Everyone loves barbecuing on a sunny Sunday morning with their family in the backyard. For professionals and experienced people, barbecuing is enjoyable and easy. But perhaps there are people out there like you who are completely new to barbecuing. You might find even the tips to be particularly difficult to follow and implement but with a little discipline.
In order to help you out with barbecuing, we have prepared a comprehensive list of BBQ tips for beginners.
Choosing the right barbecue
Choosing the right kind of BBQ is also essential to starting out with barbecuing. Some experts in BBQ may tell you that one kind of barbecue is superior to the other. However, this is not really the case. There are positive and negative points to all kinds of barbecue.
There are two major types of barbecues, namely the charcoal barbecue and the gas barbecue. Each kind has its own pros and cons. Without BBQ tips for beginners, we expect you to judge for yourself which kind is the best for you.
Let’s take a look at both of these barbecues.
The gas barbecue uses methane or propane gas as its primary source of heat and flame. With this, we would also say that you would have to be much more careful with the gas. As a beginner, you might not understand several parts of the barbecue and may end up breaking some parts. Since there are more complicated parts, beginners are much more likely to break some parts.
It is generally much more convenient and easier to clean than the charcoal barbecue. You also have the option to add in the smoky flavor using wood chips in some smoker box.
What we really love about the charcoal barbecue is the versatility that it offers. We think versatility is what is really important for beginners. There are several models that are available at different prices. You will find that charcoal grills are relatively easier to find.
They are generally good for beginners because they get hot easily. You also get smoky flavor every time you try to barbecue anything in them. There will be real fire on the charcoal that you must learn to control in order to get the constant temperature you want.
You need to manually light them and then preheated for about 20 minutes. It might be a little tough to get the constant temperature that you need since you have to manipulate fire but with a little practice, you should be able to get it done.
BBQ cooking times
Another important BBQ tip for beginners is knowing the proper BBQ cooking times. You can’t just work on a methodology where you keep checking if the food is ready or not. You need to know the proper cooking times on either side of the food.
We have prepared a comprehensive table for you to follow so you can keep track of when the food will be cooked.
|Beef steaks||Time per side|
|This is for the sirloin or rump. These are the cuts that are normally 1 inch in thickness.|
If you’re cooking filet steaks, then you need to add 1-2 minutes extra for each side.
|3 mins for rare
4 mins for medium-rare
6 mins for well-done steaks
|Lamb steaks||Time per side|
|For leg and the chump steaks which are normally 0.5-1 inches thick|
Lamb chops which are normally 1 inch thick
Cutlets which are 1 inch thick
|You can easily make these kebabs using the steaks mentioned above into 1-inch thick cubes.||Takes about 15 mins in total|
|Sausages and burgers||Time|
|Here’s an important tip: make sure that the sausages and the patties are cooked properly.|
The juices should run clear before you serve them.
Burgers whether pork, beef or lamb
Sausages made from standard pork or lamb
Sausages made from chipolata pork or beef
|4-6 mins for each side
10-13 mins in total
8-10 mins in total
Hopefully, if you use our tips regarding the cooking times, you will be properly equipped for barbecuing. Make sure that you religiously follow the preheating times and cooking times otherwise you might end up with overcooked or undercooked meat.
Keeping the grill clean
It is imperative to keep the grill clean. Many beginners skip this part because it seems unnecessary to have them so frequent.
Here’s more… It is equally important to clean the grill lightly before using it so that all the dust and grease that may have accumulated gets cleaned. You should also keep in mind that you must properly clean it about once or twice a year. You must use a wire-bristle brush to clean the food debris that may have accumulated.
The bottom of the grates and the rods must be thoroughly cleaned. You must scrape the wire-brush back and forth against the grate so that the cleaning action is swift and well-done.
In case you choose to use a charcoal grill, make sure that you empty all the ashes from the last grilling session. This is important so that the ash does not get on top of your food. It can be hazardous.
Last but not least… You can heavily clean the grill by heating up the grill for about 20 minutes. What this does is that it will loosen any and all food particles. You can turn the gas off after this and then use the wire-bristle brush and dip it in soapy water.
Use a thermometer
Using a thermometer is perhaps the best BBQ tip for beginners which we can give. It is an essential part of all BBQ cooking as you will need to avoid overcooking the meat. A thermometer will be required for a better experience.
You can stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and make sure to keep it away from any kind of bone. You can then use the dial or the digital meter to check the temperature of the meat.
Using our list, you can check whether the meat has done cooking or not. Just make sure that you must stick the thermometer long enough to get a stable and accurate reading.
- If you’re cooking chicken or duck, the optimum cooking temperature is around 165 degrees Fahrenheit while pork and fish should take you around 147 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For cooking beef, you should check for temperatures between 140 degrees Fahrenheit to around 171 Fahrenheit. The lower range is the rare finish and the upper range is the well-done finish.
- Just make sure you use thermometers that are made for BBQ and any ordinary thermometer.
Barbecuing can seem tricky for people who are just starting out and still don’t know what to do and how to do it. However, using our BBQ tips for beginners, you should be able to properly figure out what works for you.
You can choose to experiment with some things and figure them out on your own. We recommend you to experiment on your own and see what works. Different things work for different people.