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25 January 2017
There's nothing like a great BBQ with friends and family, and whether you favour gas or charcoal, the grill has become a classic part of the Aussie lifestyle.
The humble barbecue is a winner on every level, from a simple snag to a full-on Aussie spread. But perfecting your BBQ skills can be a little harder than it looks for many of us, and nobody wants cremated sausages or overly charcoaled steak.
Here are some simple BBQ tips to help get things off to the best start.
For the best results, chefs advise cooking your meat from room temperature1. The goal here is to cook it through to the core without turning the surface of the meat to ash; it's an odd little balancing act. Try cutting your meat into thin slices before you cook it, as there's less time for the surface to burn and more time for the meat to roast.
Preparing the grill can be the difference between success and failure. First keep it clean. Make sure your last BBQ doesn't spill into this one; nobody wants that, which is why it's best to clean your BBQ after every use.
Get your grill hot before you want to cook. You should have things heating up for around 10 minutes minimum before you want to cook. And always make sure meat is cooked through before serving it.
"Try cutting your meat thin, this makes life much easier; there's less time for the surface to burn whilst giving more time for the meat itself to roast."
When it comes to the method of barbecuing, there are pros and cons for everything. Charcoal barbecuing, for instance, tends, to get excessively hot, and can be hard to manage. It also requires more time to get going and heat up and is much messier to clean up. In comparison, gas barbecues are much easier to clean and can be more convenient as you just turn them on.
Just don't forget to top up the gas!
Don't continuously stab or hack at your meat while it's cooking; you don’t want the juices draining and leaving you with dry food. Turn the meat once or twice but don't overdo it; that much-loved barbecued outer layer won't form otherwise.
Even if it means small variations in seasonings or marinades for your sausages or pork steaks, consider switching it up. Barbecuing is flexible and is a great chance to try out a new recipe or getting some woodchips and smoking some meat.
Try these BBQ recipes:
Generally speaking, there’s a technique for each meat type. Fish, for instance, should be lightly coated every 10 minutes or so, whilst chicken can be marinated beforehand. Red meats can be coated, or depending on your grill, you could apply the marinade when your meat is grilling. Whatever the case, plan ahead with your marinating and your meat prep before you get cooking.
"Is it done yet? One more check up surely can't hurt." Patience is a virtue; even if you're surrounded by hungry guests! Cooking meat takes time, and if you rush it you'll deny your guests a tasty dinner, or even worse undercooked chicken wings! And no one wants that.
Keep it safe when barbecuing. Stick close to the grill if you're in charge of cooking. Normally people are gathering around, and children running about, so watch out for little hands and overzealous flames.
Probably the most important tip of all is to enjoy yourself. It's an Aussie classic.