You can’t just slap on meat on the grill and expect great results. It takes a keen eye and a special skill set to master the grill and take a simple backyard barbecue to the next level! To impress guests and make the whole family look forward to your next barbecue, consider these tips:
Want to enhance the flavors of your meats? Try using different types of wood to smoke your meats. Barbecue is a cooking method that utilizes indirect heat and the presence of smoke to cook the meat and add smokiness. If you have a small barbecue, consider purchasing flavored wood chips instead of using large pieces of wood for smoking. Wood chips come in hickory, cherry, apple and mesquite flavors. Each flavor will complement a certain meat, be it beef, chicken, poultry, or fish. But for classic barbecue, you can’t go wrong with hickory.
Use Dry Rubs
Although you can use your own secret basting recipe to flavor the meats, rubs will keep the meat moist, tender, and flavorful. Rubs are a mixture of dry herbs and spices to add flavor to grilling and barbecue meats. The rub will seal in the moisture, making it the perfect seasoning for meats that will cook over longer periods of time.
Unlike basting sauce and marinades, you don’t have to wait a while for the flavors to seep into the meat with rubs. To flavor the meats using rubs, simply get a handful of the stuff and rub it on the meat. We love using the rub on larger and thinner cuts like ribs, briskets, and pork shoulders. You can also use the rub to flavor poultry and fish.
To keep the meat moist, tender, and fall-off-the-bone delicious, you have to work the barbecue to achieve the ideal temperature. If you add the meat at low temps, it will take longer for the meat to cook. And by the time the grill reaches the ideal temperature, the meat has dried out completely.
So always preheat your barbecue! Never slap on the meat on the barbecue unless the heat is at the right level. For pork and beef, the ideal internal temp for longer cooking is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, brisket and pork shoulders takes about 12 to 14 hours to cook to achieve fall-off-the-bone tenderness. For ribs or bony meats, the cooking time is not as lengthy. The key is to hit the ideal internal temperature to keep even the toughest meat tender. You can do that by using a digital thermometer.
If you are grilling or barbecuing steaks, chops, roasts, and other whole cuts, keep the internal temperature at a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the meat rest for three minutes after barbecuing before serving.
How to Lock in Moisture
Ever tried barbecuing or grilling a juicy looking slab of pork shoulders only to get dry, tough results? The problem lies in the uneven cooking temperature. To keep your meats juicy, do not drop the temperature around 175 to 250 degrees to finish the long slow cook.
You can also keep the meats moist by basting it continuously as it cooks or wrap it in tinfoil once you achieved the right color.