Barbecues, what isn’t there to love about them? Good food, good weather and good company go hand-in-hand with barbecuing in Australia. Perfect for cooking various foods, from steaks, seafood and even cakes, there isn’t much your trusty barbecue can’t do. However, there are barbecue mistakes that can compromise your model and your food, some of which you may be doing unknowingly! As the barbecue experts, we’re here today to barbecue-proof your food, so you can finetune your BBQ skills and continue to cook up the best dishes that’ll impress the whole family this summer!
BBQ Mistakes to Avoid
1. Choosing the wrong type of wood
We’re going to start our list with the basics, as there’s no better place to start than ensuring the set-up of your barbecue is correct. You may be wondering, how does the type of wood affect my barbecue? For someone who isn’t yet vetted in barbecues, it’s easy to go unaware of how the type of wood chips affects your barbecued dishes. The truth is, the type of wood you choose determines the flavour and colour of your food, almost like a second seasoning!
Depending on the type of wood you use, you can complement and enhance the depth of your food’s flavours. You may want to start off by learning what types of wood go best with your BBQ (as well as ones to avoid). This is a part of the journey of becoming a BBQ connoisseur, so enjoy the ride and experiment to find out which wood types tickle your tastebuds the most!
Tip: Wood logs are fantastic for large BBQs that create both heat and smoke. Wood chunks and chips help create smoke quickly and are great for heating gas and electric BBQs. Feel free to test-run fruity woods like apple or cherry, but remember to avoid any treated or painted woods as well as cedar or pine.
2. Not cleaning and oiling the grill when it’s hot
Now that we’ve covered the importance of wood type, it’s now time to cover our next BBQ fundamental error–not cleaning or oiling the grill while it’s hot and fired. This is a common mistake that is often overlooked, but it’s essential to begin your BBQ with this step before starting cooking.
Cleaning the top of your BBQ while it’s hot will make all the difference in how easy it is to remove those not-so-delicious scrapings that are stuck, or what sometimes feels superglued, to your BBQ. When your BBQ is hot, these drippings are far easier to remove, especially when you use the correct grill cleaning tools. We’re talking about those long and large grill scrapers you’ve likely seen scrolling online; this is what they’re designed for!
It’s good to get into the habit of cleaning your grill after every use, as well as checking if your grill is still clean before use. Leaving food to sit and cool will always be harder to remove, so do future-you a favour and remove those scraps when the grill is still hot. You can also decrease the chance of food sticking by oiling the BBQ. You can do this by combining some (gentle) elbow grease and a sheet of paper towel coated in oil. Simply wipe across the gates, and voilà you’re ready to grill! Just make sure to go easy on your BBQ and not douse it with an overload of oil; this is a sure way to ignite your BBQ as soon as you flick the switch.
3. Over seasoned and under-seasoned food
We know it’s easy to go full-blown salt-bae on your dishes, but know more isn’t always more, and that over seasoning can tamper with the quality and flavour of your dish. It’s safe to assume that most enjoy barbecuing as we enjoy the distinct smokey flavour infused in our food.
The problem with over seasoning steak, chicken, prawns and vegetables is that it detracts from the natural flavours of the food and the infusing smokiness your barbecue is working hard to accomplish. To ensure you maintain the smokey flavour, we all know and love, stick to adding more salt and pepper than you’d normally think you’d need. There’s no need to worry about overdoing this step, as it’s typical for some seasoning to burn or fall off. If the salt you have on hand is coarse, that’s even better, as it’ll help create a tasty crust.
4. Not using tongs and spatulas
Meat and barbecued foods are delicate, so handle them with care by using tongs and turners! BBQ novices frequently use forks or knives to poke and prod the meat during the cooking process, making a seasoned cook wince and dry out your food. No one wants tough and dry food, so avoid puncturing your meat, so you get to retain the juices that promote tenderness. We don’t want to see any forks or prongs at your next cookout, so toss those aside and ensure you use tongs or spatulas instead.
5. Slicing the meat too early
While we’re on the topic of correct meat handling, we’re moving on to the next meat handling mistake- slicing meat before it has had a chance to rest. We know the delicious smell of your food makes it hard to practice patience. They say patience is a virtue, so allow your meat a chance to rest for at least five to ten minutes before slicing it to ensure the juices redistribute throughout. If you ignore these warnings, the juice is often lost on the first cut, and you’re left with an underwhelming steak. So do your tastebuds and guests a favour, and wait it out.
Allow Home Fires to Pair You with a Phenomenal BBQ
So there you have it, barbecue fans, the top five common mistakes that are hindering your barbecuing. While we’ve just listed five here today, the truth is, there are even more we could list, but we might save that for another read! For now, start here with these five tips to take your barbecuing skills to the next level.
With summer finally here, it could be time for a BBQ or simply an upgrade! Maybe your family has grown, and you could do with a bigger barbecue, or you’ve recently flown the nest and need your own small and portable BBQ? No matter the reason, Home Fires has phenomenal BBQs to suit everyone. To find your perfect match, reach out to the friendly Home Fires team today. If you want to continue to hone your cooking skills, our blog is the hub on everything you need to know to become the ultimate barbecue host.