We are blessed with a lot of sunshine in Alberta, even when it’s -400° outside, which means we have the full year to hone and sharpen our BBQ skills. For those that are still a bit intimidated by the big silver beasts on our patio, we have compiled the top 5 things we think you should know to make the most of your Bear and Flower Pork, Gemstone Beef, Lambtastic Lamb and more!
Before we officially get into the top 5 – CLEAN YOUR GRILL!!!
A clean grill is a happy grill. Begin each session with a clean grill. It’s easiest to turn your grill up to high when you’re done cooking, then use a grill brush to clear away any debris on the cooking grids before putting the BBQ away for the day. You can also do this before you cook if you forget. Clean doesn’t just mean your grids; check the grease tray and drip pan every 2 to 4 sessions to make sure there is nothing nasty building up. Excess grease and debris are dangerous to your grill and can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
1) The Right Tools
Having the right tools for the job is a huge part of becoming better at BBQing. If you have just one tool, a good set of tongs will be the most useful. Put together a BBQ kit to keep in your grill cabinet or somewhere clean and dry so that you always have the correct tools on hand. This will go a long way to helping you BBQ better.
Your kit could include:
- Salt & pepper
- Paper towel
- A fire prevention kit that includes baking soda and a squirt bottle in case of grease fires or smoldering planks
- Heat resistant gloves
2) Easy on the Oil!
While barbecue beginners might douse the grates in oil before lighting up, a thin layer of oil on the food holds in enough moisture and avoids having your grill dripping oil, which can be a fire hazard. The last thing you want is your meat sticking to the grate but remember that adding oil where it’s not needed can be detrimental too. Most cuts of lamb, for example, will require no additional fat and a well-made burger will also have enough fat content so you can skip the oil, as will pork and most beef cuts. You'll get the most from your veg if you coat them in oil prior to popping them on the barbecue – generally, vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed oil are good choices. Use olive oil for aubergines/eggplants (as they will absorb it) and butter for mushrooms and corn, as it enhances the flavour.
3) Beyond Meat (get it??)
With a little barbecue magic, vegetables can be more than a side dish. Use direct grilling for high-water-content vegetables like peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus and corn on the cob. Use indirect grilling for dense vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and beets. Colourful vegetable kebabs are a treat for the eye and practical too. When grilling skinny vegetables like asparagus, snap peas and okra, skewer multiple pieces together crosswise so they don’t slip between the bars of the grate.
If you haven’t tried red peppers on the barbecue, you should. They're perfect for barbecuing due to their soft texture and sweet flavour. Barbecue them from raw, and then strip off the black skin from the outside, leaving a lovely sweet and smoky flesh to eat.
4) The Most Obvious Tip
The quality of meat you cook makes all the difference. Higher grade meat with more marbling means the cut is going to be more tender and flavoursome. Grain-fed beef tends to taste slightly creamier and richer and can also withstand slight overcooking. You can check out all our new BBQ products below, or browse our selection of beef, pork, lamb and chicken.
5) The Big Secret
Salt. The secret is salt. The other secret might be yogurt or buttermilk. Yogurt has been used for centuries as a tenderizing marinade in the cuisines of India, Iran, Turkey, Greece, and North Africa. If your mouth waters at the mention of these regional styles of cooking, you’re probably thinking about their characteristically fragrant and flavourful spice blends. Spices ‘bloom’ in yogurt, in the same way they do in hot oil. And since the yogurt also penetrates meat very effectively, it’s the perfect vehicle for delivering the flavour of spices into steaks, pork chops, fillets, poultry, and skewered meats of almost any kind. You can use virtually any mix of spices and seasonings or take inspiration from these classic combinations (remember the salt and pepper!).
Grass Fed Ribeye Steak | Individual Cuts Various Sizes
Grass Fed Sirloin Steaks | Individual Cuts Various Sizes
Natural Center Cut Boneless Pork Chop | 2 Per Pack (1 lb)
Natural Center Cut Bone in Pork Chop | 2 Per Pack, (1.5 lb)