BBQ Tools

After 45 years or so of standing in front of a great variety of grills and pit smokers, cooking at EggFest events and in competition BBQ, this is my take on what’s needed and what’s not necessary as far as tools for grillin’ and BBQin’. Most of the bells and whistle stuff that’s presented as packaged tools for BBQ are pretty much useless, as far as I’m concerned. I’d never buy most of that stuff.

Grilling is a simple primeval endeavor. It boils down to fire and meat, for the most part. Our ancestors used sticks or perhaps leg bones from last night’s dinner to move meat around in the fire. If the concept is really THAT simple, then why do we need BBQ tool sets that look like Roman weapons of war? Who needs a fork that’s about 14 ft long that would make a Knight of the Templar green with envy, or a spatula that rivals Thor’s Hammer? You’re only flipping patties for the most part.

Some tool sets claim to be super heavy duty, some come in a zippered pouch or a nice aluminum briefcase enclosure (yep, I’m gonna put that greasy, nasty fork back in that nice clean pouch), some come with cool looking wood handles that preclude the tools ever being put into the dishwasher (comments escape me on this topic), and some tools even fold up! In the time I spent researching tools online, I even found one set in which each tool was individually handcrafted by a master cutler. These tools come with rosewood handles and are made in France (a bastion of hard core grilling expertise for sure; how in the world do they grill that foi gras without it falling through the grill?!) and all for only $600! However, you do get a roll up leather pouch and a certificate of authenticity. Well Hold Me Back! It’s clear to me that, like fishing lures, the aim here is to catch people, not necessarily fish.

What I look for in grilling tools is this: is the tool well-made and not some cheapo tool from China or Pakistan? Does it have good heft and is the metal thick and of good quality? Is the tool rigid so it’ll hold up or flimsy? Will the tool stand up to years of abuse and neglect, hanging on the hooks by the grill in rain, snow, or summer heat for years on end? Does it really fill a need, or is it actually a useless doodad; in other words have you ever had to run into the kitchen to get that same tool in order to finish your cook? Can it be put into the dishwasher (VERY important)?

For tools, I’d suggest buying them a la carte from a nice kitchen gadget store. You can pick and choose your spatulas, tongs, basting brush, etc and select the best ones for the money. They won’t match and they won’t impress your BBQ-neophyte friends, but what the hey, they’re better than using that leg bone from last night’s dinner, right?

Let’s start with the basics as I see ‘em. Fork. You really don’t need a BBQ fork and you most certainly don’t need one of those BBQ forks with the digital thermometer. Every set of tools, even that $600 handmade European set, has a fork. Go figure! Get a $20 sturdy set of tongs that have a lock so that they stay closed while they’re in the dishwasher. I prefer really well-made tongs that are about 12-18” long. Check how the grasping part closes together. Does it close so that you can pick up small bits? Is the steel nice and thick? Does the spring that opens the tongs feel too stiff or too soft? Good tongs are one of the most useful tools you can ever put into your hand.

For big hunks of meat like tri tip or pork butts I use a meat hook. A meat hook is usually at least 18” or longer, with a handle on one end and a sharpened, somewhat twisted hook on the business end. Often old golf club handles are used to make meat hooks. Hooks are great for turning large hunks of meat that are too heavy for tongs. Check them out online. Highly recommended!

Spatula. All you really need a spatula for is to flip burgers. Even if it’s a Flintstones era Bronto-Burger, just about any ol’ spatula will work as long as its stainless steel, well-made, sturdy, dishwasher-safe, and over 12” long. One important consideration is to look for spatulas that have flat business ends and are not convex like most spatulas. The reason you want a flat business end is that when you angle the spatula to go under the patty, the end is flat against the grill across the entire width of the spatula, while the curved variety will end up with a very small contact patch in the center of the spatula against grill surface. Not conducive to manipulating sometimes fragile beef patties so that they remain in one piece.

I like to grill fish. On the grill over the coals; not on aluminum foil or on some fancy wooden shingle. Try it! The fish will be the best you’ve ever tasted! The only real He-Man BBQ tool I own is my fish spatula. This thing is a monster; the business end is about 10” wide and the handle is about 20” long. I found it in an upscale closeout store and it originally had a convex business end. After quite a bit of time on the grinder, it is now flat. The way to grill fish is to carefully maneuver the spatula under the entire piece of fish and GENTLY roll it over so the other side of the fish hits the grill as a single flat surface, all at the same time. You have be aware to maneuver the spatula along the wires (parallel), and not across (perpendicular to) the wires that make up the grill surface. Without my wide spatula, you need two flat spatulas, one at each end of the fillet, and two hands to accomplish the same task. I used this technique for years and years before I stumbled across my fish spatula.

