Are you new to grilling? There is nothing to fear, and it is not as complicated as it looks. While it might seem like organizing a BBQ is fun and simple, there is more that goes into making your first BBQ a success than meets the eye.
Grilling, like all types of cooking, can be dangerous. Whenever you are in doubt, always consult the grill’s user manual and heed the safety warning. However, no one starts as a BBQ master, and despite all the planning, several things are bound to go wrong.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know before making your first BBQ. This guide will help you grill like a pro every time.
Picking Out the Right Grill
Modern outdoor grills come in various shapes and sizes. You need to choose the right one for your first BBQ. Stainless steel is the standard material, but it is not created equal. For your first grill, you need to have at least grade 304 stainless steel, which should have a cooking area of between 600 and 900 square inches if you are cooking for friends and family.
Here are the different types of grills available on the market:
Gas grills are perfect for people who want to grill their hot dogs and burgers quickly. They heat up much faster, and it are easy to clean. However, you need to choose one that has lava rocks, which mimics charcoal in heat distribution.
They are designed to be used with bottled propane or natural gas. When buying a gas grill, look for brands that have a grate with porcelain coating steel bars.
Charcoal grills are for people looking to experience the age-old method of long and slow barbecuing process. This type of grill gives your meets the full-bodied charcoal flavor due to the open flame.
If you also want to smoke your meats, this is the best type of grill. When buying, look for a charcoal grill that has cast-iron grates since they are better heat conductors than stainless steel.
Electric grills cook meat using heated grill plates, which means that there is no fire required. They are best for people living in apartment blocks who are prohibited by fire regulations. When shopping for one, you need to consider the size, especially if you live in an apartment. They are cheaper than other types of grills, and they are easy to clean.
Having picked out a grill, you also need the appropriate accessories for your first BBQ. Here are the must-have grilling accessories:
This is a necessary grilling accessory if you have a charcoal grill. The chimney starter allows you to start the grill much faster and hotter without using lighter fluid. You can use crumpled newspaper or odorless fuel starter to start the fire. Let the charcoal burn until it is covered with white-grey ash, which means it has achieved the right temperature for grilling.
Most beginners pass up on using grill mitts and use oven mitts instead, which is a fatal mistake. The grill mitts should be long enough to reach your elbows and made from fire-retardant fabrics or silicone, leather, heavy-duty cotton and more.
Temperature is one of the best ways to tell if your meat is cooked through. A meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the food and away from the bone.
You should check the meet towards the end of the recommended cooking time to avoid overcooking and burning it. We have designed a handy buying guide that includes everything you need to know to make your first BBQ memorable.
Basting is the act of brushing, pouring, or spooning sauces, liquids, and marinades over food. It is the best way to add flavor to grilled meat and add moisture. While you can use an ordinary container such as a bowl, it is best to invest in a proper basting kit that includes a cast iron sauce pot and a nesting silicone or natural bristle basting brush. To kill bacteria, you need to keep dipping the brush in the sauce.
Spring-Loaded and Long-Handled Tongs
The best types of tongs for grilling have spring-loaded and long handles. They can be used with different kinds of foods, including thick steaks, thin and long dogs, sausages, or asparagus spears. Some beginners use big forks, but they tend to ruin the shape, and they let the juices escape. In addition, the long handles will keep your forearm from burns.
An All-Purpose Grill Basket
Grill baskets are useful for grilling vegetables, fruit, delicate fish, and other small foods that could fall through the grill grate. While there are specialized grill baskets, such as one for sliders, meatballs, and more, but a large, all-purpose grill basket will allow you to grill a variety of foods.
Some people call skewers shish kebabs, but they are the same thing. They are easy to customize and great for mixing flavors as well as ingredients. Wooden skewers are inexpensive and widely available. However, you need to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to avoid them burning. However, if you plan to grill more often, invest in a set of stainless-steel skewers, which are re-usable and come in a variety of sizes.
For healthy grilling, you need to keep your grill clean by using a grill brush. Brass bristled grill brushes are the best compared to steel bristles, which can scratch the enamel or porcelain finish on some grates. In case you do not have a grill brush, you could substitute it with a ball of heavy-duty aluminum foil held by a pair of tongs.
Many things can go wrong on your first BBQ. We hope that the advice and tips above will be useful for your first and subsequent grilling. You could also consider portable grills. They can use propane or charcoal as fuel and are great if you plan on grilling outdoors when camping or picnicking.