Do you love a cookout more than anything else in the world? Well, you’re not the only one.
A whopping 75% of American adults have a smoker or grill at home. Furthermore, according to the same source, 63% of them use their cookout contraptions throughout the entire year. That’s a whole lot of barbequing going on at any given time!
However, grilling up a storm isn’t easy when you’re new to the game. Far from it. Grilling for beginners can be a stressful experience from start to finish.
You’ve got to time things right, make sure everything’s cooked to perfection, and strive to deliver the taste-sensation that everybody’s expecting. None of that’s easy when you’ve got minimal experience to call upon.
Are you on cooking duty for an upcoming BBQ and want some expert advice for making it a success? Let us help! Keep reading for our top grilling tips for beginners.
Get the Right Gear
We know, only bad workmen blame their tools. However, there’s no denying that the grilling gear you have available will make a difference to the outcome. Everything from the quality of the grill to the charcoal you use can impact the experience.
Make your life easier by acquiring good-quality equipment. Aside from the grill itself, you’ll want a grill hoe and brush, long-handled tongs, a meat thermometer, and grill gloves at a minimum. As a rule of thumb, the more you spend, the simpler your grilling job will be!
Before the big BBQ itself, try to get some practice in too. Get to grips with lighting the grill, using the equipment, and cooking a meal over charcoal (or gas). You should feel far more confident when it comes to cooking for others as a result.
Master Your Meals
There’s no shortage of food that you can cook on a grill. From basic burger patties and sausages to marinated chicken wings and stuffed peppers, you can do it all.
As a beginner, though, it’s probably best to stick with the simpler meals.
They’ll be less stressful to make but no less enjoyable for people to eat. Remember, the joy of grilling is that everything tastes good! You can start cooking up more advanced meals (such as baby rack ribs, BBQ salmon, and so on) as you get more experienced.
Got a big BBQ coming up? Try to master a few meals beforehand. That way, you know that everybody who comes along will walk away happy (and full) at the end of the night.
Prepare In advance
As we said in the intro, cooking a BBQ can be a stressful experience at the best of times. After all, you’re juggling different tasks at once and peoples’ enjoyment (and health) is on the line.
Trust us, though, it’ll be even worse if you fail to prepare in advance! As they say, failing to plan is like planning to fail. By thinking ahead and working out your plan of action, you’re sure to enjoy a less stressful experience and a better outcome to boot.
A bit of preparation can go a long way! Try to think about what you’re going to cook and what you need to do to make it happen. Depending on your ideas, that might mean marinating your meat, making your skewers, and stuffing your peppers the night before.
Nail the Timings
Timing is another key factor when it comes to successful grilling. Why?
Because different meals and meats take different lengths of time to cook. Throwing everything on the grill at once is a recipe for overcooking some things and undercooking others. In worst-case scenarios, you could serve uncooked meat to your guests and give them food poisoning as a result.
Remember the importance of preparation? Avoid that calamitous fate by reading in advance how long it takes certain foods to cook through. That should give you a better understanding of which order you need to put things on the grill.
As far as the meat’s concerned, it’ll all depend on the thickness of the cut, the heat of the grill, and the outcome you’re looking for though. For example, slow cooking some thicker fillets on a lower heat will deliver a sumptuous, tender bit of meat.
Unsure whether something’s cooked or not? Use your meat thermometer to check.
Nail the Quantities
Few things are worse than going to a BBQ where the food runs out too soon, right? You’re ready to stack up your plate and fill your belly, but get left with a few measly sausages and a couple of chicken wings (if you’re lucky).
Try to make sure there’s enough food to go around. Think about how many people are coming and proceed accordingly. And, remember, it’s better to have too much than not enough!
Safety’s another important element to a successful grilling experience.
Sure, you want to cook up an amazing meal for your loved ones. But, with food, burning hot embers, and lots of excited people around, there are plenty of risks and hazards to avoid as well. Taking steps to reduce the chance of trouble is key.
There’s a range of ways to do this. Everything from positioning the grill far enough from the house (do some research to find out more about the ideal distance) to using a thermometer to check that the meat is cooked can make a difference.
Remember These Tips on Grilling for Beginners
You can’t beat a good old-fashioned BBQ. Everything from the flavors on your plate to the atmosphere in the air make for an amazing occasion.
However, that’s one major reason why grilling for beginners can seem so daunting!
You want to deliver a delicious meal for your friends and family, but don’t have a clue where to start. With any luck, though, the BBQ tips in this post will help you do it. Keep them in mind and you’ll be on your way to winning cookout in no time.
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