- Marinating quickly tenderizes meat and also adds additional flavor. Use roughly 1 to 2 cups of marinade for every 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of food. The marinade should completely surround the food. Cooked meat should never be returned to a cold marinade.
- A secret to tender, moist,tasty meat and fish is the cut you choose. The best cut for grilling steaks is a full one inch thick.
- Trim beef steaks to 1/8 inch fat–this reduces grease drippings to help minimize open flames. If you like your hamburgers juicy, go with ground beef that is about 15 to 20 percent fat. Have fish fillets cut from 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick–anything thinner will dry out too quickly. Pork chops should also be at least 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick–this cut is ready when the meat is no longer pink along the bone and when the juices run clear.
- For direct cooking on a charcoal grill, make sure there is enough charcoal to extend in a single layer 1 to 2 inches beyond the area of the food on the grill. Pour briquettes into the grill to determine the quantity, then stack into a pyramid for lighting. For indirect cooking, food is placed over a drip pan and the briquettes are banked either to one or both sides of the pan.
- Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are given off during combustion, so never barbecue indoors as these odorless, toxic fumes may accumulate and cause death.
- When using charcoal, douse the coals with the least amount of starter fluid as possible to light the fire. If starter fluid is unavailable, try using regular salad oil. Wad a sheet of newspaper and pile the coals over it, then douse the coals with the salad oil. Light the paper as you would using normal starter fluid.
- When roasting or grilling with a BBQ pit closed, open a can of beer and place the beer over the hottest part of the fire. The beer will boil and super saturate the air inside the pit with water vapor, beer flavors and alcohol. This will help in keeping the roasting meats moist, while adding flavor to the meat.
- Whenever barbecuing, use tongs to turn the meat. A fork should never be used as it will punch holes in the meat and allow the natural juices to escape, causing the meat to lose flavor and become chewy.
- When grilling meats, it is usually best to turn the meat only once. When grilling meat to a medium or greater doneness, use the lid to assist in cooking. This will decrease the cooking time by applying heat to all sides of the meat at once.
- Tomato and/or sugar based BBQ sauces should be added only at the end of the grilling process, since these products will burn easily and are seldom considered an internal meat flavoring.
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