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How to Grill the Perfect Steak

Let’s get one thing established before we go too far: the concept of “perfect” varies from person to person. So in this article what we’re aiming for as perfect is this: a steak that has a decent charred crust and is right around medium rare. Have a read through and follow the directions and you should be well on your way to attaining this.

To start with you need a good cut of meat. A good thick piece of meat is highly recommended. Try and pick something up that is about an inch and a half thick. The other dimensions of the steak are largely irrelevant, though a 12-16 ounce piece of meat is a good weight to begin with.

When you’re getting ready to start cooking, make sure to pull the steaks out beforehand. Depending on how warm the environment is, and how cool your refrigerator is set to keep food, you’ll need about 20-60 minutes for them to come up to about 68-70 degrees, which is ideal for aiming for a rare or medium rare finish. (Blue finishes benefit from thicker steaks and colder starting points, and medium and well will do better warmer and thinner.)

Prepping your coals is best done by getting a good set of half-white briquettes and using them on half the grill, while the other half remains unheated. This is important so you can pull the steaks off the heat if there’s a flare-up, which can burn the outside and leave the center cold. Leaving the lid closed for a couple of minutes after doing this will bring the grill up to the proper heat.

Before tossing the steaks on the grill you should apply melted unsalted butter (lightly) either by dipping the meat or brushing it, and then add freshly ground salt (a lot) to help build a great crispy crust. If you’re partial to pepper you should also grind some up and spread it across the steaks at this point, though it’s not a critical part of the process. Right before placing them on the heat you can compress the sides of the steaks in order to get as much height out of the meat as possible.

When you place the steaks on the grill watch for flare-ups from the butter and fat. If you get one at any point you should shift the steaks off the heat without flipping them. Now, there are a few different theories as to how often flipping should take place. Some people subscribe to the single flip method of cooking. Others insist on two. But what you should aim for here is to flip the steaks three times. Go ahead and leave the steaks on for about three to three and a half minutes each time (taking care to avoid burning through those flare-ups by sliding the steaks off the heat until they pass) for a total of six and a half to seven minutes per side.

Now, this should give you steaks that are medium rare. The absolute best way to test this it is to check the center with a meat thermometer. It should be right around 120 degrees. A little bit less should also prove sufficient, and a little bit more just means you’re going to see a medium rarity.

Remember to let your steaks sit for between 3.5-5 minutes before cutting into them in order to let them finish cooking (through residual heat) and to let the juices properly infuse the meat. They’ll just run all over the place if you cut too soon! Serve the steaks up with sides as you prefer. I’m partial to corn on the cob or a baked potato, and a fresh garden salad.

Finally, when your steaks are prepared this way they should require no additional condiments except perhaps pepper if you left it off originally. And even if you’re one of those steak sauce adherents, you owe it to yourself to try the meat unadorned before you cover up its natural flavors. Flavors which have been enhanced with the butter coating and generous amounts of salt.

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The Best BBQ Sauce Recipes for Camping Cookouts

The trick to keeping camping gear down to a minimum for camping cookouts is to use food items you normally bring along.

Some serve double duty as ingredients for BBQ sauces. Mustard, ketchup and sweet pickle relish, condensed canned soup, onions, maple or pancake syrup, sugar, orange juice and other fruit juices, iced tea, cola soda, milk and brewed coffee are usual fare brought to camping cookouts. These make BBQ sauces extra flavourful.

Home Style BBQ Sauce


Six to eight pieces of chicken, ribs or shish kabobs
Ingredients:
1 can condensed tomato soup
4 oz. cola soda (reduces soup thickness)
1/2 tablespoon mustard (golden, brown or spiced)
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup finely diced onion

Directions:
Blend condensed soup with four remaining ingredients until thick and smooth. This is also good marinade. Marinate an hour before grilling to infuse meats with deeper flavor for chicken or ribs or a condiment on grilled hamburgers.

Variation On A Home Style BBQ Sauce


Best with Chicken, Beef or Pork Medallions
Ingredients:
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
4 oz. milk (or evaporated milk for extra thick sauce)
1/4 cup cold, brewed coffee
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/2 tablespoon mustard

Directions:
Blend condensed soup with milk, coffee and syrup. Add onion and mustard. Brush chicken, beef or pork with BBQ sauce before placing on BBQ grill. Turn meats for even grilling.