Grill basket. This is a really useful item that most grillers forget to mention. With a grill basket, you can grill mushrooms, shrimp, scallops, all kinds of veggies and other fragile stuff. All the stuff you’d normally have to put on a skewer, you can stir-fry in a grill basket. You haven’t lived until you’ve had Camerones al mojo de ajo over charcoal! After those shrimp are done, dump ‘em in a bowl, then drizzle with melted butter and Miners Mix XXX-Garlic. Heavenly! I doubt that a grill basket would work with foi gras, however. Maybe we need to use one made in France.

Thermometer. I have a thermometer that uses two temperature probes, one that you can stick into the meat and the other has a clip to attach it to the grill surface. My unit also has a handy wireless remote that enables you to keep tabs on what’s going on inside the grill or smoker while you’re sucking down that cold beer in the shade of that tree over there. The grill surface probe is extremely useful when you’re doing low and slow pit smoking for long time periods. Those dial thermometers with which all the pit smokers are outfitted are usually inaccurate and/or the air temperature above your ribs is a lot hotter than the temperature on the grid surface, where your meat is actually sitting. If you don’t have a fancy electronic thermometer, get one of those dial thermometer units from a commercial kitchen supply store that professional chefs always have in their white undies pocket. Just be sure to calibrate any thermometer by comparing readings from boiling water and also iced water with ice actually floating in it.

Electric BBQ Starter. For me, this is the absolute best way to start your charcoal. These things are available from Lowes or Home Depot or most any well-equipped hardware or BBQ store. They start fires quickly and, most importantly, they don’t leave a paint thinner flavor on your meat. I even use this thing to start my wood burning stove, it’s that handy! If you’re in a place without electricity, you may need that fire-starter juice, but be sure to let the coals ash-over before spreading them out into a layer and putting the cooking grill over them. Personally, I’ve never used one of those charcoal starter baskets, so I have no opinion about them.

Basting Brush. DO NOT buy one of those cheap paint brush types that have bristles for basting your ribs or whatever. It seems that some to many of those bristles ALWAYS come out and stick to the meat to give an impression of cat or dog hair on your wonderful ribs. YUCCH! Spring for one of those silicone brushes, preferable one with a handle that’s at least 12” long and if you can find it, one with an angled handle. When you’re done with basting, toss the thing into the dishwasher and forget about it.

Squirt Bottle. This falls under the category of useful, but not terribly necessary. I use a squirt bottle of apple juice to spritz my ribs, turkey, or whatever, about every half hour so they stay nice and moist when doing a 4-5 hour smoke, or longer. Not really necessary for grilling though.

Grill lifters. A useful tool. There are several varieties. I’ve found that a pair of pliers or channel-locks, or even that nice set of tongs work just fine for lifting the grill when needed. Don’t use that $600 fork from France though!

Marinade Injectors.   I’ve never used them. I know folks swear by them, and they’re used in competition BBQ events but I guess I’m too old school.

Grilling Mats. I don’t even know what those are for…

Grill Cleaning Brushes. I know many of the BBQ gurus talk about cleaning the grill after use, but really?? You put the grill over the hot coals and the grill becomes sterile when it gets hot. All the old grease will burn off, so why bother to clean the grill? I’ve also noticed that foods don’t stick as much on a grubby, black, well-used grill compared to a brand new shiny grill used for the first time. Personally, I think the BBQ gurus just might have a vested interest in promoting clean grills so they can sell everybody their nifty BBQ grill brushes. All the commercial BBQ guys cook over well-seasoned grubby grills; they sure don’t bother cleaning them. Besides, just what chemicals are in that grill degreaser you’re using anyway? Ever think about that? Do I want that residue on my food? NOPE!

In the past, I’ve occasionally cleaned grills with elbow grease. It seems all I accomplished was making the brush incredibly filthy along with myself, and then ended up tossing the hopelessly gummed up and destroyed brush into the trash. A losing proposition! I don’t clean any of my grills besides scraping the goop off the next time I fire them up.

Happy Grilling!

