Ray Sheehan is a New Jersey-based BBQ competition judge and cookbook author with a line of BBQ products (sauces, rubs, etc.) called BBQ Buddha. He’s been in the BBQ business for more than 20 years and I was thrilled he took the time to contribute some BBQ pro tips!
With temperatures rising, now is the perfect time to get ready for BBQ season. Once your patio area is set up, grills are cleaned, and you are stocked up on your favorite charcoal you are just about ready to do some serious grilling. But before you fire up your cooker, here are a few important tips to get you started.
🔥 PRO-TIP #1: Keep your Grill Clean
Before you begin to cook, raise the temperature in your grill to high, and burn off any food particles or debris left behind from your previous cook. To create a nonstick surface, use a pair of long handled metal tongs to wipe down the grates with a paper towel that has been doused with a small amount of olive oil.
🔥 PRO-TIP #2: Build Layers of BBQ Flavor
True barbecue is all about building layers of flavor, from using the right seasoning rub to knowing when and if, to apply BBQ sauce. Very simply put; use rubs that are low in sugar for high heat, direct grilling, so they don’t burn up on the grill. Save those sugar forward rubs for smoking low and slow. Cooking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time will caramelize the sugars in the rub and help build that delicious bark on the exterior of the meat that we all crave. Likewise, apply BBQ sauce to meats at the end of the cooking process, and continue to cook just long enough to set the glaze.
🔥 PRO-TIP #3: Eliminate the Guesswork
Investing in a good instant-read thermometer helps ensure that your food is safe to eat. Not only does it help with knowing when your food has reached the correct level of doneness, by using a thermometer you can reassure yourself that everything will be cooked to perfection.