Tag Archive for: BBQ

Grilling 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering the BBQ

Using the grill isn’t just an activity for the summer—it’s a great way to prepare meat and vegetables year-round. Indeed, once you master the barbecue, you’ll unveil its potential to turn raw asparagus into a delicious meal side, or a fine slice of steak into a delectable main dish. And whether you’re grilling for friends, family, or yourself, barbequing can suit all occasions and seasons. 

Of course, becoming an expert at the BBQ grill takes time and practice. To help get you there, refer to our beginner’s guide to mastering the barbeque. And of course, for all of the freshest ingredients to throw on the grill, head to Nick’s of Calvert. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Grill

The most basic part of grilling starts with choosing the right grill. The two main types of grills are gas grills and charcoal grills.

Charcoal grills are often preferred by barbeque enthusiasts because they allow for a more authentic, smoky flavor. That being said, these grills definitely require a little bit more finesse and experience.

The other option is a gas grill. Gas grills are a favorite because temperature is easier to control and they’re quick and easy to light. If you care more about convenience and ease of use, then the gas grill is the right choice for you. 

Step 2: Gather Your Tools

Mastering the barbeque will require the right tools, so don’t forget to grab tongs, a large metal barbeque spatula, a grill brush, and a meat thermometer before you get started. Of course, if you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll also need fire starters. 

Step 3: Understand Direct and Indirect Heat

There are two main tricks of grilling that are important to understand: how to manipulate heat and time. Starting with heat, there are two types of heat that can be used to cook your food: direct and indirect. Direct heat cooking is when you cook food directly over the flame—this method is typically used for veggies and burgers, etc. Indirect heat cooking is when you use the heat of the grill to cook food, but you don’t have the food directly on the flame. This method is reserved for meats that need more time to cook in order for tough fibers to soften, such as ribs. 

Step 4: Know Your Timing

Just like heat, timing is another essential element to mastering the barbeque. Each meat and veggie out there has its own ideal cook time (and temperature!), and leaving it on for too long can lead to dryness. As you’re getting started, it’s best to use recipe guides that can provide some parameters around timing and internal temperature of meat. As you get more experienced, you’ll likely be able to ditch these guides. 

Step 5: Get the Best Ingredients

Like all food preparation, it doesn’t matter how great of a chef or barbeque master you are—if your ingredients are low-quality, this will show through in the final product. For the best-tasting results, always use the best ingredients. Fine cuts of meat and fresh vegetables can make a difference. 

Step 6: Let it Rest

After preparing meat on the barbeque, many barbeque experts will tell you that you should let the meat “rest.” Resting is the practice of allowing a piece of meat to sit without being cut into for a certain amount of time after grilling. The theory is that resting the meat allows the juices, which collect in the center of the piece of meat while over heat, to disperse through the meat and contribute to tenderness and juiciness. How long you should rest meat, however, is up for debate. Most will agree that a piece of steak should rest for about three minutes, whereas really tough cuts of meat may require a longer resting period. 

Step 7: Keep Practicing!

Like all things in life, the more you cook using your grill, the more familiar you’ll become with the machine itself and how different foods respond to temperature and time. The more you grill, the more of a grill master you’ll become! 

Visit Nick’s of Calvert Today 

Whether you’re getting ready to host a get-together or are cooking for yourself, Nick’s of Calvert has everything you need when it comes to fresh produce and high-quality cuts of meat. For the days you’re barbequing—and all the days in between, too—visit Nick’s of Calvert. If you have questions about our ingredients or offerings, reach us directly at 410-414-7105.