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Green Stuff

As a founding member and honorary Past President of the CIA, that being the Carnivory Institute of America I am, and all the rest of us at Miners Mix are hard core carnivores and look upon just about all green stuff placed on plates as merely a rest stop on the way to the compost pile out back. About the only veggies that are approved and sanctioned by the CIA are potatoes in their various forms such as French fries, hash-browns, Tater Tots, and chips, and once in a while, corn but just so long as it’s still attached to the cob. On rare occasions, unfortunately, asparagus or broccoli might sneak by as well. In general though, if it’s green, it’s gone.

In my opinion, one of the most useless of plant pieces regarded as a vegetable that your mom made you eat as a kid is the zucchini squash. About the only legitimate use for this thing is when it’s grated and made into bread or cakes where, through some kind of alchemy, it transmutes like lead into gold, from a vegetable to edible, which just happens to be CIA-Approved! Recently, however, astounding developments have shaken things up and begun to blur the lines between CIA-Approved and CIA-Non-Approved foods.

This disconcerting turn of events came about when my wife began to high-heat roast cauliflower (which because it’s white means that it’s 10X more yucky than green stuff). Somehow this heat treatment turns white cauliflower into crispy golden brown nuggets of meaty flavor that are actually…quite…good. Here’s the recipe for roasting cauliflower. I’ve found that I can eat pretty much a whole head of the stuff once it’s been heat-treated into crunchy meaty-like morsels.

As a born experimenter, my wife began to apply this mysterious heat-treating process to other green things and we’ve found that zucchini are especially amenable to this transmutation. The process changes that pallid whitish inner goop held within the green rinds, into golden, sometimes crispy wafers that are unbelievably tasty and meet strict CIA standards of gastronomy. First one must slice the Zuke into about ¼” thick slices.  Next, put the slices in a Ziploc bag with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and then season with a tablespoon or two of Miners Mix Original Steak and Veggie rub.  Next, arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet or stone and bake at 350°F. Check the oven in about 20 minutes and turn the cookie sheet or stone 180° and bake another 20 minutes. Check one more time and go another 10-20 minutes until the slices have been transformed into dark, golden brown wafers of goodness.  Recently we’ve tried this mysterious procedure on unsuspecting carrots, mushrooms, and apples with pretty good results. I have to say that the carrots come out fantastic, with kind of a sweetish potato chip flavor that’s even better than the zucchini. The mushrooms end up with kind of a parmesan cheese flavor quality that’s very unique and very good. We plan to try in the near future rutabagas, turnips, plantains, bananas, and pears. Whatever vegetable we use will surely be dusted with our Miners Mix Original Steal and Veggie Rub; it seems to be magical on just about everything under the sun. Come football season this stuff is going to be on the snack menu for sure!

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Salt!

One of two reasons I started Miners Mix was because of a molecule. How many other businesses can say they were started partly because of a molecule? Just that fact alone makes us unique! Sodium Chloride, NaCl, or table salt, it’s all the same thing and it is the stuff with which most commercial rubs are loaded. Salt is cheap and it’s heavy so large, heavy jars of seasonings packed with salt can be sold cheaply!

Salt occupies an important place in the realm of seasonings. Its main function is, or should be anyway, as a flavor enhancer. Trouble is that often whatever salt-packed rub you use soon becomes the predominant flavor on your steak or Tri Tip roast after even light dusting. Most of those commercial seasonings should be more properly labeled as “Seasoned Salt” because that’s what they are. Much like well-done steaks, I think over-salted foods is a crime that the food police should pursue vigorously.   Over-salting is a conditioned and learned behavior that, I think, stems from people not really knowing anything about seasonings or how to use them. Actually tasting one’s food is one of the great and underappreciated joys of life that many folks miss out on.

I’ve had lifelong cigarette smokers tell me that they’re amazed at how good food tastes once they quit smoking and their taste buds wake up after all those nasty toxins get expunged from their bodies. There is a similar awakening that happens for salt-addicts. After reducing the salt intake, for a while everything tastes bland, but they soon notice that the foods actually have their own unique flavors. All of the memorable steaks, chops, poultry, or other foods that I’ve eaten actually taste like a real critter such as beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, alligator, woodchuck, fish, etc, but not a single one tasted like salt.

Real, honest-to-God spices are expensive compared to plain ol’ salt which is why massive amounts of salt are prevalent in seasoning rubs. Miners Mix, was begun partly out of that dissatisfaction with the excessive salt present in just about all rubs and seasonings on the market. I’m confident that we nailed the blends on all of our products. Basically, if something we make doesn’t get an eye-roll and an OMG! response when we sample it out, then it doesn’t become a Miners Mix product. That eye-roll and OMG response are a Miners Mix requirement!

