Have you ever noticed that one of the great smells of a summer evening is the scent of backyard barbecue on the air? It is the kind of thing that says home cooking and spending time with family. But even if you are the kind of person who will order BBQ Delivery on a winter’s night for the memory of summer instead of cooking it, the taste just cannot be beat. So, in honor of summer that we are sure is just around the corner, here are some ideas to make the best possible barbecue this summer. After all, who doesn’t want to come home after a long day at the office to the smell of chops or steaks warming on the barbecue?
It Starts with a Great Sauce
If your brain is already cooking up that smell, you know that it is coming from the sauce. Every great barbecue starts and ends with a killer sauce. Some folks swear by their own favorite brand of store bought, and I have to admit that there is some really great stuff out there. If you have a local “hot shop” of hot sauces, you can find some of the most outstanding regional sauces that will amaze you.
But for my money, sauce is something you should make yourself. The basics are the same the world over: chili powders and peppers, vinegar of some kind and always a sweetener. We use a combination of molasses and brown sugar, but every cook has their secret ingredient as well. I say don’t forget to add in the garlic! Whatever you prefer, store bought or homemade, the sauce is what stars in any barbecue.
Get That Grill Hot!
Once you have made sure that your grill is all cleaned up and ready for you, it is time to light it up! You should always make sure that the grill is around 300 degrees at first to burn off any lingering bacteria from previous grilling.
You want to put your steaks or chops on that grill so that it sizzles when it hits the grill. Searing in the juices will ensure that you have a grilled piece of meat that is charred nicely on the outside and still moist and tasty on the inside.
Gas, Electric or Charcoal?
For some this might even amount to a holy war, the choice of how you actually heat your barbecue. Yes, I know plenty of folks who love their little electric grill because it is so fast and easy to clean. But you will never get that true smoky flavor you get from a charcoal grill with electric. On the other hand, others swear that gas barbecue are the best of both worlds.
Fast to light up, they still can get that flame and are almost as easy a cleanup as electric. But for the purest, only real charcoal will do. Whatever camp you are in, you might want to try one of the others for experimentation. But for my money, if you want the tastiest you have to grill it the real way, over a real charcoal fire.