Chef Mario’s Top 5 Barbecue Tips

Whether you barbecue weekly, daily or you’re hosting a crowd, there’s a definite knack to mastering the grill… Looking to up your game? Chef Mario shares 5 simple tips to help you impress your guests this summer:

1. Pre-heat your grill: Crank the temperature up on your barbecue up to get the grill nice and hot and then you can turn it down based on what you’re actually cooking. Why? Because putting meat directly on a cold grill can result in food sticking to the grill, will unnecessarily extend your cooking time (which could make your meat dry) and will eliminate those impressive and flavourful grill marks.  Pre-heating is key.

2. Warm up your protein: Meat should be room temperature when hitting the grill. The closer to room temperature it is, the more evenly it will cook. So, never take your protein directly from the fridge to the grill – always let it sit out for 20-30 minutes to bring the temperature down – that way there won’t be any surprises for you or your guests and you can enjoy a nice, evenly cooked protein.

3. Leave it alone: The temptation to flip meat and to check on it multiple times is strong, but Chef Mario advises you to flip it as few times as you can. For example, for a medium-cook steak, flipping it once should do it. The more you open the lid, the more the temperature fluctuates. The more you flip it, the tougher the meats gets, so resist the urge to over-flip or over-check for best results!

4. Let it rest: We always hear that we should let meat rest after cooking, but what does that mean? Letting it rest allows for the juices stay in longer and for it to stay as tender as possible.  But how long is long enough? A good average would be a minimum of 5 minutes before you cut into it or serve it to your guests and all your flavourful juices should be preserved.

5. Rub or marinade: Either choice is great!  Pat on a spice rub just before grilling to finish with a delicious coating or crust. Have a favourite mix? Make a large batch of it and store in a mason jar for longevity.  If you want to go the marinade route, soak your meat overnight for flavourful, tender results. You can even marinade the meat and freeze the whole thing (uncooked) in a freezer bag, if you are looking for some make-ahead meals.

Looking for some more tips and tricks from our kitchen? Check out our blog here: http://www.hockley.com/blog/