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Becoming A Real Barbecue Expert - Avoiding Common Mistakes

Author : Stephen Daniels

Although three out of four Americans own an outdoor grill, a much smaller number can qualify as experts in the use of this great cooking appliance. Many backyard cooks assume that skewering a piece of meat on a bbq rotisserie, tossing a handful of charcoal into the pit, dousing it in lighter fluid and cooking it over red hot coals is called a "barbecue". Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, cooking over a direct flame is "grilling". In order to qualify as genuine barbecue, food should be prepared over low-level or indirect heat and, rather than measuring cooking time in minutes, can take as long as a day or more, to bring the right cut of meat to its peak of succulent tenderness. Cooking for a long period of time over low, indirect heat not only tenderizes, but also adds the all-important smoky flavoring to fully infuse every juicy bite with that unmistakable BBQ taste. Fake smoke flavorings and fancy gadgets notwithstanding, only time can produce the unique taste of true barbecue.

Among grilling accessories, the bbq rotisserie, or spit, is one of the oldest methods of cooking large cuts of meat, probably going back to earliest man and the art of cooking meat from the hunt. Many grills now feature a built-in rotisserie, making slow cooking of whole chickens or turkeys and good-sized roasts a relatively simple matter. Preparation of the raw ingredients can be more complicated. Every cook has a favorite method, although too many commit a few common errors that can ruin even the best recipe.

For example, the barbecue novice may try to cook a piece of frozen meat without waiting for it to thaw thoroughly. This leads to a blackened outside and a tough, raw middle, a situation that can ruin not only the meal, but also the cook's reputation.

The use of lighter fluid to start the fire is another rookie mistake; the lingering flavor of the volatile mixture of Phenol distillates permeates any food, regardless of how long it cooks, so most pros prefer to use a chimney starter for firing up the coals.

When barbecuing food, it is always imperative to remember the age old rule, "don't poke and don't peek". Also, don't use a cooking fork to investigate the "doneness" of a roast, steak, burger or chicken as this just lets the juices escape, potentially leading to a dry, stringy cut of meat. Any seasoned bbq chef knows to invest in a good pair of tongs instead.

And constantly lifting the lid to check cooking progress not only changes the temperature but also allows air in to dry up the juices. Control your curiosity both during and after cooking; meat should rest for five to ten minutes before slicing to keep juices from running all over the platter. Meat left to rest will infuse those juices into the meat - becoming a luscious part of each and every bite.

When using a rotisserie, meat can either be rubbed with any number of spices and flavorings or marinated in your choice of liquids, or both. The drip pan can also be used as a source of seasoning during cooking; fruit juice, wine, citrus zest, beer or almost any other ingredient can be added to the water in the drip pan. Again, no peeking or poking. Keep the lid down and rely on a meat thermometer to check doneness.

The internet offers literally thousands of tips and recipes to help turn any novice into a barbecue expert. All you need is a decent grill, a rotisserie and a little imagination to become the best backyard chef in the neighborhood.

Author's Resource Box

For award-winning BBQ accessories, Stephen Daniels, an acclaimed internet marketing strategist, recommends BBQ Innovations. They also offer a great Rib-O-Lator rotisserie attachment, a mouth-watering variety of sauces, smoky wood chips and more, promising big flavor for your barbecues year-round.

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Tags:   bbq rotisserie, grilling accessories, rotisserie grilling

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Submitted : 2011-02-12    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 300