How do you BBQ for beginners?, How do you BBQ for the first time? These and similar questions are very common when we start in the world of barbecues and is related to the previous question, On our Make barbecues easily page we give you a series of tips so that you can make a great barbecue and that your friends or family will be delighted. Click here
No one can really give you the answer to this question, it depends a lot on the tastes of the diners. The ideal is to start with a starter, a main course and dessert. But of course let's imagine that we have a vegetarian in our group, what would be the dishes that you like the most? It is true that most people like meat, fish, vegetables, etc., try to find out beforehand what your barbecue guests like the most, if for any reason you cannot find out, try making a Little of everything, so if someone does not like meat, they can eat fish, or grilled vegetables, etc., On our page you have many recipes of all kinds of barbecue food, obviously meat predominates, which is what People tend to like it more and what is very good done on the barbecue.
How does a drum smoker work? or How do you use a smoker?, you can look at our page smoke beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetables in it you will find a guide to be able to make smoked meat and everything you need, but the best recommendation is that you practice, the more you practice the better the result will be. Click here
The process of making a barbecue at home is the same as doing it anywhere else. Nowadays almost all manufacturers have small electric models, even some gas with a small bottle, which are perfectly adapted to make them at home, there are also some types of charcoal that are very interesting so that much smoke is not produced, such as the coconut one, ask at your usual store.
Technically, only the appliance that has a lid will be a barbecue, and, of course, that uses embers as a heat source. If it is electric or gas, it is not a real barbecue, but very similar results can be achieved, using a grill on the market and also using a smoker. There are even plates that can be put on top of the kitchen gas burners if you use a smoker afterwards the result will be good. There are also smokers that can be placed in the oven at the same time that the food is being cooked, in these smokers you usually put special woods that give it a very good flavor and the result is also good. Obviously we will never get the result of doing it on a barbecue but it will also be very tasty doing it with the plates or grills at home.
Pork: For starters, sauces, chorizo, bacon, fresh or marinated ribs and moorish lean marinated skewers. And as a prop, other ideal cuts due to their high infiltrated fat, such as the secret, the prey or the feather.
Veal: The entrecote or the ribeye are the kings, but you can also opt for something simpler such as the beef steak or the needle. Another possibility is to prepare some delicious beef burgers.
Lamb: The rib or leg chops or the lamb skirt will be a success. And you can also decide on a shoulder. Lamb meat, suckling or not, is very fatty and tasty, which is why it looks so good on the barbecue.
What is the best barbecue meat?
First of all, we must differentiate between barbecue and grill: a good barbecue must have its corresponding lid, and everything that does not have a lid is a grill. The construction ones, in general, are grills and not barbecues.
The barbecue gives us the option that, depending on how we place the embers, it becomes a charcoal oven when we place the lid.
In terms of safety, barbecues (those with a lid) are much safer than any grill, since having a lid the embers will go out on their own, compared to a grill in which the fire can never be abandoned while it is on.
For a good terrace or attic, a barbecue is the best option, for safety and convenience when cleaning. The Weber brand incorporates a cleaning system that allows you to remove your ashes in a comfortable way every 5 or 6 barbecues. With a good barbecue, about 57 cm. in diameter in the round ones or about 60 cm. If we opt for those on tap, we can perfectly feed more than 20 people.
In a large garden and for more than 25 people, a grill can be an interesting option. It must have a system for raising and lowering the height of the grill, in order to control the heat. You also have to take into account the smoke and place it where the wind does not put it at home, and have a light point to cook at night.
It is convenient to calculate well so that there is neither excess nor lack of meat. A total of approximately 500 grams of total meat can be calculated for men, 350 for women and 200 for children, these would be generous servings and it is not the same only meat as for example ribs since the bone is not eaten. The total weight must be divided between the starters and the main dishes.
For example, if you are 5 boys, 4 girls and 3 boys, the count would be (5 × 500 + 4 × 350 + 3 × 200) or what is the same 2.5 kg + 1.4 Kg + 600g, which totals 4 and a half kilos of meat. Of this amount, calculate half for the appetizers and entrees (sausages, bacon, wings, etc.) and the rest for the main meat, whether they are hamburgers, steaks or ribs.
With this calculation, you can say I am going to buy 5 kg to be safe in case an extra guest comes, or calculate the best distribution of that weight by choosing the different pieces. However, there are other factors to take into account: It is not the same to have a barbecue at noon with the family, than a barbecue with friends as a night party.
There are many fish that are delicious on the barbecue. Oily fish is ideal for cooking on the grill in its many varieties, such as sardines, red mullet, salmon, tuna, or mackerel.
