Your family has arrived, the drinks are chilled, and the games are started. Now it’s time to start preparing the food. Not sure how to BBQ? No problem! We’ve put together a few helpful hints for the first-time bbq’er.
Helpful Grilling Hints for the 1st Time BBQ’er
General BBQ’ing Tips
- If you mess up a little bit and you don’t like your meat charred, you can easily cut it off to reveal some great meat underneath.
- Cut off excess fat from the meat you are grilling so that it will not drip down and cause a flare-up. Glaze and sauce could also cause a flare-up, so apply them during the final minutes of cook time.
- Defrost your meat before barbecuing.
- Using thick meats or whole birds? Precook them indoors, beforehand so they won’t take as long.
- Read the manual that comes with your grill.
- For best results, use a cooking thermometer to determine when food is ready.
How to Grill a Steak
- Choose your steak. The cook time will depend on the thickness of the steak and how well you want it cooked. For example, a rare ¾” steak should cook for a total of 6 minutes, and a well done ¾” steak should cook for a total of 12 minutes. A rare 1 ¼” steak should cook for about 9 minutes, and a well done 1 ¼” steak should cook for 16 minutes. A thicker 1 ¾” rare steak should cook for 12 minutes, 20 minutes if you want it well done.
- Marinate your meat by letting it soak in a liquid for several hours in a bowl or sealed bag. This might be your favorite salad dressing, steak sauce, or even a fruit puree. Your local grocery store will have a variety of marinades or, if you feel up to the challenge, you can make one from scratch – get some ideas online or ask your friends.
- Cook on the highest setting to sear each side for about 2 minutes on each side. Then move to a lower temperature to cook it through.
- According to the USDA, raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts should cook to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
- Let it rest on a plate for 5 minutes – do not cut into it.
- Buy ground beef and make patties, or purchase pre-formed hamburger patties.
- Sprinkle some beef seasonings on them, or at the very least, a little salt and pepper.
- Cook them over medium-high heat.
- 7 to 10 minutes should cook them well, but keep an eye on them.
- According to the USDA, raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal should cook to an internal temperature of 160°F as measured with a food thermometer.
- Flip them periodically so they don’t burn.
- Do not press down on them with a spatula. That makes them dry out.
- Add a slice of cheese during the last thirty seconds of cook time.
- You can add your buns to the grill for a minute or 2 – just long enough to toast them.
How to BBQ Chicken
- Choose chicken pieces that look and smell healthy and note that thinner pieces will bbq faster than a thick chicken breast.
- Cook them on a medium heat setting.
- BBQ the chicken for about 30-45 minutes and try to flip it only once. Dark meat will take longer to cook than light meat.
- According to the USDA, poultry should cook to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer
- If you are adding a sauce, brush it on when you have about 10 minutes remaining.
- Check the juices by cutting into the thickest part. If the juices run clear, your chicken is done. If it’s pink inside, it’s not done and needs to continue to cook on the grill.
BBQ Tips for Hot Dogs
- Cook hot dogs over medium-high heat.
- Hot dogs are done after about 5 minutes, or when they look blistery on every side. Basically, you are just warming them up, so if they feel warm to you, they are done.
- Turn them regularly.
- Toast your hot dog buns by adding them to the grill for about 1-2 minutes.