To us, the summer months mean spending more time with an outdoor grill! Our resident BBQ expert & chef at Butler’s Pantry, Chuck Friedhoff, gives a few pointers that will help elevate your own backyard creations. Just in time for Fourth of July, or any summer event where you’re itching to barbeque!
Or if you’d rather have your meat prepared for you, order the ‘Chuck’wagon for pick up, delivery or full service! Try smoked ‘dirty’ wings, smoked pork shoulder, grilled baby back ribs, dill potato salad, red pepper beans, cherry cobbler and much more. Call 314.664.7680 to order today!
Tip #1: Proper Meat Selection
Anything that is going to be cooked over an indirect heat source for an extended period of time using charcoal and wood should contain a good amount of fat. The fat will render down and keep the protein moist. This is barbeque, like brisket, pork shoulder or Boston butt and chicken thighs.
Anything that is intended to be cooked over direct heat for a shorter amount of time should be leaner and tenderer cuts. The heat source here may vary from charcoal to propane. This is grilling, like chicken breast, pork tenderloin, beef flank steak, rib eye, filet).
Tip #2: Brining
Brining is a process similar to marination in which meat or poultry is soaked in brine before cooking. Salt is added to cold water in a container, where the meat is to soak from anywhere from 3 minutes or as long as, but not limited to, 3 days. The amount of time needed to brine depends on the size of the meat and its intended purpose. More time is needed for a large turkey than say smoked shrimp or chicken wings. Similarly the cooking time of a large roast is much greater than a thin flank steak.
Brining makes cooked meat more moist by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking via the process of osmosis and by allowing the cells to hold onto the water while they are being cooked. The increased salinity of the brine penetrates the protein and brings with it any flavoring you add to the brine. Examples of additional flavor are: sweet tea, maple, honey, fresh herbs, garlic, chili or any combination you as the cook would like!
Tip #3: Marinating
Marination is also used to add flavor, but will also tenderize leaner cuts meats. Marinating usually includes an acidic ingredient that is always balanced with oil. The addition of other aromatics is added to for flavor. Examples include garlic, fresh herbs and spices. Marinades are added to the surface of meat and allowed to soak or marinate for a desired amount of time before being cooked. Usually marinated foods are grilled.
Tip #4: Seasoning
Seasoning is the most important part of cooking. The barbeque business is booming as of late. The market is flooded with different spice rubs from varying restaurants, competitive BBQ teams and famous chefs. Choose your favorite, just remember to use it!
Tip #5: Sauce
Again, barbeque is now big business. Some say that competitive barbeque will one day be as big as NASCAR. Trying different sauces is fun and interesting. Some families have several different sauces they like. My personal advice is to not hide behind your sauce selection. Make sure that sauce will only highlight your hard work and impressive skills on the grill!