In the beginning, when early cave man roamed the wilderness, there came an invention that would change the world forevermore. The humble BBQ. Forget your flambé. Forget your sous vide. The BBQ is the original food cooking technology. And today, there is something still quite primal about flaming chunks of tasty, meaty goodness over an open fire. The way the flames caramelise the outer flesh, wafting delicious smells of sizzling meat through the air, is still sure to draw the interest of your guests when they observe that “Something sure smells good!” With that in mind, let’s take a look at how we big men can master the art of the BBQ to impress family and friends alike while whipping up some delicious cooked meat.
"Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it's a start" ~Anthony Bourdain
Read on to discover some hot BBQ tips that will help you attain the lofty title of big man BBQ master.
Prepare your meat – Maybe you are already a confident big man barbecue guru. Maybe you are already letting your steak sit out of the fridge to let it come down to room temperature. The theory being that it will cook more evenly. What if I told you that everything you thought you knew about preparing your meat before you barbecue is a myth?
The truth of the matter is that it makes very little difference (apart from wasting time) if you let your steaks rest before barbecuing them. A more useful tip is to pat them dry with a paper towel and salt (and pepper – if you wish) both sides before searing. The true big men BBQ masters even leave their steaks to sit uncovered in the fridge overnight (pro tip: use a rack). You'll be blown away at how beautifully the outside of your steak will brown up this way.
Prepare your hotplate – I know what you’re thinking: get the grill or hot plate as hot as possible before placing your delicious steak upon it, right? Well, yes and no. If you happen to be cooking a thick steak, you don’t want to be starting off at the hottest possible point of the barbecue. Instead, start off more slowly. Use the cooler part of the BBQ hotplate to cook your thick steak before finishing it off over the hottest part. This will ensure you lock in all that juicy, juicy goodness.
For your thinner steaks, cooking them on the hottest part of the hotplate is the way to go. Don’t worry about the touch test. They'll be perfectly medium rare (the only way you should ever order a steak cooked at a restaurant) by the time they develop a good crust. Following this tip will turn you into a big man BBQ aficionado in no time!le
Rest before serving – The final step of the cooking process is crucially important to get right. As a big man BBQr, grab yourself a beer. Now that you’ve finished cooking, you’re going to wait until your meat is perfectly rested. A very good rule of thumb is to let the meat rest 1 minute for every 100 grams of weight. Create a foil tent for your meat to retain its heat so it effectively continues to cook. This will also allow air to circulate and prevent the surface from becoming steamed.
Big men BBQ chefs know that letting cooked meat rest before serving is essential. It allows the juices previously expelled as part of the cooking process to be reabsorbed by the meat. Rushing to get your meat sliced and served will deliver less than ideal fare to your guests.
Look the part – It’s important to look and feel comfortable when you are cooking for your friends and family. Don’t spoil the occasion by becoming the stressed out cook. No one wants to see you sweating up a storm whilst you’re handling their food. Instead, keep your cool by ensuring you are appropriately dressed for the occasion. And no, we don’t mean by wearing a novelty apron!
Following these tips will help you take charge of the BBQ this summer. This advice is designed to take you from okay to au fait on the hotplate. You’ll be asserting your status as a big man BBQ chef in no time! So, what are you waiting for? Grab some good friends, some beers and some juicy steaks and get barbecuing.
By Anthony Cheadle