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Barbecue TipsBBQ Tips

• When purchasing beef it should be a bright, cherry-red color and the fat a creamy white.

• Shrimp, scallops or cubes of firm fish make excellent kabobs.

• Purchase beef that is firm to the touch, not soft.

• Fish usually takes about 10 minutes to grill for each inch of thickness.

• Cut vegetables in large chunks and put directly on the grill, or in smaller pieces if you have a grill basket - they'll cook faster.

• When buying fish look for glossy, moist and intact steaks or fillets.

• Always marinate in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.

• Tender beef cuts need to be marinated only 15 or up to 2 hours for more flavor.

• Brush meat with fresh marinade during cooking for more flavor.

• Do not pierce meat before marinating as it causes juices and moisture to be lost during cooking.

• Keep fresh lemon juice handy while grilling fish. You can brush this on while you grill to add flavor and keep the fish moist.

• Ribs and chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 and 160 degrees respectively.

• Don't squish kabobs. Leave a 1/4-inch space between food pieces so the heat can circulate better and crisp all the edges.

• Leave a thin layer of fat on steaks during cooking to preserve juiciness. Trim fat after cooking.

• Pat steaks dry with paper towels for better browning.

• Cooking meats at too high a temperature can cause the outside to char before the interior reaches the proper doneness.

• Use the "poke test" to determine whether your meat is done or not. Gently push the top of the meat with your finger. The resilience will tell you the degree of doneness.
  * Rare: Soft/squishy
  * Medium-rare: Slightly resilient
  * Medium: Semi-firm.
  * Well-done: Firm

• The most reliable way to test when food is done is by using a thermometer.

• To assure success when cooking on wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes before putting the food on them.

• To cook a 1-inch thick steak over medium heat, allow 4 minutes on each side for rare, 5 minutes for medium and 6 minutes for well done.

• Let beef and other meats stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (no longer) before grilling. This standing time allows the meat to be more tender.

• To prevent fish from sticking to the grill, spray the cold grill rack with cooking spray or brush lightly with vegetable oil.

• Foil with holes poked into it can also be placed on the grill to stop the fish from sticking.

• Go easy with the spatula. Pressing down on the meat squeezes out its flavourful juices, causing the meat to dry out, and can also cause dangerous flare-ups.

• Remove cooked meat from the grill and place on a clean plate immediately. Cover with foil to keep juicy.

• Preheat gas barbecue at least 10 minutes on high heat for searing and to prevent sticking on the grill. Make sure your grill is clean before using.

• When grilling kebabs judge the cooking time of each item. Precook those things that will take longer then assemble the kebab and grill.

• To help keep meats moist during a long grill or barbecue, add a pan of water close to the fire, but away from the meat.

• If you use the same marinade that you've soaked meat in as a baste or sauce, remember to boil it for a couple of minutes first to insure that any bacteria is killed off.

• When grilling whole chiles be careful of the smoke. Chili smoke can burn the eyes almost as effectively as putting the chili right in your eyes.

• Vent holes in a covered grill control air flow. To raise the temperature, open vents fully. To lower the temperature, close halfway.

• Season herbs and spices, garlic, salt and pepper immediately before grilling for maximum taste.

• Fish fillets (like salmon) will need about 6-8 minutes per side. Trout fillets may only need 4 minutes per side.

• When cooking vegetables on over an open flame, presoak them in cold water for half an hour to keep them from drying out.

• When cooking larger pieces of meat, like roasts, over charcoal, pile the coals on one side and place the food on the other. This allows for indirect cooking and reduces charring.

• Don't peek. Resist the urge to open your grill cover until absolutely necessary.

• For direct cooking on a charcoal grill, make sure there is enough charcoal to extend in a single layer 1 to 2 inches beyond the area of the food on the grill.

• When grilling with the lid closed, open a can of beer and place the beer over the hottest part of the fire. The beer will boil and saturate the air inside the grill with water vapor, beer flavors and alcohol. This will help keep the roasting meats moist, while adding flavor to the meat.

• Tomato and/or sugar based BBQ sauces should be added at the end of the grilling process, since these products will burn easily and are seldom considered an internal meat flavoring.

• Lock in flavors by keeping the grill lid closed.

• Light basting sauces, such as beer for brats or olive oil on chicken, can be added throughout the grilling process without burning.

• Fish is cooked when the meat flakes easily with a fork and appears opaque all the way through. If any of the meat is still glossy and translucent then it is not done.

• A grill basket makes grilling fish, especially smaller pieces, considerably easier for cooking and clean-up.

• Line inside of a charcoal grill with Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil for easy cleanup.

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