should only flip the meat once. That goes for pretty much anything you cook. Flipping it slows the cooking process, which can dry out the meat. The less you mess with it the better off you are. Plus if you flip too quickly you'll find the meat sticking to the grill more often than not. Wait it out and it'll come right off. If it's burning then you had your fire/heat too high.

Plus when you flip constantly you screw up the pretty grill marks and what's grilled food without quality grill marks??

Personally I go with the gas grill for ease of use and quick meals, but of course still have a charcoal grill because the flavor is better. Charcoal is too time consuming and messy to use as often as I like to grill.

As someone else mentioned, get a meat thermometer. Don't poke the meat constantly or you'll just spill out all the juice. Get the eletronic kind with a wire attached and put it in the meat from the start. Makes cooking larger cuts very, very easy.

Oh, another advantage to gas grills is they tend to have the upper rack where you can move stuff if it's cooking too fast, plus you can adjust the heat easily to help.

Try a pork loin or something like that. Relatively fast and hard to screw up. Heck you can buy them already marinated with instructions on the wrapper if you want super easy.
pieman
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


Mr. Matistic is correct. Only flip the meat once. Alton Brown told me. He's never wrong.




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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
What is the current thought about tongs / Pigtail / Meat Fork for turning?

//edit: Moving this to the Random folder as it isn't really a One Question thread.

ALSO: To clarify:

A meat fork is good because it doesn't rub off a rub, but it is bad because it causes the juice to run out. A set of tongs can scrape off a good amount of a rub during flipping. A pigtail is kind of in the middle because it does puncture the meat, but only in one spot.

Some of the best BBQ I've ever had was cooked by a guy using a pigtail, so I can't really say it's the wrong way to do it - but I was wondering what others thought.

(edited by Guru Zim on 3.7.07 1020)



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bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Plain Dealing, LA

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.55
Tongs are the only way to go. When I was working in a steakhouse and cooking 400+ steaks on a Saturday night, the only thing we had on the line that touched the steaks, other than our hands, was tongs. The fewer holes you put in the meat while cooking, the more likely it is that the meat will still be juicy and tender, assuming that you're cooking the meat to a reasonable level of doneness like medium rare. If you're heading towards shoe-leather levels of doneness, you can use anything you want to flip the meat.

To third wmatistic and pieman, you should never flip the meat more than once when you're using the grill. Put it down on the grill and leave it alone until the meat is halfway done and then flip it. It'll taste better and look better.

Tim



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StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.41
Charcoal.............. First, make sure the coals are ready before you spread them out. Make sure they are whitish, with a slight orange glow.
Spread them into one even layer, but leave a small space in the center of the pit open, so that the coals look like a big "O" inside the grill.

If cooking steak, I always recommend a nice thin coating of olive oil BEFORE any rubs or spices are placed onto the meat. It will keep them in place, PLUS when the oil heats up, it helps to sear the surface, keeping the juices in.

Only turn the meat ONCE. Peek if you need to to make sure you are getting it done on the first side, but dont flip flop the meat.

There are a million schools of thought on marinade, sauces, etc, but for my money, a bit of pepper, salt and garlic will make almost any meat you grill taste fantastic, without overpowering and diluting the actual MEAT taste.
brick
Bockwurst








Since: 17.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.00
If you are using charcoal, get yourself a chimney starter and use naturual lump charcoal.

The starter eliminates the need for starter fluid. I put 1 sheet of newspaper with a little corn oil on it into the base, and get the coals going 1st try 90% of the time.

Learn to love indirrect cooking. The Guinness, gave a good rundown of 1 technique. Personaly I'm not a fan of the steam, but your tastes may vary. From here you can add wood chips for smoking and really expand what you can do with the grill. I use indirrect for larger cuts of meat and chicken, and rarely have any problem with dry meat.

Get the meat thermometer, or find someone who has worked the grill on a line who can teach you to tell doneness by touch. (alternatively, you can teach yourself by trial and error by touching the meat as the thermometer gets to each level of doneness). I;m dead set against cutting the meat or poking holes in it until after it has rested. I try to only use the thermometer for chicken or large cuts of meat that I am smoking (brisket).

