BBQ-ing a Roast 101
It is that amazing time of year again where we are emerging from our winter hibernation and dusting off the old grill in anticipation of warm weather. As our patios and decks thaw and the snow disappears, we look over at the hooded BBQ and wonder what are we going to cook?
When you think of the grill, you usually dream of burgers, hot dogs, wings, and steaks as the staple items for a barbecue. Where does that leave a roast? Is this larger cut of meat unable to be flipped and grilled with the best of them? Today we are going to go over the best techniques with some tips and tricks to cook that perfect roast on the BBQ. Whether it’s a pork roast, beef roast or even a bison roast, we’ll help you take the guesswork out of cooking!
The Best Roast for the Grill
In our experience, anything you can roast in the oven, you can roast in a BBQ! But there are some tips in choosing the right roast. Less fatty cuts are usually desirable, flare ups can happen in the BBQ when the fat renders and hits the coals which can cause uneven cooking (and worse yet, fires!).
Roasts that require higher temperatures such as tenderloins are ideal for barbecuing but other larger cuts can also be grilled but will take a little more time and finesse.
The Cooking Process
Whether it’s propane, natural gas or old school charcoal, you will have to learn how to manage your heat for the cooking process. A great technique for larger cuts of meat is the on and off method where you are using indirect heat for the cooking process.
Your charcoal or gas grill matters! Make sure your grill is large enough so that your beef or pork roast has plenty of space to cook both in direct and indirect grilling. It’s best to shoot for a grill that’s at least 20 inches, but bigger is better in this case.
- Pre-heat your grill to about 350 degrees with the lid closed to allow a slow grill and even, thorough cooking.
- Cover the roast with your favourite rub for added flavour before placing it on the grill. Or, stick to some olive oil, salt, and pepper for a more traditional taste. You might also want to add flavoured wood chunks to the grill to get the smoky flavour you’re looking for. Are you going for a bold barbecue flavour? Add some barbecue sauce to all sides of the roast!
- Give your roast a good sear by placing it on the hottest part of your grill until the crust becomes lightly browned and crispy. If you do have a fatty piece of meat, don’t sear the fatty end, as the drippings can cause dangerous flare-ups.
- Once it’s seared, move the roast away from direct heat and close the lid to allow it to cook the rest of the way. This works much like an oven would, heating your roast thoroughly and evenly.
- As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to grill your roast for 15 to 20 minutes per pound, depending on your desired doneness. A medium rare roast should cook to 130 to 135 degrees, while a medium roast should cook to about 140 degrees before removing it from the grill. Always check the internal temperature with a reliable thermometer.
- Allow resting at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before you slice the meat to allow the juices to move back through your grilled beef roast to preserve tenderness. At least 15 minutes of resting is ideal. Check the temperature again with your meat thermometer after resting to ensure that the roast is cooked to your desired temperature.