There is a lot of bad barbecue out there. Good people cooking dried out over smoked meat! Your neighbor is cooking burn-a-que again! Here are a few tips so you can avoid cooking burn-a-que.
- Get yourself a real barbecue or smoker. If you want to cook barbecue like the pros, you are going to need a real steel barbecue. There are plenty of them available online or at your local home improvement store. I like the custom heavy steel pit barbecues. The ones made of 1/4 in or 3/8 in welded steel. There are a few different types to choose from, and different cooking fuels, but they will all turn out good barbecue and barbecue flavor if used properly. To find a good resource, go to your local library, and check out many of the books available on outdoor cooking. You can even check the online bookstores for titles on outdoor cooking. Then you can educate yourself on what type of barbecue is right for you. You can find an inexpensive barbecue for around $100 that will do the job just fine, or you can get yourself a professional model for thousands of dollars. Whether you want to barbecue or smoke your meat cheap will do or go custom and get the best performance.
- Learn to cook “Low and Slow.” The secret to producing excellent barbecue is to cook your meats in a smoker not a barbecue. You will be cooking at a low temperature for a long period of time. This is what is referred to as “low and slow.” Using this cooking method, ribs will take about 4-5 hours, a pork shoulder should take 10-12 hours, a chicken will take just about 2 hours and a beef brisket will take approximately 12-16 hours asuming you are cooking at approximately 250 degrees.
- Seasoning your meat. All good barbecue is pre-seasoned prior to cooking with a “barbecue rub” or “spice rub” or most commonly called, “The Rub”. The Rub is a blend of spices that are liberally applied to the surface of the meat and “rubbed” into the meat prior to cooking. This process is usually performed hours before it goes into the cooker. There are more barbecue spice rub recipes than there are people cooking barbecue! Locate a good barbecue recipe book, or a good e-recipe-book for resources to help you get started with a good rub recipe that you can modify and call your own.
- Saucing Your Meat. If using sauce is your thing, apply sauce only at the very end of your cook. Most Pitmasters make their own secret barbecue sauce to apply their meat. Just like barbecue rubs, there are thousands of different sauce recipes. Once again make sure you get yourself a good barbecue recipe book, or e-book for barbecue sauce recipe examples. Experiment with the differences until you create what will become your own special taste. Most barbecue sauce recipes contain a ton of sugar. Sugar burns easily when heated. You do not want burnt barbecue, so be careful! Make sure you only apply sauce to your meat during the last stage of the cooking process, when the heat is really low. Brush on the sauce liberally during the last few minutes of cooking. You can always serve sauce on the side with your barbecue.
By following our tips, you can avoid serving and eating bad barbecue. Life is too short to subject family and friends to bad barbecue, when it’s so easy to deliver the good goods, tender, moist and juicy barbecue.