The hot weather is here and barbecue season is in full swing in Toronto! Because of the pandemic, restaurants and patios are not open so many of us are making the best of it by dining at home in our backyards. A barbecue dinner on your patio can be an exciting change if you are used to having dinner indoors. If you don’t barbecue very often, you might be interested in reading the following barbecue tips.
Follow these barbecue tips before you start grilling to ensure your meal is a success:
- Completely thaw meat before grilling it on the barbecue. Grilling meat that is cold will cause it to stick to the grill and will also result in dry meat.
- Have a side salad already prepared before you start grilling your meats. This Roasted Cauliflower and Onion Salad is the perfect accompaniment to barbecued meats.
- Marinate your meat for several hours or overnight in the fridge to keep it juicy while grilling, as well as provide extra flavour. An easy marinade is 1 part oil and 2 parts vinegar (or lemon juice). Here’s a delicious marinade for chicken. The protein in the meat will soak up the flavours of the marinade.
- Preheat your grill on medium heat for 10-15 minutes before cooking. You should use high heat only for searing and only for a short time.
Barbecue Tips While Grilling
Once your meat has marinated and your barbecue has been pre-heated, you are ready to start barbecuing:
- Place meat on grill and leave some space at the perimeter of the grill for steam and heat to rise around the edges, which will result in an even cook.
- If your meat or chicken is thicker than ¾ inch, close your barbecue lid while cooking. The only exception to this rule is if you are searing, in which case you should leave the lid open. Searing should be done on meats or chicken that are thicker than 1 inch.
- If your meat, chicken or fish is less than ¾ inch thick, leave the lid open while cooking.
- Don’t press down on burgers or chicken while they’re grilling since this squeezes out the juices.
- Use tongs or a spatula instead of a fork when flipping your meat since using these utensils will reduce the amount of juices lost.
- If you want to baste your meat or vegetables, do this towards the end of grilling so that the sugar in your marinade doesn’t burn.
To Flip or Not To Flip
- For the perfect hamburger, cook them for three to four minutes on each side, flipping once. Use a grill thermometer to determine if your hamburger is cooked. The thermometer should read 160°F in order for your hamburger to be safe and 165°F if your burgers contain eggs.
- Unlike hamburgers, steaks should be flipped every 30 seconds to prevent them from burning. Frequent flipping will also produce a crust and the interior of your steak will be cooked more evenly. Another benefit of flipping your steaks is a much quicker cook time.
- If you are cooking fish fillets such as salmon or halibut on your barbecue, make sure they are well oiled to prevent them from sticking and flip them only once.
I hope the above barbecue tips help create the perfect grilled meat. What is your favourite meal to barbecue?