Miners Mix Steak and Veggie Rub contains less salt than Pappy’s “Low Sodium” and with Miners Mix, you can actually taste the meat, not just salt. Our flavors are subtle and complement the meat; they don’t overpower it with salt. There’s also a hint of sugar in there that caramelizes to make a great bark on the surface of the food while grilling. The Veggie part of the Steak and Veggie came to be after we discovered how incredible the seasoning was on grilled mushrooms. It’s also fantastic when used in lieu of salt and pepper on hash-brown potatoes, herbed potatoes in the oven, and making zucchini or carrot chips in the oven, just to name a few favorites. How many other steak seasoning rubs can claim that honor? If anyone wants recipes for any of our “stupid simple” concoctions, just stop by the web site and fill out the contact form! We’d love to hear from you.

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In Search of Chorizo

Here in California the only chorizo that’s easily found is of the Mexican variety, although with some looking, Spanish and other styles of chorizo can be found as well.  Heck, being in California, you can probably find some sort of Martian chorizo given enough searching,

The Mexican stuff found in most grocery stores comes as a kind of reddish paste that’s basically packed into a plastic tube that must be sliced open in order to squeeze out the “stuff” within.  Here’s the listed ingredients of commercially available beef chorizo: beef salivary glands, lymph nodes and fat, paprika, soy flour, salt, vinegar, spices, red pepper, garlic, sodium nitrate.  Pork chorizo contains the same “cuts” except they’re pig parts.  Aren’t salivary glands and lymph nodes technically “by-products”?  They both sound like pet food to me.  Except for the spices and vinegar, the ingredients are pretty much interchangeable with those in Alpo.

Mexican chorizo that’s made in real Mexican markets may (let’s hope anyway) have more wholesome ingredients, but who really knows?  Anyway, it’s a sure bet that you want to cook the hell out of any commercial chorizo before eating any of it.  Rare or medium rare is definitely NOT the order of the day with this stuff.

Once cooked, you get to deal with all that orange-red grease.  Probably at least half of the weight of the packaged commercial chorizo turns out to be grease.  Now I know that Anthony Bourdain on one of his shows, where he’s eating camel spleens or something equally yummy, stated that anything that drips red grease can’t be all bad, but come on!  Eating that stuff has to be a heart attack in waiting.  In my younger days when I actually ate that stuff, I used to pour the cooked stuff from the skillet onto a fine sieve placed over a bowl, just so I could eat those mouthwatering salivary glands and lymph nodes and delay that pending heart attack.

Anyway, here’s a solution to all of us that love chorizo but really don’t want to eat lymph nodes, salivary glands, pituitary glands, gall bladders, adrenal glands, or for that matter, glands or nodes of any kind.  Miners Mix makes a great Carne Asada / Chorizo mix that uses real meat instead of those tasty meat by products.  Miners Mix is all natural spice blend that has no preservatives or flavor enhancers.  With Miners Mix, you can use any kind of hamburger, but ideally you want some fat in the mix for best flavor.  It’s best to use 80/20 or 85/15 hamburger so there’s some fat in the final mix.  It can be made with ground turkey, but the results will be dry and unsatisfactory.  When made as the package directs and cooked, the resultant chorizo is sort of like a Mexican sloppy José.  Scrambled with eggs and burritoizecd, it makes about the best healthy chorizo anywhere.  It’s also a great addition to boxed au gratin potatoes.  About 0.25-0.5 cup uncooked chorizo added to the potatoes prior baking makes incredible Mexican-style au gratin potatoes.

So, be sure to try out the Miners Mix Carne Asada / Chorizo Mix and leave the by-products for your dog and cat to eat.  There might be a shortage of glands and nodes someday.

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Garlic Bread….3,000 years of evolution

Garlic Bread and pizza appear to share a common history that dates back as far as 500 BC, and probably much further.  It seems that Persian soldiers, after a hard day of burning and pillaging villages and doing other soldierly activities, used their shields for more than sword fighting.  They were bakers!  Those shields apparently made pretty darn good bread pans on which they baked a flat bread that they would then cover with various toppings (such as garlic).  No one really knows when cheese got roped into the picture, but since melted cheese and bread kind of go well together, that union probably occurred about the same time as when those Persians were pillaging and baking.  So much for this short history of garlic bread and pizza.

