Barbequing is a highly popular form of cooking, but are you a pro - we've compiled 3 barbecue hacks that every Pro should know below. Everyone that loves Barbequing knows the benefits of smoky, slow-cooked dinners, but did you know that barbequing has other benefits as well? Psychology Today even found that barbequing is good for your mental health!
"Barbeques, it turns out, are good for your mental health - particularly when they take place in green spaces.
Previous posts have covered ways the natural environment helps restock mental energy after it has been depleted by activities such as knowledge work. The music and the food are important parts of any barbeque - and they're the links to barbequing's other mental health benefits."
Here are 3 barbeque hacks every pro should know:
Barbeque Hacks: Marinate and Freeze Ahead Of Time
Meat and vegetables are almost guaranteed to taste better if they're seasoned. One great method of doing this is marinating. However, marinating can take hours and who has time to start dinner that early?
Enter the first of our pro barbeque hacks: marinating ahead of time and freezing! Simply make your marinade in bulk when you have time and freeze in a ziplock bag! You can use one or two marinades and apply them to multiple types of meat, veggies and other dinner items. Then, when it's time to cook, all you have to do is defrost and throw on the grill.
Coupons.com posted a recipe for a chicken marinade that you can freeze on their blog:
1. Pineapple-Bourbon Chicken Marinade
This marinade mixes pineapple with bourbon, brown sugar, and soy sauce for a sweet, savory flavor. Serve with your favorite fruit salsa or grill slices of pineapple to serve with the chicken and top with diced green onions.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons bourbon
- Place chicken breasts in a plastic bag and pour ingredients into the bag.
- Seal, removing all air, and evenly coat chicken breasts with marinade. Press flat and freeze.
- When ready to grill, remove from freezer and place in the fridge to thaw the night before or the morning of. Once thawed, grill and serve over rice with your favorite fruit salsa.
Barbecue Hacks: Clean After Every Use
An important part of being a barbeque pro is keeping the grill clean. That's why this barbeque hack is so important: clean after every use. Now that doesn't mean clean every part of the grill every time, but it does mean doing a few simple things to keep the barbecue maintained.
- Use a specialty barbeque brush to wipe down the grill grates each time.
- Use specialty grill spray to keep it sparkling.
- Wipe down the exterior every time.
Ideal Home detailed how to fully clean your barbeque for less frequent maintenance:
"1. Start with heat
If there’s still caked-on food left over from last year, light fresh coals in your barbecue and leave them to reach a very high heat. This will burn off a lot of the most stubborn remnants.
2. Clean the BBQ with steam
Allow your barbecue to cool slightly, but while it’s still warm, cover the grill in a water-soaked old newspaper. Close the lid for half an hour to steam clean it.
3. Get scrubbing
Use a grill brush with wire bristles to get rid of remaining food particles. If you have a porcelain-coated rack, it’s best to use a brass-bristled grill brush to avoid damaging it. No grill brush? Screw up aluminum foil into a ball and scrub the grill with it instead. Next, clean the grill with a dishcloth and hot soapy water.
If that doesn’t shift the dirt, you might want to try a household cleaner. However, some can be abrasive and toxic for a barbecue, so make sure you get a cleaner that’s specifically designed for the job, such as Jeyes barbecue cleaner,
4. Tackle the base
As soon as your barbecue is cool, tip away leftover ash into a bucket – it will collect moisture and be harder to clean later if you leave it. Use damp kitchen roll to pick up the final bits, then give the base a good wash using warm water and washing-up liquid.
5. Wipe the outside
Using fresh warm water and washing-up liquid, wipe the exterior, then buff the metal shell with a dry cloth. If your barbecue is stainless steel, use a specialist polishing spray. It’s also worth giving your BBQ a light coating of mineral or baby oil to protect it from the elements. This is doubly important if you’re planning to keep your barbecue outside all summer long, and will give it a lovely shine.
6. Prevent more grime from building up
Next time you fire up your grill, give it a good coating of sunflower oil before you start cooking to stop food from baking on to the surface. Also, have a brush with a long handle to hand, so you can loosen any stuck-on food while the barbecue is still hot.
7. How to clean a BBQ if time is against you
Try some speedy antibacterial wipes. We like double-sided Barbecue Cleaning Wipes, £4.99, Landmann.
8. Always cover up
It may seem like a faff, but covering your grill to protect it from the elements will save you loads of hassle in the long run. Covers are available for most brands of barbecue. You’ll usually have to pay extra for them, but they will ward off the rust and keep out extra dirt between cook-outs.
9. Keep on top of things
Now that you’ve got your barbecue looking pristine, ensure it remains in tip-top condition by using a barbecue cleaning product after every use. Weber BBQ Grate Cleaner, £8.99 for 500ml, John Lewis, will do the job perfectly."
Barbecue Hacks: Don't Limit Yourself To Meat
Another one of the great barbecue hacks is to look beyond grilling meat. There are a wide variety of tasty things you can make on the grill including vegetables and fruits. Did you know you can even grill watermelon?
8broads.com outlines how to grill watermelon,
"The key to grilling the watermelon is to sear each side quickly over high heat. If the watermelon is cooked too slowly and heats the interior of the watermelon slice, you’ll end up with a shrunken slice of mushy watermelon. This is bad! But a quickly seared watermelon is beautiful and ever so tasty."
Compact Alliance did a piece on the health benefits of barbequing. They said,
"5 Health Benefits of Grilling
There are health benefits to cooking your food on the grill versus on the stove or oven. We’ll go over some of the health benefits and give you some tips to serve up some tasty and healthy meals. Let’s start with the five health benefits.
1. You Eat Less Fat
When you grill, you eat less fat because of the excess drips off the grates. Think about cooking a burger on the grill versus in a pan on your stove-top. On the grill, the fat cooks off. In a pan on the cooktop, the fat has nowhere to go, so it pools and is eventually re-absorbed by the meat.
2. Vegetables on the Grill are Better for You
Most people don’t realize that vegetables retain more of their vitamins and minerals when they’re grilled. This is especially true with veggies that have a low water content.
Plus, vegetables that you toss on the grill are usually fresh and in season, which is a step above the canned versions. Wrapping in tin foil or just placing on top of your grill, cooking your veggies in this manner is nutritionally advantageous than boiling or frying.
3. Meat Retains Nutrients
When you toss a slab of meat over the fire, it actually preserves more riboflavin and thiamine. Both of these nutrients play a vital role in a healthy diet, as well as have many health benefits associated with each of them.
4. You Use Less Butter
If you’re a master with the grill, and not overcooking your food, you’ll have juicy cuts of meat and tasty veggies. Because the grill locks in more moisture, you’ll be less inclined to reach for the butter or other condiments to jazz up your food. Not only does that means you eat fewer calories, but you put less unhealthy stuff in your body.
5. Grilling Goes With Outside Activities
The act of grilling gets you outdoors. A lot of parents toss around a Frisbee or kick a ball around the grass with their kids while grilling dinner. The act of cooking and eating outdoors encourages more activity, which we all know is just an added health bonus to go along with your delicious dinner."
We hope these barbecue hacks help you grill like a pro!
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