How To Barbeque Like a Pro – 7 BBQ Tips

Using a barbeque might seem like a very straightforward method of cooking while in fact it’s actually quite complicated and not so easy to master. We love BBQ,  not only in summer but all year round, so I’ve decided to put an action plan together for anyone who wants to BBQ like a pro.

Using a Barbeque might seem like a very straightforward method of cooking while in fact it’s actually quite complicated and not so easy to master. We love BBQ and not only in summer but all year round. So I’ve decided to put an action plan together for anyone who wants to BBQ like a pro.Get the right BBQ

You will never be able to achieve the perfect barbeque meal without the proper tool for the job. The gas barbeques might be tempting due to the clean looks and easy cleaning and start up, but please for the love of all things good do get a proper charcoal one… if you are only tempted by a gas BBQ then save yourself the money and just cook your food in your kitchen cooker instead.

Invest in natural charcoal

These days’ as money is tight for most of us, shoppers are tempted even more by those special offers and super saving deals and prices that look cheap but look beyond that… actually read what’s inside the box. Always buy natural charcoal, yes, it will most likely cost you more but at the end of the day you will eat food cooked in its smoke… so make sure those fumes aren’t harmful.

Plan ahead

Like most cooking, BBQing requires preparation too. Yes, you can just pop a slab of meat on it and hope for the best but think how much more delicious it would be if marinated overnight or kept in some dry rub.

Treat it as an art

Art can’t be rushed and neither can BBQing; it’s an art and it needs time. If you only have an hour and fancy a burger you will be better off using your cooker and a heavy bottom frying pan…

Learn cooking times

There is nothing worse than those burnt on the outside and half raw in the middle pieces of meat that often get served up on your plate. It’s essential to know about temperatures but even more importantly knowing how long each type of food needs to cook in order to be just right. I’ve found an excellent BBQ cooking time table over at Recipes4us but if they are a bit too much for you, why not check this short video prepared by My Voucher Codes.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting

Cooking should be fun, so should BBQing. Don’t just blindly follow the recipe, experiment, add some new spices or veggies into a mix. Be adventurous and I am sure the food will reward you.

Maintain your BBQ

I know how things go… you “slave” the entire day on top of a hot BBQ, eat what you prepared and then decide “I’ll clean it tomorrow”… well, resist the urge to do so. In order to maintain the integrity of your BBQ it needs to be cleaned and it’s easiest straight after the cooking is finally finished – use only natural cleaning products or just water if you can get away with it. Never use sharp abrasive brushes on your racks, they will damage or even remove their non-stick coating. Take good care of your BBQ and in return it will take good care of your food and therefor in turn, you.

What do you like to BBQ, what do you use and where do you do it?

Is there anything else you would add into my list?

* This is a collaborative post.

BBQ Bingo Challenge & My Herbs Infused Grilled Trout

BBQ Bingo Challenge & My Herbs Infused Grilled TroutThere is no better time for a barbeque than now… long hot days, warm evenings and green nature all around… the perfect setting for some perfect outdoor dining.

I adore barbeque food… meat, veggies and even fruit… you name it and I will eat it; so when I was asked to be a part of BBQ Bingo Challenge I simply couldn’t say no.

I was asked to prepare a barbecue recipe which would be posted on their special challenge website. As it so happened I posted my Herbs Infused Grilled Trout only days before and I was allowed to make it my challenge entry.

Lucky me 🙂

Well, lucky and unlucky… on the plus side my recipe is the only fish dish but on the other hand the competition is fearless…

Other bloggers have submitted some amazing recipes.

We have two different burgers – a beef one for all the meat lovers out there – Big Brunch BBQ Burger – and a veggie version – Curried Veggie Bean Burger.

There is a very interesting recipe for BBQ Tamarind Belly Pork Strips. I know that belly pork strips are not to everyone’s liking but trust me, once you pop them into a sizzling BBQ all that lovely fat is going to simple melt away 🙂

But back to the competing recipes…

In my humble opinion there would be no BBQ without chicken – we have two recipes for it – Lemon and Garlic Chicken and Chicken in Curry Marinade.

And if you aren’t into burgers, chicken or fish, how about cheese?

Barbeque Halloumi & Vegetables Kebabs sound perfect to me and if you are more in a picking mood, how about BBQ Veggie, Cheese & Salami Platter?