When you take a bite of Miners Mix Garlic Cheese Bread Mix spread on some great sourdough and then toasted under the broiler, I bet you had no idea that you were actually eating something that took close to 3,000 years to perfect!  Kind of takes you back huh?

Something that’s been around as long as garlic cheese bread has walked this earth, has to have more than a single use or it would have gone the way of the dinosaurs.  Want your kids to eat their veggies?  Sprinkle dry Garlic Cheese Bread Mix over the vegetables and the kids inhale their greens.  Even Brussels Sprouts and broccoli are gone after being buttered and sprinkled with the stuff.  It’s also pretty tasty on asparagus, if I do say so myself.

Miners Mix Garlic Cheese Bread Spread is also a pretty good addition when sprinkled dry onto buttered baked potatoes or blended into mashed potatoes.  Either variation is a great change from traditional spuds.  Blended with mayo, the stuff makes a heavenly dip for artichokes or cooked asparagus.

Finally it can be used to make a great chip dip as well.  Blend a package with ½ cup of sour cream and ½ cup of mayo or try a cup of cream cheese.  Good, cheesy, garlicky, vampire repellant!

However you eat it, the key is to enjoy it!

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The four main types of barbecue…No it ain’t Beef, Pork, Chicken, and Roadkill

There are four main regional varieties of traditional, slow-cooked barbecue and those what love ‘em is usually them what growed up with ‘em, and sometimes they’ll even fight to defend ‘em.  BUT, there aren’t really any hard and fast rules about the differences between ‘em, nor even what constitutes grillin’ Vs barbecue.  It’s all just meat usually placed on a platform of some kind, and heated either directly over wood or coals or heated indirectly off to the side a bit.  So in very general terms here ya go.

Slow-cooked barbecue goes beyond the grillin’ steaks, various chicken, pork, or armadillo parts or the occasional vegetable or pineapple tossed onto the grill. You have to plan your day and activities around barbecue; it’s not something that you just do on a whim or when you’re in a hurry to eat.  At temperatures of 200° – 250°F or so and possibly up to 16 hours or so of cookin’ you just have to be patient.  The original slow food, slow-cooked barbecue is very much like art based on what used to be cheaper and tougher cuts of meat.  Slow cooking imparts flavor and tenderness to those cuts that just cannot be achieved by high temperature grilling.

Kansas City Style

Out here in the wild west, Kansas City style is the barbecue with which we’re most familiar, and is the dominant style of most of the sauces on the local grocery store shelves.  In fact, it’s probably pretty darn near impossible to even find Carolina or Texas style sauces out here where the sun sets into the ocean every night.  Kansas City style barbecue is characterized by thick, tomato-based sauces containing mucho sugar.  An interesting variation to Kansas City barbecue is that Miners Mix (minersmix.com) barbecue sauce.  This product is a dry mix that contains all of the stuff that makes Masterpiece and those other bottled sauces taste like barbecue, but you blend it yourself with ketchup, vinegar, molasses (or brown sugar if your molasses is all gone).  Once blended, Miners Mix is a thick, dark, rich sauce that’s full of flavor.  The best things about it though, are that it’s a dry, packaged mix, so it has little weight, takes up little space (good for camping), yet still makes over 5 cups of sauce, plus you can adjust the vinegar/molasses ratio to your sweet/tangy version of bbq heaven!

Kansas City style rubs are mostly brown sugar, or some other form of sugar as well.  It’s imperative that Kansas City barbecue be cooked slowly over low heat, or you’ll end up with a crispy black lump from all that charred sugar.   Not good!  Kansas City style barbecue usually focuses on pork, pork ribs, and chicken.  Miners Mix also makes a really good barbecue rub with flavor that mirrors that of the sauce above.

Memphis style

Memphis style barbecue is somewhat similar to Kansas City style, but doesn’t pack nearly as much sugar as that stuff from further west.  Memphis style tends to be more spicy than Kansas City style, and pork ribs or butt are usually the primary meats found in Memphis barbecue joints.  It’s usually served sans sauce, but the meat might get basted occasionally while cooking.  Because sauce isn’t slathered on the meat, Memphis barbecue is not nearly as messy as Kansas City style so perhaps it’s not nearly as much fun to eat.  If sauce is used, it’s generally served at the table for dipping or pouring over pulled pork.  Memphis sauce is generally thinner, runnier, more tangy, and less sweet than Kansas City style sauce.  Memphis style uses rubs as well, but the sugar in Memphis style barbecue is either greatly reduced, or lacking in the rub.

