Fire up the barbecue, it’s time to seriously sizzle-up something delicious!
As Australia is in its peak barbecue season, we’ve partnered with BBQ Pitmaster and Kingsford Charcoal Ambassador, Adam Roberts, to share some helpful barbecue tips and tricks.
So whether you’re new to the barbecuing game, or you’re just trying to level-up on some barbecue experience, regardless of what level of knowledge and expertise you have, we’ve got a helpful hack ready for you to try!
Make it an unfortgettable weekend session and read on through for our top barbecue tips and tricks from a BBQ pitmaster:
1. Use the Right Tools
Buying the right grill or smoker is paramount to making the best barbecue feed for your friends or family. For a gas grill, go for a rig that will allow for super high temperatures ensuring you can get a great sear on your meat. Whereas the key is in the quality of steel used in the smoker chamber or shell of a smoker. Thin-walled smokers will cost less but will lose heat very quickly. Thick steel, ceramic walled, or shelled smokers will retain heat better and allow a more consistent cook.
2. Don’t Buy Cheap Charcoal
Some charcoal has additives to help them burn longer or light quicker; with this you’ll be able to smell the difference as it imparts a synthetic smell rather than a clean smoky aroma. Switch to all-natural charcoal such as Kingsford for your small to medium grills. It is made with natural ingredients and real wood char, resulting in an authentic smokey flavour. It also allows you to cook straight away rather than wait until the chemicals burn off, unlike compound charcoal.
3. Seasoning is Crucial
With so many options now available in stores, finding a good seasoning rub to apply to your meat and vegetables can be a little overwhelming. So instead, make your own rub mix using one part of kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and one part of brown sugar. It is simple to prepare, and it goes well on everything – from meat to vegetables and even seafood.
4. More Flavour, No Problems
Adding wood chips to your charcoal fire can produce a hint of extra flavour when drawn into the meat. So when cooking, grab a handful of Kingsford Applewood Charcoal chunks and add to your fire in the first 30 minutes of your low and slow cook for a sweet smoke flavour kick. If you are cooking with heavier cuts of meat such as beef or lamb, add Kingsford Charcoal with Hickory or Kingsford Charcoal with Mesquite for a robust smokey flavour.
5. Timing is Everything
Make sure you allow plenty of time to prepare your meats in advance; this means getting that barbecued cleaned, primed and ready to go well before guests arrive. Some low and slow cook-ups can take up to 10 hours plus resting time. So if you’re planning a lunch service, you’ll need to get up early in the morning to make it in on time. Adam suggests going for a late afternoon or early evening barbecue for any low and slow cook-ups to get some extra sleep time. If you’re on more of a deadline, grill your meats and vegetables at lunchtime, which you can prepare in next to no time.
6. Learn from the Masters
Now that low and slow smoking and grilling over charcoal is re-emerging as one of the more favoured ways to cook, there’s plenty of merit in learning from the experts by joining in on a learn to barbecue masterclass. To learn from the best, seek out a session hosted by an Australian Pitmaster.
7. Garbage In, Garbage Out
Now that you’ve gone to the trouble of investing in a quality grill and the suitable fuels, it is only fitting that you invest in high-quality cuts of meat for excellent results. Local butchers across Australia are now on board with the essential principles of cooking over the fire, and they’re your best bet to assist with selecting the best quality cuts of meat to put on the grill or smoker.
8. Share the BBQ Love
Once you’ve got your equipment sorted, made best mates with your local butcher and your skills are up to scratch, take the time to share your knowledge and skills with everyone you know.
One of the basic principles of joining a broader community of barbecuers or grill masters is to share your newfound knowledge with as many people as possible, so they can enjoy the incredible flavours and textures you can only get from cooking over fire.
Looking for some barbecue recipes? Check out Sean Connolly’s BBQ Duck Fat Potatoes and Maple Baked BBQ Bananas Dessert Recipe. Be sure to pair your next barbecue with one of these Top 10 Australian Made Craft Beers and Ciders for Summer 2022.