It's BBQ season! Before you fire up the grill, we’ve got some great tips and techniques to help you make the most of your outdoor cooking and further enjoy summer.
A drying shame
To avoid dried up food, during the turning process, always flip your meat or vegetables using tongs opposed to a fork and avoid pressing down on them as it squeezes the juices out of them. Limit the number of “flips” on the grill to once per item.
Save the baste for last
Basting should be left for the end so the sugars in your marinade or sauce won’t have time to caramelize or burn, which can affect the flavour of your food.
Stable and safe
Preheat your grill for 15 minutes prior to laying any food on your BBQ. This gets your grill to the right temperature and importantly, kills any bacteria.
A well-heated grill sears foods on contact, keeps the insides moist and doesn’t stick.
Food safety is a top priority! Eliminate cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards, utensils and platters for raw and cooked foods. Refrigerate foods while marinating and never baste with the marinating liquid. Instead, make extra marinade just for basting. Interestingly, marinating also impedes the formation of potentially carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which form when grilling poultry, red meat and fish. Marinating can reduce HCA formation between 92 and 99 percent.
Testing, testing, 1 2 3
Always, always, always accurately check and test the internal temperature before eating any type of meat via an instant-read thermometer. Consuming under-cooked meat is a recipe for a bad time.
Don’t get fired
To cut down on flare-ups is done by selecting leaner cuts of meat, trimming excess fat and removing poultry skin. Keep a spray bottle of water handy to douse any flare-ups.
Flare-ups can cause carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to form on your food causing a peculiar taste. They can also char the outside of food before the inside has thoroughly cooked.