For most folks around the country Memorial Day weekend kicks-off summer and the barbecue season. It’s time to get the grill ready, put on some chicken, ribs, burgers or your other favorites and enjoy a great cookout and friends.
Following our 10 Tips for a Successful Memorial Day Barbecue will get you started towards an awesome barbecue weekend.
- Make sure your grill is located in a safe spot and free of fire hazards. If it has been sitting outside for a year, there may be vines, pine needles, leaves or other flammable debris near your grill. Make sure the grill is sitting level.
- Clean your grill. You can pick-up a grill brush at your local hardware store. Make sure you’ve scrapped off any remaining ash/debris from last year.
- Get an extra bag of charcoal or propane gas tank (depending on the type of grill you have). Sounds simple, but nothing drags down an awesome cookout like running out of grill fuel!
- Season your grilling meats the night before the cookout. By applying your BBQ Dry Rub
or other seasonings the night before your cookout, you allow the
flavors to permeate the meat. Simply sprinkle on the seasoning, cover in
plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. There
are plenty of BBQ and other seasoning recipes available on the web or
you can purchase seasonings
at Armadillo Pepper for just about every type of meat imaginable. If
you are new to barbecuing and are not sure what type or rub or how to
use, visit All About Barbecue Dry Rubs and Wet Rubs.
- Grill Foods for Varying Palates. Not everyone may like hotdogs. Not everyone may like the Habanero BBQ Rub that you love. The simple rule of thumb is to have at least two different types of meat (three is even better). If grilling ribs, then I try to also have chicken. If there will be kids, then I usually try to have hotdogs or hamburgers. Also, remember that a seasoning which seems mild to you may be “spicy” to one of your guests. When grilling ribs or chicken, I generally have a spicy sauce and a sweet sauce. Again, there are hundreds of BBQ Sauce recipes available on the web. If you don’t have time to make your own BBQ Sauce from scratch, then consider the selection of BBQ Sauces at Armadillo Pepper.
- Make sure all food items are completely thawed. It is difficult to rub-in your favorite seasoning in the meat if it is frozen. Also, partially frozen meat has a colder temperature and can quickly reduce the temperature of your grill. It is easy to end up with a nice char on the outside and cold, uncooked centers when using meat that is not defrosted.
- Minimize Using a Barbecue Fork. Spatulas good. Tongs good. Fork bad. The long barbecue fork is a handy tool; however, each time you stick the meat with a fork you allow precious juices to escape! This results in dry meat.
- Use a Meat Thermometer. Simply put, raw meat or meat that is improperly cooked makes people sick. You can pick up an inexpensive meat thermometer at your favorite big box retailer or at your local hardware store. There are plenty of resources available on the web including the temperature charts at Kalamazoo Gourmet’s Food and Grilling Companion.
- Apply your Barbecue Sauce During the Last 30 Minutes. If you apply your barbecue sauce too early, the sauce will burn before your meat is ready. About 30 minutes before removing your grilled items, apply your barbecue sauce. The result will be a nice caramelization and mild char.
- After removing the meat from the grill let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. It looks great. It smells great. I know there is an irresistible urge to start cutting and chowing down, but let the meat rest first. This allows any juices to reabsorb into the meat. Makes for a “juicier” feast!