BBQ tips to spice up your summer

Ary ‘Adzuki’, the mastermind behind our Bargain Box BBQ recipes, shares his top seven BBQ tips for mastering the grill.

Ary Adzuki barbecuing
Bargain Box BBQ chef Ary ‘Adzuki’

It’s one of Kiwis’ favourite pastimes, but there’s more to barbecuing than meets the eye. Bargain Box chef Ary ‘Adzuki’s BBQ tips to cook your meat to perfection.

Tip #1: Cook steak at room temperature

Take the meat out of the fridge and let it sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. The key to a perfect steak is cooking it at a high temperature for a short amount of time. The colder the steak, the longer it will take to cook it. And the longer it cooks, the tougher it gets. Ideally, you want the interior of the meat to be a bit cool when it hits the grill. That’ll help you to cook the perfect medium-rare steak.

Tip #2: Seasoning is key

Big, thick steaks need a lot of seasoning, so be sure to cover them liberally with salt, pepper and any rub before grilling. A good rule of thumb for home cooks is to salt the meat twice as much as you think is needed.

Tip #3: Check your temperature

To gauge the heat of your BBQ, hold your hand about 10cm above the grill grate and start counting: “One Mississippi, two Mississippi.” Over a hot fire, you’ll get to two or three Mississippi before you’re forced to move your hand; over a medium-high fire, you’ll be able to count to four or five Mississippi.

Tip #4: Be patient

Let your steak develop a seared crust before moving or flipping it. If you try to lift the meat before it’s ready, it’ll stick to the grates.

Tip #5: Handle with care

When checking to see if your meat is done, resist the urge to poke, stab, or pierce it with a fork or prongs. This will make the juices escape, making the meat drier and less flavourful. Use a spatula or tongs instead to move and flip your food.

Tip #6: Rest is best

Once your meat is off the grill, wait at least 5 minutes before slicing. This gives the juices a chance to settle back into the meat. Don’t place them directly onto a plate or tray, though. Preserve the crispy grill marks you worked so hard to achieve by placing the meat on a cooling rack instead. This allows enough air to circulate underneath so it doesn’t have to rest quite as long.

Tip #7: Perfect patties

Okay, so technically we’re giving multiple BBQ tips here. But there are so many ways to make sure your burgers are a hit every time.

  • You can hide veggies easily in a patty. Use a food processor to blend carrots or courgette, or simply give them a bit of a chop after grating. The littlies won’t even know they’re there!
  • Try not to overwork your mince when mixing, or pack the meat too tightly when rolling your patties. This can make them chewy.
  • Cook your burger in a cast iron pan or BBQ to hold its heat better for an even sear. Cooking it like a steak, you only need to flip it once. Watch the sides until it’s cooked halfway up before flipping to cook for the same amount of time and you should have a perfect cook.
  • Don’t press down on the patty with your spatula. This only serves to squeeze out the juices and make your patties dry.

*Bargain Box BBQ is now available to order. Click here to find out more.

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