20 Roasting, Broiling & Barbecue Cooking Tips

Grilled meat. Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/kidmissile/

Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below. Barbecue is usually done in an outdoor environment by cooking and smoking the meat over wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large brick or metal ovens specially designed for that purpose. Method of cooking seem simple, but obtaining the best possible taste can be a challenge. The following are tips and tricks to a great roasting and grilling of your favorite meats.

  1. When broiling steaks or chops, put one cup water in the bottom of the broiler pan to prevent grease burning on the pan, eliminate smoke, make pan easy to wash and catch the drippings for the gravy.
  2. For barbecues, chicken should not be more than 3 Ibs.; 2 Ibs. is best because it cooks fast and is tender and juicy. Pork should be thinly sliced so it is thoroughly cooked. Beef steak should not be less than an inch thick or it will dry out; 1-1/2″ thick is best for rare, medium or well done.
  3. When roasting or broiling, line roaster pans with foil (barbecue pans, too) to facilitate cleaning. Cover the rack also but slash between the grooves to allow the fat to drip into the pan.
  4. It’s critical you start cooking with a clean grill. There’s nothing worse than grilling a beautiful Filet Mignon and having it taste like red snapper. The time to remove all the residue with a wire brush is right after you finish cooking while the grate is still hot.
  5. Marinades are great for adding flavor to what you are grilling. The longer you marinate the better. It’s best to marinate overnight in the refrigerator and if you are going to use it for basting, make sure you boil it first to kill any bacteria that may be present.
  6. Although the barbecue may heat up the tongs and so help destroy some bacteria, if a raw steak is put on and then a cooked burger taken off, there is an immediate transfer of germs.
  7. To test if chicken is already cooked properly, cut into the thickest or centremost part of the meat with a knife. If it is at all pink, sling it back on the barbecue until it’s white through.
  8. To ensure thoroughly cooked, yet moist, pork ribs, try boiling them first (generally about 15 – 20 minutes). After boiling place them on the grill and liberally baste with your favorite sauce. Allow to cook on the grill long enough for the sauce and the flavor of the grill to come through.
  9. If you don’t wear a watch, keep a small portable clock or timer near the grill. Overcooking your meat dries it out and reduces it’s flavor, plus it doesn’t make for a tasty diet . On the other hand, don’t under cook your foods. Raw meats carry bacteria that may make you ill when ingested.
  10. When B-B-Qing chicken with a tomato based sauce, grill the chicken without the sauce until it is halfway cooked, then baste with sauce. This keeps the sauce from burning onto the chicken and ensures maximum flavor.
  11. Quick and easy marinades: In a large plastic freezer bag, place 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, one teaspoon of oil, and a dash of water. Close the bag and shake well. Add chicken pieces, shrimp, or vegetables and shake again. Bottled Italian salad dressing is also a good quick marinade.
  12. Great with a steak… Cut a red onion in half and blot cut halves on a paper towel to soak up moisture. Place the cut ends face down in soy sauce. Leave a few minutes. Grill next to steaks.
  13. Wrap potatoes in tinfoil and place them among the charcoal while you grill the rest of dinner. When potato is about 3/4 of the way cooked remove the potato, slice it open and add a slice of onion. Then return it charcoal to finish cooking.
  14. When making hamburgers, impress a thumbprint in the middle of both sides of each burger. This keeps them from bulging up while cooking, and they’ll cook more evenly this way.
  15. Never place the grilled meat on the plate where you place the uncooked meat except if you have washed the plate before putting the cooked meat on it. If you are using wooden skewers for your barbecue, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes.
  16. By trimming the excess fat off meat before putting it on the grill, you’ll reduce the amount of drippings and the flare-ups they cause as well as burned and charred meat. But leave a very thin layer of fat to help preserve juiciness. Trim the rest of this layer off after cooking.
  17. Poking and stabbing the meat will cause the loss of juices that keep your meat moist and tender. Use long-handled tongs to turn food rather than piercing it with a fork.
  18. Fish types vary greatly, but as a rule, it will turn from translucent to opaque during cooking. When done, a toothpick inserted in the thickest portion should meet no resistance and come out clean when removed.
  19. It is easy to overcook steaks on the BBQ since the heat is difficult to control. Overcooking is one of the most common causes for tough steaks. Check how done is the meat often and remove as soon as cooked to your preference.
  20. A little non-stick cooking spray on the grill rack prior to cooking will prevent meat from sticking and ease the clean up afterwards.

Sources: bbqbuddy.com, bbqpage.com