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Tips to Make Your Barbecue the Best

If you love dining outdoors in the sunshine, but you find that your barbecue food isn’t quite as good as you’d like it to be, check out the tips below. They’ll help you improve your technique when cooking over a fire and ensure that your barbecue is the best around.

barbecue ribs

Source: Flickr

Buy the Right Barbecue

It all starts with the right equipment. If you want to make the best possible barbecue food – charcoal bbq smokers are the best. Gas versions may work fine, but they won’t give you the all important smoky flavor that makes a truly delicious BBQ meal.

You should also aim to buy a barbecue that features a lid. This will help you to maintain a constant cooking temperature and help you do things like melting cheese onto your burgers and smoking ribs, that you just can’t do without a lid. Look at any BBQ vendor worth his/her salt, and they’re using a lidded device.

Choose Better Fuel

If your barbecue food is lacking that smoky, woody taste that you find in BBQ joints, it’s probably because you are using cheap charcoal. Instead, go for hickory, apple or oak wood chips, combined with more expensive charcoal for a taste sensation that’ll get rave reviews from your guests.

Don’t Cook in the Flames

Although barbecue dishes are often referred to as ‘flame-grilled’ that doesn’t mean that you should actually cook your food when the flames are high. To get the best flavor, and meat that is perfectly cooked, wait until the coals are burning white and the flames have died down. The heat will be even then, which will help you to avoid burnt or undercooked food.

Make Your Own

If you really want to wow at the barbecue, instead of cooking pre-made burgers and sausages, make your own. The simplest burgers can be made with just high-quality meat and seasoning, and they will taste much better than the average store-bought products. Just make sure that you buy ground meat that has lots of fat running through it because this will make the juiciest, most flavorsome burgers possible.

When I make my own burgers, I like mix in a variety of flavor boosters such as garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce and A-1 Steak sauce.

Long, Slow Marinade

When you’re barbecuing, it’s even more important than usual that you let your meat marinade overnight. The longer you can leave your meat to marinade, the more moist and delicious it will be when you take that all-important first bite. As well as leaving your meat to marinade, you should also give it an extra brush for every 10 minutes of cooking time, while it’s on the grill.

Don’t have time? You can speed up the marinating process using a vacuum packer. An hour or so vacuum packed with marinade can give you close to the same results as letting sit overnight.

Carefully Grill Vegetables

Although meat is usually the star of the show, expertly grilled vegetables can give them a run for their money and make your barbecue offerings a bit more interesting. To ensure that your veggies are perfectly cooked, slice them thinly and grill them immediately without adding any oil or seasoning of any kind. Aim to gently char them and only add extra flavors once they’ve been removed from the grill.

Kill It with Sides

Once you’ve got the grilling down, you need to create some killer side dishes that will blow your guests away … and ensure that you all eat a more balanced meal that isn’t just meat, meat, meat. Some good side ideas include grilled corn on the cob, potato salad or flatbreads cooked right on the barbecue.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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