And to finish off our perfect outdoor cooking and dining experience, there is even a dessert! Yes, you are reading it right – a lovely sweet treat for afters – Summer Sunset Dessert with Lavender Infused Golden Rum.

Sounds like a great selection of recipes doesn’t it?

Why not visit the BBQ Bingo Challenge page and check out all these great recipes?… and I suppose as you are going there anyway, please vote for My Herbs Infused Grilled Trout as I really fancy myself being crowned winner of this year BBQ Challenge 😉

What’s yours favourite barbeque food?

Would you like to try any of the dishes mentioned above?

*I was compensated for writing this post.

Herbs Infused Grilled Trout

Lately we were introduced to the wonders of so called “Ukrainian BBQ” – it is a long story but let me tell you this – all you need is some outdoor space, 3 large bricks, some dry wooden sticks and a metal griddle… this will provide you with an amazing grilling experience… just like they did in an old days, I believe. There is really no need for elaborated BBQ “machines”; the food which comes out from this simple construction is spectacular! And today I would like to share with you herbs infused grilled trout, which we grilled on this low tech barbecue.

Herbs Infused Grilled TroutIngredients (per fish):

  • 1 whole trout, gutted and cleaned
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • ½ clove garlic; minced
  • 1 spring fresh thyme
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary
  • 1 spring fresh lovage
  • Pinch of herb salt (or make your own with sea salt and a mix of herbs)

Method:

1. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutWash and clean your trout.

2. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutCut the heads off. (It is always better to buy fish whole; the fresher the fish the more they will have shiny sparkly eyes… that become more foggy as they get older, so buying headless fish might be considered risky).

3. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutSlash each side of your trout a few times along its length… you want your cuts to penetrate the skin and get to the flesh but not so deep that your fish starts to fall apart during the grilling process.

4. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutSprinkle your fish with the herb salt if you have it in your cupboards otherwise your own herb and salt mixture. Don’t forget to season inside the cavities as well.

5. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutMince some garlic and spread it throughout the inside cavity.

6. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutNow it is time to stuff our fish; to begin with stuff it with lemon slices (one slice cut in half for ease of fitting), followed by the rosemary, thyme and lovage.

7. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutPlace them on a platter adding a little bit more of the seasoning on top and then leave to marinate for as long as you can but at least for a while (being around an hour). Remember the longer you leave it the more the flavours will have chance to penetrate through the fish.

8. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutOnce you are ready, start your low tech BBQ and once it is nice and hot and the flames have fully died down then start to grill your fish. Your trout will need around 5-7 minutes on each side depending obviously on the size of your trout.

Herbs Infused Grilled Trout.My Herbs Infused Grilled TroutServe with a fresh green salad and enjoy the delicious smokey moist tender divine almost orgasmic taste.

Do you like fish?

If not why not, what is wrong with you?

What’s your favourite fish and way of serving it?

Yum

herbs-infused-grilled-trout

Travelling for food – USA the land of BBQ and the ultimate pulled pork

Travelling for food BBQ

Did you know that over 40 per cent of travellers aged 18-34 have chosen a holiday destination specifically because they wanted to try a certain type of food? Good news, wouldn’t you agree?

According to an ICE survey more and more young people are indulging in food tourism. The numbers are reversed as the age of those surveyed goes up; only 11% of people over 65 let their stomach do the decision making for them.

It’s a shame that our older population isn’t so adventurous but it is nice to see that young people are willing to try and discover new things, food included.

We love new foods and would be happy to take a trip just with food in mind. One of our dream destinations is USA, the land of real BBQ. Yes, seeing the Great Canyon, Niagara Falls or driving on Route 66 would be awesome and a once in a lifetime experience but visiting USA BBQ hot spots would give us much more pleasure.

You might think “Hold on a minute, really, travelling to USA just to have a BBQ?” Yes, we would. Mainly because USA BBQ has nothing to do with blackened half burnt sausages that are still raw in the middle or poorly looking shop brought burgers, which tend to dominate UK BBQ parties. USA BBQ is a full on trip to flavour town that has elevated the humble BBQ to an art form; be it a pulled pork from Tennessee, hickory smoked brisket from Texas or glazed ribs from Missouri and please don’t even get me started on spicy chicken wings or any one of the variety of handmade burgers. USA is truly the chosen land in regards to BBQ.