Iced Tea By Any Other Name Is BBQ Sauce
Dehydrated ice tea mix adds piquant flavour to meats when added to BBQ sauce and Marinades. Pre-mixed ice tea is a good base for BBQ sauce and marinade recipes.

TeaBQ Sauce


Ingredients:
1/2 packet of dehydrated ice tea mix (lemon added preferred)
1 cup orange or fruit punch flavor fruit juice
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1-2 tablespoon ketchup (to thicken to sauce consistency)

Directions:
Blend dehydrated ice tea mix with orange or fruit punch flavor juice. Mixture will be slightly thick. Add in sweet pickle relish. Blend separately sugar and mustard. Add to iced tea/juice mixture. Thicken with ketchup.

Marinade: Instead of 1/2 packet of dehydrated iced tea mix, blend pre-mixed iced tea with juice, sugar and mustard. Omit sweet pickle relish. Marinate one hour.

Tea And Milk Fusion Marinade


Ingredients:
1 cup premixed ice tea
1/2 cup whole milk (or evaporated milk)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 dried hamburger bun crumbs
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Blend tea, milk and sugar. Blend crumbs. Add chicken, seafood or ribs. Marinate one hour.


Guest blogger:  This is a guest post from Lauren Brown; blogger for Al Fresco Holidays, specialists in self-catering in France.

BBQ Using Freeze Dried Ingredients

You want to throw a barbeque for a small group of friends but you recently switched to buying freeze dried foods because of the money you’ll save and the ease of the food storage. You don’t know if your guests will enjoy the freeze dried fare as much as you would and you don’t want them to decline the invitation because of what is being served. Shh! Don’t tell them what you are cooking with. What they don’t know will likely surprise them and maybe get them to understand that freeze dried food is the alternative they’ve been looking for to help them cut back on food expenses.

Here are a few recipes for items that you can throw on the grill that will tantalize the taste buds of your guests.

The first recipe is for Bacon Quesadillas.

In order to make this you’ll need:

¼ cup of green onions
½ cup of freeze dried shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup of freeze dried cheddar cheese
¼ cup bacon textured vegetable protein
Tortillas

These ingredients will make four quesadillas, so measure out enough in order to accommodate the amount of guests who will be arriving at your party. Top the tortillas with a layer of the bacon textured vegetable protein, cheese and onions then fold each tortilla in half. Place on the grill until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are lightly brown. Serve to enjoy.

If that isn’t enough how about Chicken Stuffed Tomatoes to go along with your Quesadillas?

For this recipe you’ll need:

2 Teaspoons of dried dill weed
Finely diced rib of celery
1 cup of finely diced green onions
1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 cup of finely chopped freeze dried chicken
½ cup of low-fat mayonnaise
Tomatoes

The above ingredients are enough to make 4 stuffed tomatoes so adjust according to how many guests you will be inviting. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then cut the tops of the tomatoes off and scoop out the insides. Fill each tomato with some of the mixture in the bowl and when this is done place them on the grill over a low fire. This will allow the insides to cook while not burning the tomatoes. Wait until the stuffing is warmed up and the tomatoes are lightly grilled and serve.

Freeze dried food doesn’t have to be a boring way to eat. You can find new, inventive ways to eat them and on a bright sunny day what better activity is there than holding a barbeque and sharing food with friends? Maybe sharing your love of freeze dried food as well.

Guest blogger: Denise Mitchell is a lover of the outdoors. She prefers to hike and go picnic with her family whenever her job as a writer for www.dailybread.com allows it.

Caribbean Style Grilled Chicken Recipe

This is a fantastically different way to prepare grilled chicken with a little kick.  My favorite way to make this is on the bbq along with some grilled corn and potatoes.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Olive oil
  • 8 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Lime juice
  • 1 tsps Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet or Habanero pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1½ TBS Cilantro
  • 3 LBS Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

Trim chicken of all extra fat and splint in half. USE CAUTION PREPARING PEPPER!

Combine the oil, juice, pepper and other seasonings. Place the chicken in a glass dish, pour the marinade over , cover and place in refrigerator to marinate 2 to 6 hours.

