It takes more than patience, steady concentration, and the right tools to barbecue right. Here are the other secrets you didn’t know about.
Know Your Cuts
Cuts like T-bone, ribeye and tenderloin are perfect for grilling under high heat because they are tender. Tough cuts like rump roast and brisket require low heat and slow cooking. If it’s pork, similarly, the best cut is the pork shoulder for slow cooking with low heat. “This is the ideal cut for authentic, slow-cooked barbecue pork. That’s because the hog’s shoulder is naturally full of connective tissues, so when cooked at high temperatures, the meat becomes tough. But when you cook it low and slow, the tissues melt away and baste the meat in its own juices, leaving you with a barbecue that’s moist and flavorful,” wrote the editors of Southern Living in Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking.
When you get the flavor wrong, everything else doesn’t matter. “Building flavor begins with seasoning. When it comes to seasoning before cooking, I often use salt, black pepper, garlic salt, and cayenne… The Four Seasons – salt, black pepper, garlic salt, cayenne – contribute distinct flavors and amplify all the other flavors in a recipe; at the same time, they are critical in helping create a crust,” Adam Perry Lang writes in Charred & Scruffed.
Use Fresh Ingredients
One tip, experts always give with regards to cooking is to use fresh ingredients. It goes without saying that the quality of your cooking ultimately depends on the freshness of the ingredients you use – the fresher the better. For example, make sure the spices you use to build flavor are fresh. Like Adam Perry Lang wrote in his book Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking, “Don’t ruin a great meat with dull spices. Buy small amounts. Keep replacing them.”
The Devil Is In The Details
“When applying a rub, add it thoroughly and evenly. Generally, you don’t skimp on the amount, though some dishes benefit from a light touch,” say Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison in Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue. “If you’re cooking chicken or other poultry, spread the seasoning both over and under the skin, being careful to avoid tearing the skin. If you’re rubbing vegetables, cover them first with a thin layer of oil. Always wash your hands well with soap and hot water before moving on to other tasks.”
Everything In Moderation:
Like it applies to other foods, eat red meat in moderation. High consumption of grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat has been linked to cancer and, according to a study in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, it may increase mortality after breast cancer.
Herbs And Spices Are Your Friends:
Different studies have shown that herbs and spices have cancer-preventing properties. A 2008 study found that Rosemary can break up the potentially cancer-causing compounds that can form when the meat is cooked, while a 2017 study by Kansas State University found that black pepper is just as potent.