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Barbecue Or Bust!

 

Summer is upon us and with summer comes the barbecue. Barbecue has many different meanings all around the world, but

 

Summer is upon us and with summer comes the barbecue. Barbecue has many different meanings all around the world, but I use it as a "loose" term for cooking on an open flame. There are so many factors in a successful barbecue.

I'm going to touch on a few basic skills needed and present a couple personal favorite recipes. Hundreds of flavorful combinations can be concocted for barbecue rubs, sauces, mops and marinades. Which in my opinion are the most important parts to a great barbecue.

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Of course you need a decent grill: gas, charcoal or electric can be used, good utensils and a safe place to cook. First of all let's look at some of the different heat sources inside the grill.

Lump charcoal is a favorite of many chefs, hardwood charcoal is also good. I don't recommend commercial briquettes, because they contain coal dust, chemical binders and other unnatural ingredients. The most important detail when talking about the grill itself is nice even heat, even heat equals even cooking.

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Rubs, sauces, mops and marinades: Rubs- there are two types of rubs: wet and dry. Dry rubs are simply herbs, spices and seasonings added to the outside of meat at least one hour before cooking. Wet rubs are usually just dry rubs with the addition of oil, use acids such as: lemon juice or vinegar to make rub penetrate meat.

Barbecue sauces are added during grilling and before eating. Containing all sort of sugars, these sauces brown and caramelize forming tasty goodness.

Mops or bastes are added during cooking. Keeping the meat moist and building a crispy crust are a mops purpose. Usually having some kind of fat such as: oils and butter.

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Marinades are liquid seasoning. Grilled items are soaked in liquid and marinated until ready to grill. Marinades with acids help break down muscle fibers and keep meat moist during cooking.

Marinades can be as simple as: oil, cider vinegar and garlic or as diverse as: curry paste, lemon grass, oil, lemon zest and white wine. Marinades can be injected in meats also, but be careful not to smother your food with to many seasonings.

Remember write down what you do, good food is better when you can reproduce it. Always pay attention to the food on your grill it could go from perfect to charred within a few flare ups.

The following are a few recipes I enjoy cooking on the grill. Now go out there, fire up that grill and begin grilling. Your possibilities are endless, so experiment and have fun!

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