Preheat grill to medium hot. Remove chicken from marinade and grill for 7 to 9 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Plate and enjoy! You definitely will not find anything like this if you order food online!

Guest blogger:  Ruth Rogers is a freelance writer that loves trying out new recipes and making up her own at the same time.  She believes that cooking at home beats out restaurant online ordering any day!

Best Barbecue Recipes For This Summer

It is time for the summer sun to shine, and when it does decide to show itself, there is nothing better to do than inviting friends round and getting the barbecue out. When that time comes you need to be prepared to be able to whip up some tasty food for your guests.

It may have been a while since you last cooked on a barbecue: the barbecue itself is no doubt covered in cob webs.  But don’t worry…clean off your grill and get ready to entertain!  Here are some easy recipes you can make on a barbecue for your friends or family.
 

Cheese Burger

This burger is easy to make, and as you probably know burgers are a staple at barbecue events.

Time to prepare: 25 minutes
Time to cook: 10-30 minutes
Serving Number: 4

Ingredients:

  • 700g beef mince/turkey mince/chicken mince (depends on what type of burger you want)
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1-2 chillies (depends on how hot you would like your burgers to be)
  • Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cheese slices
  • 4 buns (buns specially made for burgers are good)

 
Directions:

  1. Light the barbecue.
  2. Heat a frying pan for a few minutes, add the olive oil and the chopped onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is softened. Take the pan off the hit an allow the onions to cool down slightly.
  3. Place the mince, chillies, parsley, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Once the onions are cooled add them as well, then mix together.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4. Mould the mixture with your hands to form a burger shape.
  5. Add the burgers to the barbecue, cook for 3-6 minutes on each side until the meat is fully cooked. On the last minute add a slice of cheese to each burger.
  6. Place the burger into a bun and enjoy!

 

Sticky Chicken Drummers

This recipe takes no time at all to prepare and will offer all your costs something unique and really tasty.

Time to prepare: 5 minutes
Time to cook: 35 minutes
Serving Number: 8

Ingredients:

  • 16 average size chicken drumsticks
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp pure honey
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

 
Directions:

  1. Light your barbecue.
  2. Add the soy sauce, honey, Dijon mustard, tomato purée and extra virgin olive oil to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Make a few slashes on every drumstick.
  4. Add the mixture to the chicken, make sure that all the chicken drumsticks are coated well.
  5. Leave it to marinate for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the drumsticks to the barbecue and cook for 35 minutes until fully cooked. Make sure to keep turning the drumsticks regularly.

 

Pork and Pineapple Kebabs

This recipe is brilliant as it adds a little fruit to your barbecue, the pineapple and the pork really work well together.

Time to prepare: 12 minutes
Time to cook: 12-14 minutes
Serving Number: 4

Ingredients:

  • 450g boneless pork chops
  • 20 chunks of pineapple cut into 1 inch squares
  • 2 green peppers also chopped into 1 inch squares
  • 1/2 red onion chopped into chunks
  • 400g barbecue sauce
  • Handful of rosemary chopped finely

 
Directions:

  1. Light your barbecue.
  2. Mix the rosemary and roughly 2/3 of the barbecue sauce.
  3. Pour onto the pork chops, ensure that they are covered well.
  4. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate.
  5. Remove from the fridge, add the chops, pineapple,peppers and onions to 8 skewers.
  6. Put on the barbecue for 12-14 minutes until full cooked.

 

Simple Salad

A barbecue can never be complete until there is a salad on the table here is one you can rustle up in an instant.

Time to prepare: 5 minutes
Serving Number: 4

Ingredients:

  • 450g cherry tomatoes
  • 50g rocket
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 
Directions:

  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and toss with the salt and pepper.
  2. Add the rocket and toss again.
  3. Put the salad in a bowl and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Serve to your guests.

 
All theses recipes are easy to make and will make your barbecue great. Add the recipes to your cookbook as you can always use them again when the sun decides to shine.
 
 
Guest blogger: This blog is presented by bbqpro.co guest blogger, Victoria Abrams. Vic is writing for Nigella Lawson, an English food writer, journalist and broadcaster. Nigella is the author of 9 best selling cookbooks and featured in several TV shows around the globe.

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