Tips for the perfect barbecue from the experts – 24/7 Wall St.
Memorial Day weekend is almost here. That means it’s almost grilling season – a time to fire up the backyard barbecue, whether it’s powered by charcoal briquettes, hardwood, or propane.
The term “barbecue” is sometimes confusing. Barbecue as a type of food is meat that is cooked – and smoked – at length and slowly over indirect heat. It’s a Texas and Southeastern specialty, and it’s one of America’s most appetizing dishes. It also takes patience (the barbecue usually cooks for many hours) and is best done with a smoker or grill suitable for the purpose.
No less appealing, though in a different way, are foods cooked ON a barbecue – the term most of us use to describe the kettle grill or the hibachi or an outdoor gas appliance or similar on which we cook burgers and hot dogs, steaks and fish, and pretty much whatever we can. It may be primitive, but it is an extremely satisfactory method of preparing food. Unlike barbecuing, food grilled this way is usually cooked over direct heat and only takes a few minutes.
Grilling is a very simple cooking method, but like so many simple things, it takes experience to be successful. Professional cooks who grill a lot – including, though not limited to, those who run America’s best celebrity chef steakhouses – can help us all learn or memorize the basics. (If you prefer steak, here are 10 crucial mistakes to avoid when cooking steak at home.)
Click here for expert advice on the perfect backyard barbecue
24/7 Tempo solicited backyard barbecue tips from seven grilling experts from across the country: Renowned Chefs James Wayman of Oyster Club, Grass & Bone and The Engine Room in Mystic, Connecticut; Norman Van Aken from Norman in Orlando and Publication of announcements in Coral Gables, Florida; and Robert Del Big Café Annie and the Grove in Houston; Myron Mixon’s Unadilla, Georgia, author “BBQ & A with Myron Mixon” and “Most Winning Barbeque Man” for his many competitive victories; Raymond, New York-based specialty food consultant To hook; and Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton of The Canal House, a cookery, photography and design publishing studio in Milford, New Jersey.
Not all of the tips given apply in all situations, but they are a valuable guide to outdoor cooking in the summer.