Texas style

Texas barbeque focuses on beef.  Might be a little chicken or pork ribs tossed in as sort of garnish, but in general it’s beef, beef and more beef.  No squeal, no cackle.  Beef brisket, and beef ribs, cooked with a dry mustard and chili powder-based rub.  Sauces tend to be thin and bold, more like a basting or mop sauce and are heavy with flavor from various kinds of ground chilis, cumin, onion, hot sauce, meat drippings and even beer or coffee.  If you want your barbecue “wet” then the meat gets dunked into the mop bucket of sauce prior to plating.

Carolina style
As much as Texas style barbecue is beef, Carolina style barbeque is pork.  What kind of pork, you ask?  Pretty much all but the squeal, from pork butt (actually the pork shoulder) and ribs, all the way up to the whole critter done in a pit.  Not much if any of a rub is used; this barbecue is sauce-based.  Carolina sauce in general is thin and watery, tangy, and peppery.  Depending on the Carolina region you’re talking about, the sauce can be golden yellow from the mustard base, or clear and vinegar-based and it might contain floating flecks of cayenne.  Being tangy from the vinegar, the sauce cuts through the fat in the ribs and butt and soaks into the meat while cooking.  Like the other three styles above, there are many variations on the theme.

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Outdoor Cookin’ Techniques

Outdoor Cooking Techniques

Growing up in southern California during the 60s, my dad cooked outside over charcoal quite a bit. I thought if something was cooked over a charcoal fire, it had to be, by definition ” barbecued”. After all, it was cooked in a barbecue, right? It was much later, after I finished way too much schoolin’ and was working in my first real, professional-type job in South Carolina, that I heard the term “grillin'” applied to outdoor-cooked meats for the very first time. The term seemed strange at the time – by implication the meat cooked over one of those Weber electric grills in the kitchen was the same as meat cooked outdoors over charcoal. We even feasted on a whole hog, barbecued by one of the South Carolina’s true Low Country gentlemen one July 4th, but at the time I still didn’t make the distinction in the different styles and philosophies of outdoor cooking. Later, as I grew in knowledge and experience, I learned that there was actually a distinction between the outdoor cooking styles and that what I’d grown up learning to cook, and had became very proficient at, was grilling, not barbecuing. Like many of you, thanks to the proliferation of barbecue shows on TV, I learned about the four main different styles of barbecue: Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas. Because I grew up in southern California, I NEVER developed a taste for the vinegar, mustard-based Carolina style barbecue, despite living there for some years. I also learned about the various barbecue societies and along with my business partner here at Miners Mix, I became a certified Kansas City Barbecue Society judge.

 In general, grilling involves direct cooking over high heat with the goal of cooking the meat relatively quickly. Grilling also is appropriate for cooking many vegetables and even fruits to accompany that meat, thus giving the inside kitchen a real break from its normal duty. Grilling can be done over an open bed of coals, or over a gas flame and can be exposed to the outside air or inside a hinged lid of some sort. Because the meat cuts are smaller and cook quickly, more tender cuts of meat are usually preferred. Any kind of seasoning, sauce, marinade, or rub can be used on grilled meat, but those that contain a lot of sugar should usually be avoided because the sugar will caramelize and burn, rendering your creation a blackened lump. Sometimes, lowering the heat and using that sugary rub or sauce during the last few minutes of cooking is a way to avoid crunchy black pork or steaks. Likewise, sauces or marinades heavy with oil should be used very carefully, because the oil will cause flare-ups.

 Barbecuing is sort of the crock pot philosophy to outdoor cooking; a long slow process of cooking meat slowly over low heat usually in the low 200° to 250°F range for up to 10 hours and sometimes longer. Like the crock pot, barbecuing enables use of less tender cuts of meat such as brisket. Because of the low heat, those sweet sauces, marinades, and rubs with lots of brown sugar can be used with great effect. The sugar tends to caramelize slowly and creates a wonderful, flavorful bark on the surface of the meat, particularly on pork butt. Generally, barbecuing entails the use of wood smoke for flavoring that compliments the marinades or rubs. Expert barbecue chefs have their own favorites when it comes to type of wood, as each type imparts subtly different flavors to the finished product.

(ArticlesBase SC #3062550)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Outdoor Cooking Techniques

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