The characteristics of this type of fish, which offers a higher amount of fat than others, allow them to be very juicy when they go through the barbecue. In addition, when cooking them, it does not need much preparation, it will be enough to season them to taste and place them on the grill, or a double grill to be able to turn them comfortably
Semi-fatty fish, such as sea bass, sea bream or turbot, are also very suitable options for a barbecue. And for their cooking, it is enough to make sure that they are well cleaned, make several cuts, season and bring to the embers.
On the other hand, another valuable and varied raw material that the sea offers us is shellfish. A seafood grill accepts a wide variety of options, beyond prawns and prawns. Thus, clams, scallops, mussels, razor clams or even octopus, cooked on the grill are delicious.
In general, except for the smallest fish, such as sardines, which are recommended to be cooked whole, all these types of fish accept different cuts, being ideal for cooking in one piece, in fillets, on the back, in loins and even, Have you tried the fish skewers?
What are the best fish to make on the barbecue or grill?
1. Choose a good fish grill
Most of the time, the main reason why fish sticks to the grill is because it is not fresh, or because its characteristics are not suitable for grilling fish. In addition, good care is essential to maintain a good grill and obtain an exquisite grill of fish.
2. Heat the fish grill very well
Although at first it may appear to have the opposite effect, a hot iron helps it absorb much less oil and seal almost immediately. The result will be a well-cooked and firm piece that you can handle easily.
3. Add a little flour or salt
Both ingredients are great for preventing grilled fish from sticking together while adding a unique and delicious touch to the dish.
In the case of salt, it works by adding a generous, but not excessive, amount of coarse salt to the fish before placing it on the grill. This creates a kind of protective film around the fish meat and prevents it from sticking.
On the other hand, the flour is responsible for reducing the oil absorption of the fish in case of cooking it on the grill. In addition, it gives it a crunchy touch, so you can also do it with your grilled fish. You just have to dry the piece of fish very well and pass it through flour, shaking off the excess before putting it on the grill.
4. Use very little oil
Remember that one of the main reasons why grilled fish sticks is from absorbing too much oil. This is why it is important not to use too much oil or butter before cooking.
5. Dry the fish very well
In case the fish comes frozen, you should defrost it completely before cooking it and, just before putting it on the fire, absorb the excess liquid using a kitchen napkin or a cloth.
If, on the other hand, the fish is fresh, you just have to dry the piece before putting it on the fire with the help of a kitchen towel or a napkin.
Lighting a fire with as little smoke as possible and in the shortest time is an art.
The secret is to use fine chips or pineapples and, once they are well lit, we gradually incorporate the charcoal or hard wood that we have chosen to generate embers. The fire has to have oxygen, so if we add all the coal at once or add cardboard or paper to it, we will kill the combustion and create a very annoying smoke.
There are practical tools, such as the grill holder or electric lighters, which in a few minutes generate embers with hardly any smoke or even none, as with the electric one. The ideal is to light with ecological products, such as some good chips or some pineapples, no use of pills or liquids that then leave us traces of kerosene or any other unpleasant product in our food. And of course, no gasoline or burning alcohol, they are gastronomically unhealthy and, above all, extremely dangerous.
This will depend on the amount of food that has to be prepared and the time it takes to make it. It is not the same to prepare foods that require just a few minutes on each side, than to cook others that can take a quarter of an hour or half an hour.
What you should be clear about is that you have to put all the necessary coal because, although it is possible, it is not convenient to have to add cold coal to a barbecue because it can lower the temperature and spoil the cooking.
For a meat barbecue for four people you need a bag of 3 or 5 kilos of charcoal, depending on the amount of food to be prepared.
When it starts to turn white it is ready to put the grill
Preparing the charcoal grill
You have to look for a good coal, it is worth it, because if it does not ruin your plate. You have to have a fuel that lasts as long as you go to the kitchen. Ask or try different coals and brands.
Quality oak charcoal is the standard for all good barbecue and can be found in some establishments, including large areas. To distinguish it, we must check that it is indeed oak, and look at the granulometry: in general, the larger the pieces, the better. A good indicator is also the price: it is more expensive than conventional charcoal.
Of course, there are many other types of charcoal. One of the most demanded is the premium quebracho –which gets its name because it is obtained from the iron tree, which “breaks axes” -, very popular in Argentina, but also the coconut one - which lasts a long time, releases little smoke and is the most used for yakitoris– or Cuban marabou –very small, powerful and that leaves an ideal ash for cooking fish–.
