Outdoors Cooking

In this section we will cover tips on many different barbecue issues. This section will change periodically when new tips come along. The tips that are removed from this page will go into the archives when available by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Barbecuing vs. Grilling

Barbecuing is a method of Low and slow cooking that utilizes a fire at a lower temperature (200 to 250°) and a long cooking time. Different kinds of wood are used to impart a smoky flavor and the food is cooked over indirect heat.

Grilling uses a very high heat and quickly sears the food and cooks it very quickly.

Some of the best woods are oak, hickory, maple, pecan, mesquite and apple. Just make sure the wood is very dry and aged.


* Don't let those barbecue flare-ups put out the flame in your heart for outdoor grilling. There are several reasons why barbecues will suddenly flare up turning your meat to ashes. Luckily, there are also several ways to fight back. Here are some suggestions:

- Move your meat away from the fire by raising the level of your grill. Some flare-ups are natural. By keeping your meat a bit higher, the flames may not reach the grill.

- Use a grade of meat with a bit less fat. Most of the time, it's the dripping fat that causes the flare-ups.

- Use a marinade or barbecue sauce with less sugar. Sugar in the marinade not only attracts the flames, but will burn on the surface of the meat.

- Give the fire a bit less air to feed on by closing the vents down a bit.

* Use an enclosed barbecue with a removable lid. This will allow you to both grill and smoke. Keep it covered: When cooking larger cuts of meat and poultry, use indirect grilling or barbecuing. Keep the grill lightly covered and resist the temptation to peek – every time you lift the lid, you add five to ten minutes to the cooking time!

Resist the temptation to lift the grill lid, unless you're turning or adding items, to keep heat from escaping. Just remember that every time you lift the lid, you lose heat.

* If you want your grill to multitask, bank up the fire on one side and leave the other half of the grill charcoal-free. You can regulate the temperature of the interior by opening and closing the flue on the top. Closing completely will result in a slow-burning fire and a low temperature – perfect for smoking - using Indirect heat for tougher meats that need to be cooked slower, like roasts, whole chickens and slabs of ribs. You cook the meat indirectly by placing it away from the charcoal or burner. You then cover the grill so the meat cooks slowly and the heat stays in the grill.

With the fire banked on one side, you can open the grill and grill hot dogs directly on the fire. While the dogs are grilling you can have the smokable meats rest on the other side of the grill. If the fire is low enough, the hot dogs turn out nicely if you slow-cook them. They'll be ready in 15 to 20 minutes.

Each time the grill is used it should be cleaned. If you have a Gas Grill the process is quite simple if you follow these steps.

1. Put the lid down on the grill, turn the grill setting to high and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Turn the grill off, open the lid and allow it to cool down slightly.
3. Then use a metal brush to loosen the residue or stuck on food particles.
4. Once the brushing is done and the grates are free from excess food and drippings allow the grill to cool down completely.
5. Now using a soft cloth and warm, soapy water wipe down the surfaces and rinse with very warm or hot water.
6. The grates can be dried manually with a soft cloth, air dried or dried by turning the grill back on for 2-3 minutes on high.

Now that gas grill will be ready for cooking the next day, the following weekend or next season.


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