American DJ and barbecue cook DJ BBQ, author of The BBQ Book, is all about cooking over wood and coal, from huge hunks of meat cooked slow and low to quick-fire grills and dishes to feed a crowd, plus a whole load of 'rad' sides and marinades that will blow your mind. Here he shares some American pearls of wisdom when it comes to barbecuing in style.
1) BBQ'n is not just a summer activity. Supermarkets should carry BBQ supplies all year long. In the old days, humans cooked all their meals over live fire(charcoal or wood). The whole "cooking in a stove or on a stove top" is a very new invention in the grand scheme of things. Look at old fireplaces with their hooks and rods used to hold pots. Let's get primal and cook outdoors.
2) Black on the outside doesn't relate to cooked on the inside. Most food poisoning visits to the hospital happen in the summer due to bad BBQ'n.
3) Using one pair of tongs is fine. WRONG. If you are cooking on a BBQ you need two pairs of tongs. One to handle the uncooked meat and a clean pair to deal with the cooked meat. Cross contamination is not fun.
4) Warm Beer. I see a lot of people that don't use coolers and ice when having outdoor BBQ's. They eat their meat with warm beer. Invest in a cooler and throw ice on that beer.
5) When to apply BBQ sauce. Sugars burn over flames and charcoal. BBQ sauce has loads of sugar. So, the pit master needs to apply the sauce near the end of the cooking process. I usually paint my BBQ sauce onto the chicken about 10-15 minutes before it's finished.
6) Wrong use of disposable BBQ's- Loads of people use these atrocities….and use them wrongly. Always make sure the charcoal goes grey before cooking on a disposable BBQ. The charcoal used in these things is doused with lighter fluid so they burn easy. You need to burn that stuff off otherwise it will taint the taste of your meat.
7) Using a gas BBQ kind of defeats the purpose. I understand people want the ease of cooking outdoors…..a gas bbq ticks the box.…but why bother coming outdoors if your fuel is the same thing as you got inside. Stay indoors then! Charcoal and woodsmoke give you better flavour. But, if you already have a Gas BBQ….maybe invest in another one for the authentic experience. Let's look at the gas BBQ as a gateway toy to the real thing. Like a micro scooter is to a skateboard.
8) Women can't BBQ. Big Wrong!!!!! Women make great BBQ'rs but the male population like to commandeer the BBQ area as their own. I can actually relate to this. But, ladies….get your grill on.
9) Don't use a fork or prongs to move meat. When you pierce the skin of the sausage, steak, or joint, you release tasty juices. Keep the juice in that muscle or sausage! Don't let the juice get loose!
10) Kids can't BBQ. I started BBQ'n at the age of 8. Kids love cooking over fire. It's primal, caveman stuff. Get kids involved and teach them how to deal with heat.