It can also be cooked with firewood, of course, although we must be aware that it requires more combustion time to generate embers: at least 30 or 40 minutes. The exception to this rule is vine shoots, the wood of the vines, which generates very good and powerful embers in a few minutes, but of very short duration, so it is not ideal if you are going to cook large quantities.
If you want to give the flavor to one or another firewood without having to wait so long, you can add it to a good charcoal. You can use charcoal and put a handful of vine shoots, which give off the smoke and give it an aroma. There are many people who mix different wood and charcoal on a professional level.
Oak wood: It is the most used in barbecues, it has a calorific value between 4650 Kcal. The oak produces the acorn as a fruit and the sap that circulates through its wood, offers spectacular aromas to the roasts during its combustion, lamb and suckling pig are specially prepared.
Oak firewood: it has characteristics similar to oak firewood, it provides special aromas and flavors to meats with a calorific value of 4610 Kcal. The wood has to be exposed to the elements for two years so that it is washed in the rain and loses its tannins, after two years it must be protected under some kind of shelter. Oak is the perfect selection in oak barrels for the production of great wines thanks to the tannin among other properties.
Olive wood: With a calorific value between 4678Kcal., The olive branch symbolizes peace and in barbecues it offers special aromas to meals, its fruit is the olive or olive tree, which has hundreds of health benefits.
Orange tree firewood: It is rich in vitamin C and is used to prepare essences and perfumes, in barbecues it is usually used for paellas in thin branches that we can control the level of fire.
The resinous ones: As in the case of spruce pine, it gives off a lot of heat but is consumed faster, it is not highly recommended since they make the chimney quite dirty.
Beech and ash: Quick-drying, they are recommended for use on barbecues and should be stored well sheltered from the weather once dry to prevent them from rotting and losing their heat intensity, they are also easy to light.
Hornbeam, fruit trees and cherry: They are ideal to maintain a continuous fire, easy to obtain being a great fuel that produces beautiful and calm flames.
Charcoal: this is obtained by charring the wood, charcoal barbecues light faster since in the case of firewood, you must wait until it is charred and creates the ember that will cook the meats. The quality of charcoal varies depending on the method in which it is produced, the hardness of the wood used, and the skills and knowledge of the person making the charcoal. It has a caloric power that goes between 3500 and 4500 Kcal.
Woods to smoke meats: To impregnate meats with the aroma of the smoke of traditional smokers, sweet woods such as apple or oak are used and are usually purchased in small pieces.
To obtain an exceptional result, the barbecue fire must be started with woods such as pineapple, chips or noble and soft woods that provide calories that help to light the initial barbecue fire, for people who do not have much experience in barbecues , You can use chemicals that help to light the fire, this helps the barbecue but it is not recommended since the aroma changes due to the use of chemicals in the embers. We refer to the typical ignition stones or alcohols.
What is the best firewood for barbecue?
The trend in hospitality is undoubtedly grilled: there is no restaurant worth its salt that does not have a charcoal oven. At least some of its star dishes go through it, but we must be careful that we are not given a piggyback, since some call it ember on the gas grill and that is neither ethical, nor serious.
The trend among hobbyists is to use aromatic woods and coals depending on what is going to be prepared, the hours that are going to be cooked and the type of grill or barbecue that is going to be used.
Holm oak or quebracho charcoal, Cuban marabou or the valuable coconut shell charcoal delight the most connoisseurs on the grill. They pair with charcoal and aromatic woods such as apple tree, mesquite or hickory, depending on which product is to be cooked.
As for the recipes, the hamburger is in fashion, and the host chef's imagination will achieve all kinds of gourmet versions, with almost infinite flavors and accessories.
There have been many warnings about the health risk that the "charred" remains of food contain. Therefore, avoid burning or scorching meat, poultry or fish at high temperatures. When burned, heterocyclic amines (AHCs) are formed, which can damage a person's genes and increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Brushing the grill with oil, using marinades, reducing the grill temperature, and cleaning the grill thoroughly after each use helps reduce exposure to AHCs.
Furthermore, we must bear in mind that we are not eating barbecues every day, nor at all meals, so the risk is very small. And the barbecue also cooks with less fat and the meals are more natural.
Times vary depending on many factors, the type of fuel, the height of the grill, it will also depend on whether it is a grill or a barbecue that can be closed, the type of meat and the size, thickness, type of vegetables, etc., as you practice, you will gain experience and over time you will become an expert barbecue cook. We put a table for you to serve as a reference.
What are the cooking times on a barbecue?
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