Once you get to know and understand covered cooking on your hooded barbeque, grilling will be easy. All it involves is searing your food, setting your barbeque up for indirect cooking and closing the hood. You can then relax with family and friends while your steak and sausages cook both sides at once, saving you effort, reducing cooking time and producing a more moist, succulent result. To ensure success every time follow these 4 steps:
Grilling can be done on a gas or charcoal barbeque. Ensure that you have all the tools you need before you begin:
- Hooded barbeque
- Sufficient fuel
- Barbeque long handle tongs or barbeque spatula to turn meat
- Basting brush
Preparing The Food
Although you can start cooking the food directly from the fridge, you get better results with a little preparation.
- Marinating meat is optional but does tenderise it and helps it to remain moist whilst cooking.
- If you intend to marinate the food, do this well before you begin to grill. The longer you marinate the more intense the flavour will be.
- There is no need to part boil sausages or spare ribs if using indirect cooking, since the fat drips into a collector pan. Soaking sausages in an acidic marinade will also help alleviate the need for part boiling.
- Oil the grills and plate.
- Preheat the barbeque till the heat indicator reads hot.
- Sear meats on the barbeque plate prior to placing on the grill. Searing means to seal the outside of the meat by placing on the hotplate for one minute each side. This seals in the juices and keeps meat tender and moist.
- Once seared move the meat to the grill.
- Turn the burners below the food off, using only the burners to the side of the food, and close the lid to allow the heat to circulate. Maintain a moderate temperature while cooking.
- You should only need to turn the meat once, about halfway through. Resist the temptation to keep turning the meat as this is how a lot of moisture is lost.
- When turning or handling meat, use tongs or a spatula. Piercing meat with a fork also causes moisture loss.
- Occasionally baste the food with some oil or marinade to replace some of the moisture lost during grilling.
- Press the meat with tongs to determine how well cooked it is:
- rare will be soft to touch
- medium will offer a little resistance
- well done will be firm when pressed
Caring For Your Barbeque
Once you have finished cooking on your barbeque never leave it uncleaned. The acidity from the meat fat will, with time, corrode the plate and grills.
For best results scrape your grills and plates then leave all burners on high for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the burners off, and when the barbeque has cooled down, apply a good coating of ‘Nice ‘n' Easy' barbeque oil.
Grilling On An Open Grill Barbeque
You can certainly grill without a covered barbeque. Follow the directions as above, but leave the burners below the food on. Be careful not to have them up too high as this will burn and dry out the food. Also, you need to prevent the food from sticking to the grill or plate. To do this, you don't need to continually turn the food over – simply move it around so it doesn't sit in the one place too long.