Tips from BBQ Bootcamp Part 2
It’s everyone’s favorite time of year: the time when we shed our scarves, break out the patio furniture, and gear up for some glorious summer grilling.
If you’ve been avoiding your grill since the first signs of winter, or simply need a brush-up on your technique, below is Part 2 of my favorite grilling tips to help you kick off the season the right way.
7. Boiling ribs is a rookie mistake
Never, EVER boil ribs. Boiling takes the flavor out of the ribs and deposits it in the water. You’ll get plenty of tenderness with grilling or smoking the ribs low and slow (at a low heat like 25 degrees for a long time.)
8. Skewer your slender vegetables
When grilling skinny vegetables like asparagus, snap peas, and okra, skewer multiple pieces together crosswise so they don’t slip between the bars of the grate.
9. Different veggies require different grilling styles
Use direct grilling for high water content vegetables like peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, and corn on the cob. Use indirect grilling for dense vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets.
10. Let your meat rest
Meat continues cooking after it comes off the grill, so take it off when it’s 5 degrees short of your final target temperature. Also, contrary to popular opinion, you don’t want to serve steaks and chops hot off the grill. Rest them for 2 to 4 minutes on a wire rack over a sheet pan to “relax” the meat, making it juicier. (The wire rack keeps the steak from steaming on the bottom, giving you a tastier, more satisfying crust.)
11. Use plastic wrap to avoid cross-contamination
Avoid cross-contamination between raw and cooked meats by wrapping the platter or plate with plastic wrap. Place your raw meat on the platter and take it to the grill. Once the meat is on the grill, remove and discard the plastic wrap. That way, you can use the same platter for serving the cooked meat.
12. No need to swap out your tongs
If your tongs touch the top of a raw burger on the grill, no need to fret. The heat from the burger sterilizes the tongs, even if the meat is raw.
Steven Raichlen, grill master of Bush’s BBQ Bootcamp, is the author of the Barbecue Bible and Project Smoke, and the host of Project Smoke on PBS. His website is barbecuebible.com.
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