It’s never a bad time for a barbecue party here in Singapore. But in case you’ve not mastered the art of grilling the juiciest meat for your guests, you might want to take a look at the 10 commandments to having a perfect BBQ.
1. Always plan ahead & stay organised
Don’t wait till the day before your BBQ party to start panicking over what to get and where to get them. You want to have ample buffer time to navigate in case your go-to butcher suddenly runs out of meat. At your BBQ post, you want to always make sure that you have your battle gears at the grill-side — the food, marinade, basting sauce, seasonings, and equipment — before you start BBQ-ing.
2. Keep an eye on your fuel
You don’t want to be stuck with a problem of running out of charcoal in the middle of your BBQ. Therefore, going back to our first point, plan ahead to ensure you have sufficient charcoal to last through the party. When starting up your fire, light enough charcoal to form a bed of glowing coals three inches larger on all sides than the surface area of the food you’re planning to cook.
3. Keep your work station clean
There’s nothing less appetising than grilling on dirty old burnt bits of food stuck to the grate. So, remember to clean your grate twice every time you BBQ. Once at the start after you’ve preheated the grill so that you remove any charred bits of food you might have missed from the previous use, and once after every grill-use. At the end of the use, you should brush off the cooking grate while it is still hot. If you do this, you only need to spend 10-15 seconds.
4. Keep your grate lubricated
You don’t want your food to be stuck onto the grate, so remember to lubricate your grate regularly while barbecuing. This not only prevents build up, but also creates a non-stick surface for easier cooking. You can either lightly brush oil over the grate, rub a fatty piece of pork fat or lift it off the hot grate and spray it with oil, away from the flames of course.
Grilling is a high-heat cooking method. To achieve the crusty texture outer texture coupled with a distinctive flavour of the food and the beautiful grilled marks, you must cook over a high heat – of at least 300 degrees celcius for high-heat direct grilling. Put your palm about 3-inches above the grate to test whether the grill is ready for use. If you’re forced to retreat your hands after two to three seconds, it’s hot enough for grilling!
6. Flip, don’t stab/poke!
Unless you want all the savoury goodness to seep into your fuel, use a tong or spatula to flip your meat.
7. Know when to baste
You should intermittently brush your baste throughout your cooking time. If you’re using a marinade for basting, remember to set some of it aside at the start to avoid cross-contamination. Else, if you’re using a sugar-based barbecue sauce, only apply it towards the end of the cooking as these sauces burns easily and shouldn’t be exposed to heat for an extended time.
8. Never desert your post!
It isn’t rocket science to perfectly grill your meats, but being distracted for several seconds might just burn your food. So, once you put something on the grill, try to stay with it until it’s cooked.
9. Keep it covered
You may want to consider using an indirect grilling or barbecuing method to slowly let the heat seep into larger cuts of meats such as whole chicken. Keep your grill tightly shut and let it do its magic because cooking time is added every time you try to peek at your meat.
10. Give your food a rest
After taking your meats off the grill, the moisture still inside requires some time to redistribute back through the meat. If you cut into it right away, the liquid will actually pool out and your beautiful roast will end up very dry. The next time you barbecue your favourite ribs or steak, hold back on cutting into your roast right away. Instead, let it sit aside while you finish up whipping up other side dishes and then slice into it right before serving!
If grilling still seem like a chore, fret not! Here’s why we, Sunday Roast, are here for – to make your BBQ experience an enjoyable one so you can focus on what’s important!