12 Tips for Outdoor Barbecuing and Smoking
Summer is in full swing, and that means most of us are firing up that backyard grill for dinners at home, casual get-togethers and backyard parties. If you are shying away from grilling, or just want a refresher course on the basics to get you started, then keep reading. We asked Terry Walsh, owner of Rolling Smoke Barbecue at Stanley Marketplace and Brett Wenger, Rolling Smoke Barbecue Pit Master, for 12 tips for excellent summer grilling and they gave us these ideas:
Grilling Tips from Terry Walsh, owner of Rolling Smoke Barbecue at Stanley Marketplace
• Always start with a clean grill! Let it heat up then give it a good scrub with your brush.
• Avoid putting cold meat onto the grill! Pull your meat out of the fridge and let it rest 30 minutes before cooking.
• Keep your rubs simple: With red meats, salt and pepper will do the trick! If you’re grilling chicken, marinating is always encouraged to add some flavor and zip.
• Know whether to cook your foods directly or indirectly over the heat. For a piece of meat like a steak or burger, you’ll want cook it directly over the heat. For something like a rack of ribs, it’s better with indirect heat.
• Use an instant-read meat thermometer while cooking to check for desired temperature. You don’t want to overcook that expensive piece of meat.
• Give it a rest! Always allow you for your food to rest once you remove it from the grill. Depending on the meat, can be anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
Smoking Tips from Rolling Smoke Barbecue PitMaster Brett Wenger
• Use a “glue” or a “binder” when applying rub; mustard or apply cider vinegar are great examples. Rub down meat with binder then apply your rub – this allows the rub to stick to the meat better and not fall off which will help create a great bark.
• Spray your meat: After you allow your rub to set (check the meat with your finger and if no rub gets on your finger you’re ready to spray), spray it. A lot of things can be used to spray your meat, I like to use apple cider vinegar and water.
• Clean smoke & air flow: Making sure you have great airflow will prevent dirty smoke, and clean smoke will look like a clear bluish white smoke. Dirty smoke will be thick and grayish black smoke – you don’t want that! Dirty smoke will put a black film on the meat and give the meat a bitter, dirty taste.
• Use a water pan: Use a pan of water in your smoker to help stabilize the heat and add some humidity. This will help your meat from drying out while you establish a great bark.
• Start early and plan your smoke: Making sure your meat is ready at the right time is key. It’s better to have your meat done early and resting, than having to rush and get it done. A basic rule of thumb is 1.5hrs per pound of meat.
• Finally, if you’re looking you’re not cooking! Every time you open the grill, you lose heat and smoke, two important elements for great smoked flavor. Open the lid only when you really need to tend to the fire or the food. Smoking is a long process. Relax, have a beverage, and keep the lid on!