Thursday, June 11, 2009

You Can't Beat the Flavor of BBQ Cooking

By Jordan Penner

If you dread the thought of cooking in a hot kitchen through the summer, you need to consider barbequing. Sure, you can cook your food indoors on an electric grill, but the tastiest way to get the true flavor and aroma of BBQ is through outdoor cooking. There's gas or charcoal for grilling, and smokers for slow cooking. There are lots of BBQ tips to spice up your grilling, like sauces, rubs and marinades. There are lots of online recipe sites, as well as cookbooks in the store, that have instructions for barbequing any kind of food you can think of. But no matter how you cook it up, it's bound to be a flavor favorite.

There are several different bases that are used for a BBQ sauce, and they each lend their own distinctive flavor to the food you're cooking. You can buy or make sauces featuring a base of vinegar, mustard or tomato. Some even use fruit. You can also try using a sauce to marinate the meat before cooking. There are also marinades and sauces that are applied during the cooking process. And lastly there's the finishing sauce that's slathered on either during the final stages of cooking or for use when eating the meat.

Barbequing also relies on the use of rubs, frequently in combination with sauce. A barbeque rub is a blend of seasonings that are applied to the surface of the uncooked meat, which then infuse the whole cut while it's cooking. The advantage of rubs over sauces is that they cling to the meat and don't drip away. Therefore more flavor is imparted.

These three seasoning techniques can be used together for maximum effect. For example, marinate the meat for a full day then apply the rub. Once the meat is on the grill and cooking, use some sauce to enhance the flavor and tenderness.

As well, there are various methods of barbeque cooking to choose from. Indoor cooking on a grill is always a possibility. An outdoor grill, though, will give you loads more flavor due to the effect of the smoke from the flame. You have the option of using a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Some people prefer charcoal because of the enhanced flavor. In either case, try adding some wood chips. This will give some extra flavor to the meat because of the distinctive aroma of the smoke that the chips produce during the cooking process.

Keep in mind that barbeque cooking sometimes takes longer than indoor cooking. Some foods are pretty quick to cook, such as hamburgers and hot dogs. However, if ribs or roast are on the menu, slow cooking over a low flame is the only way to go.

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