Tinfoil packets are great. Wrap up potatoes, veg whatever works for you with some spices, fresh herbs, oil and wine (mix and match) toss it on the back of the grill for a while (how much you are cooking will determine the time) and you can cook the whole meal outside without heating the kitchen. (you can also do some great deserts this way).

Oh, and Tongs are the way to go for anything but burgers and speedies. Get them as short as you can tollerate to give yourself better control.



Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 2 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
    Originally posted by brick
    If you are using charcoal, get yourself a chimney starter and use naturual lump charcoal.


This was the only thing I did right (well, not the ONLY thing, but the thing I was most proud of). Where I went wrong with the tri-tip was throwing it on too soon, I think.

These are all excellent tips (thanks everyone)... I might just get this right this time - but please keep them coming.





"Oh my God! They have a shit-load of Cockapoo stuff!"
-Jennifer's greatest quote... ever.
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
OH!

It is absolutely imperative that you not cook meat that still has the center frozen. If your piece of meat is coming out of the freezer, give it a day in the fridge before you start to work on it. It may take longer depending on the thickness. I don't have a good gauge here to give you, but just keep in mind you don't want the middle taking forever to get up to 150-170.




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brick
Bockwurst








Since: 17.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.00
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    OH!

    It is absolutely imperative that you not cook meat that still has the center frozen. If your piece of meat is coming out of the freezer, give it a day in the fridge before you start to work on it. It may take longer depending on the thickness. I don't have a good gauge here to give you, but just keep in mind you don't want the middle taking forever to get up to 150-170.


And take it out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before putting it on the grill. You'll get better results at room temperature.
The Thrill
Banger








Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Welcome home, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Inf, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, WI Army Nat'l Guard! May God bless our fallen brothers.

Of course, if grilling bratwurst or other good sausage, you'll wanna get a Wisconsin brand of brat: Usinger's, Klement's or Johnsonville are delectable.

Par boil (which is really just simmering) those sumb*tches the night before for 20 minutes in a mixture of dark beer, onions and peppers. (Do NOT burst the casings.) Then put 'em in a sealable container, pour another fresh dark beer on 'em, and leave 'em overnight in the fridge.

You can also grill 'em directly from the fridge, but this is trickier. Gotta keep the heat down to medium, and make sure you don't puncture them on the grill. You'll need to turn them frequently.

Either way, you're gonna want what I call a "hot tub" for post-grilling. It's just an aluminum pan, 3" or 4" deep, filled with a couple of beers, onions and peppers, all kept warm on the grill. When your brats are done on the grill, put 'em in the hot tub, and let people get their own brats out of there.

I recommend hard rolls. Many toppings rule on brats (ketchup, dark mustard, onions, sauerkraut), but there is one absolute rule...do NOT enjoy a brat with anything other than a cold Wisconsin beer. (Budweisers will result in beatdowns from fat men in dark suits, sunglasses and cheeseheads.)

On Wisconsin!




See it online at NWAWisconsin.com...
...or on WI Time Warner Digital Cable On-Demand Channel 998!

Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
So I got a Trader Joe's Marinaded Sirloin Asada, and a few sausages. I think that should be enough. I was thinking about doing a rub, but, for some reason, that really started stressing me out.

Of course, I also made sure to get some margarita ingredients - so if I screw up the BBQ, I just might not care.

Hope you all have a good July 4th.



"Oh my God! They have a shit-load of Cockapoo stuff!"
-Jennifer's greatest quote... ever.
too-old-now
Bockwurst








Since: 7.1.04

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
So, how'd it turn out?

For BBQing, use a low heat and a long slow, cooking time, and the result is often tastier than grilling, which generally is a higher heat, a thinner cut, for a shorter period of time.

I enjoy both, but I grill more often than BBQ due to the time factor.

I prefer charcoal for BBQing, and gas for grilling. The one exception to this is for kababs on the hibachi - must be coals.

For seafood, burgers, and most steaks, grilling is the way to go. Same with veggies - the "grill cages" you can get are well worth picking up at end-of-season clearance prices.

For pork, ribs, roasts, sausages/brats, or chicken, I prefer BBQ.

Marinades and rubs both work best with BBQ. Grilled boneless chicken breast is about the only exception, it tends to dry out on the grill without marinating.
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