Gateway Gazette

Barbecue Fest Scouts a New Location: Your Backyard

Everyone loves a good barbecue fest; it’s an essential part of summer. The atmosphere, the smell and the food are impossible to resist, but with most events cancelled this year, you can try recreating your own version at home.

There is a common misconception among grilling fanatics that it’s impossible to achieve the same juicy results at home, but with the right tools and tips, everyone can enjoy fest-worthy dishes in their own backyard. Here, Rob Rainford, Canadian Chef and author of Born to Grill, shares a few tips to help create a barbecue fest of your own.

  1. Source the right tools. Long tongs, basting brushes and a meat thermometer are just some of the tools you’ll need to cook like a pro. The right equipment will help you achieve that perfectly cooked, glistening finish so you can grill just like the best in the business
  2. Keep it simple. While it’s always great to experiment, stick to simple recipes while you find your feet. Rainford has a few options that are always crowd-pleasers, like his Miami Short Rib Sandwich, a classic pulled pork slider or a rack of ribs with a simple salt, pepper and herb rub.
  3. Know your grill. Whether you’re working with propane or charcoal, remember that different grills will cook your meat in different ways. In Rainford’s opinion, the best option is a charcoal grill with wood chips to pump up that subtle, smoky flavour.
  4. Never, ever, boil your meat. Boiling takes away the flavour and texture of most cuts of meat. Instead, try cooking with indirect heat (placing the food to the side of or above the heat source instead of directly over the flame) or smoking (surrounding the meat in a smoky chamber while cooking it at a low temperature for an extended period of time).
  5. Don’t forget the beers. Given you’ll be indulging in heavy meat recipes, consider having a light beer ready as an accompaniment. Miller Lite, for example, has that great pilsner taste and contains 90 calories and three grams of carbs, making it the ideal pairing for any barbecue feast. 
  6. Give yourself plenty of time. It’s undeniable that grilling a beautiful piece of meat requires preparation and attention. Remember to give yourself plenty of time to choose the recipes, assemble the ingredients and marinate your meats in advance so you can approach the grill stress-free. At the end of the day, grilling is all about having fun and enjoying yourself.

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