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Grilling on the barbecue is exciting, learn these tips and techniques for a great BBQ.

Barbeque Grilling

– Mary Bodel

Grilling on the barbecue is exciting, learn these tips and techniques for a great BBQ.

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Grilling on the barbecue has never been more exciting. Not only do barbecues come in a myriad of designs and options, but also with the advent of popular cooking shows, cooking books and magazines', grilling has reached a whole new realm. Grilling is no longer just about steaks and burgers, barbecue grilling is full of adventurous and elegant recipes and menu plans. Some of the tantalizing grilling 'recipes have names like grilled mango blossom, grilled portobello's with avocado salsa and grilled beef tenderloin with cabernet sauvignon sauce.

You'll want to familiarize yourself with the barbecuing grilling basics before you start. The two most popular types of grilling are the indirect and direct grilling methods. The indirect method is a slow cooking process because less heat is used. One suggestion for indirect cooking is to use a disposable drip pan or foil placed underneath the food to be cooked, using tongs arrange the coals around the pan. The food is cooked by the hot air circulating around the food (similar to a convection oven) this process is great for cooking roasts. It's always a good idea to check with your owner manual for your specific barbeque.

The direct grilling method is achieved by arranging the coals (with long handled tongs) to spread evenly in a single layer, extending about one inch beyond the area of food. The food is then placed directly over fire. The direct grilling method is fast because of the intense heat and allows for quick browning on the outside of foods. Direct grilling works best for food requiring short cooking times, such as burgers and steaks. It's important to turn over food to allow cooking of both sides.

The three most popular ways of adding flavor to your selected grilling foods are with sauces, marinades and rubs. The sauce can be said to define a great barbecue, you can use a little sauce or a lot. A sample recipe for sauce is this maple barbecue sauce; combine equal amounts of maple syrup, ketchup and white wine add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, ginger and chili powder with a bay leaf, bring ingredients to a boil then reduce and let simmer. A sauce should be brushed on in the last five to ten minutes of grilling as the sugar can cause the sauce to burn. There are a wide variety of barbecue sauces and recipes available.

Marinades are another way to change a mediocre meal into incredible. They are an excellent way to add flavor while tenderizing and promoting crisp brown exteriors. The three basic ingredients in marinades are flavorings (herbs, spices and sweeteners), oils and acids (citrus juices, wines, vinegars and yogurts). A simple marinade recipe is the lemon rosemary marinade. Mix shredded lemon peel, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, white wine, rosemary, salt and pepper and pour over your selected meat, tofu, or vegetables in either a plastic sealable bag or shallow dish and refrigerate for one to two hours, remembering to shake bag or flip in dish half way through marinating process.

Rubs are a wonderful bold blend of seasonings, which are just as the name implies rubbed directly into the food. The food is rubbed with spices prior to grilling, transforming the rub into a crunchy brown crust that seals in the juices and enhances the flavors. A very basic rub recipe is this herb rub; equal amounts of dried rosemary, dried thyme, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, with smaller amounts of salt and pepper combine all ingredients in a food processor until coarsely ground. Sprinkle mixture evenly over meat, then rub in with fingers. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to two hours, and then grill.

Find more great grilling tips on page 2 of Barbeque Grilling

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