Travelling for food Primo

Mark and I like BBQ but we simply can’t afford to be travelling to USA every time we feel like having a pulled pork butties, so we decided to learn how to cook it ourselves and invested in some pieces of real BBQ equipment of our own. We bought ourselves a Primo. Primo is the USA’s most popular barbeque / smoker used for home or in a small industrial setting. No, you can’t buy it on the continent, if you want one you will have to import it from USA, but we have something similar over here called a Big Green Egg (we never considered buying it or used it and I can’t speak as to how good it will be comparing to our Primo). The main difference between your standard BBQ and a Primo is that the Primo works like a barbeque / smoker, so you get the best of both worlds, depending on what you cook and what you are trying to achieve. You can cook on an open fire, just like your standard BBQ or you can smoke stuff in it for hours and hours… We love it and use it all year round. Being ceramic in construction it is not scared of the winter rains or even snow and it is always ready for action.

I would like to share with you a recipe for one version of the perfect pulled pork, not roast pork as it usually ends up being when sold in the UK but proper fall apart, melt in the mouth meat that just makes you smile – yes, it involves our Primo but not to worry you can simply do the same in the oven; obviously just skip the part where you would add wood chips to make the smoke – this wouldn’t be advised in the oven. If you really want to have some smoke taste on your pulled pork, on one oven cook we put some tea leaves in a tinfoil boat that we shaped and placed on the stove in an empty saucepan, when heated some lovely aromatic smoke will come. With some tongs carefully take the tinfoil boat of the heat and pop into the oven next to your meat.

Ingredients:

1 whole pork shoulder (bone included)*

For dry rub:

  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1tbsp garlic powder
  • 1tbsp onion powder
  • 1tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1tbsp ground pepper
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • ½ cup brown sugar

For brine solution:

  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3tbsp of dry run
  • Water to cover the entire shoulder

*You can’t buy it from your local supermarket; you will need a trip to a real butcher. Decent size pork shoulder will cost between £30- £40. It might seem like a lot but it will feed a lot of people, or a few people for a long time. Though it is worth remembering that once people start eating the finished dish; the concept of sharing does tend to take a holiday for most of them.

Method:

Rinse the pork shoulder and place in a large container, pour in the brine solution, and add water until it is completely covered. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (brining overnight 12+ hours is best). Remove from the fridge and pat dry with paper towels. Place it in a baking tray and begin coating with your dry rub. Your entire shoulder is supposed to be covered in the rub, massage the spices into every part of the shoulder until all mixture is gone. Remember to place your meat so that the fat layer is upper most before cooking. If you have a meat thermometer this would be a perfect time to use it. Place it in the thickest part, close to the bone but without touching it. It will help with assessment later on in regards to the readiness of our meat.

Travelling for food --- Pulled PorkTravelling for food -- Pulled PorkTravelling for food Pulled Pork

Now you are ready to cook it. I would put it into my Primo and leave it for about 16-18 hours, cooking low and slow at 110C and adding wood chips every few hours for the additional smoke. You can place it in the over on a shelf. Make sure you can easily see the thermometer. When it hits 93.3C (the internal meat temperature) turn your oven off and leave it inside to cool a bit, this will allow for the meat to relax and all the juices to flood back to the outer edges of the joint. After a couple more hours or so, when the internal meat temperature has dropped to 75C remove from the oven. Place on a dry, large and clean work surface, remove the crust and begin to shred. It should come apart with easy just by using 2 forks. If you are going to use your fingers I recommend some rubber gloves, it will still be very hot!

Travelling for food - Pulled Pork

If you cooked it well you should have a large amount of liquid / fat at the bottom of your cooking pan – pour it onto fat separator. Let is separate and reserve the juices for tomorrow, when you want to reheat the left over pulled pork just throw a hand full into a frying pan on a medium heat and add a splash of the juices. Cook for 2-3 minutes covered, and you can relive the awesome experience all over again … unless you have an army of hungry people already waiting to be fed 😉

Travelling for food --- Pulled pork.

That’s it; nothing less, nothing more.

We made our first pulled pork in the oven. We loved it so much but we just couldn’t understand how the same piece of meat from a smoker could taste any better, but believe me the difference is huuuuuge. A proper BBQ / smoker takes it to a totally new level, it’s the smoky taste it speaks to the inner caveperson, it satisfies some primal craving, it is the best way to enjoy cooked meat.

pulled pork 2

Have you ever been on a holiday that was based around the quest for a particular food or dish?

In a few weeks time we are going to Poland to sample some local Bigos 🙂