As a follower of this blog, you know I love to BBQ, smoke, grill, bake and cook anything I can on my Big Green Egg.
Well guess what? May is here and it is National Barbecue Month, at least in the United States. So if it’s good enough for our neighbours to the south, it’s good enough for me.
Have plans to get your grill on this month? Well you should. Get outside, dust off that BBQ, or if you can afford it, go buy a new one. It will get the kids out of the house and you to your happy place. Standing over the fires of imagination and flavour.
To get you all “fired” up, here’s a list of 5 things to keep in mind for the ultimate BBQ experience. Please keep in mind, a Big Green Egg is not required for fun, but it certainly helps.
1. Choose Your Meats
I cook a lot of burgers and dogs on the grill. Mostly because of the kids, but let’s be honest, you love them too. National BBQ month is the perfect time to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. How about a brisket, a beer can chicken, meatloaf or one of my favourites, a ham on the Big Green Egg. There are so many options. Beef, pork, chicken and seafood. Have you tried using a wood plank? If you need inspiration, head over to your local butcher and they will be sure to entertain and send you on your way with some great meat.
2. Pick Your Veggies
I know you don’t make friends with salad, but veggies are key to any good BBQ. Who doesn’t love a plate of colourful vegetable kabobs bursting with flavor? That is what summer is all about. Some of the best vegetables for grilling include tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, potatoes, asparagus and of course, wait for it……corn on the cob. I love corn on the grill. I prefer to keep the corn wrapped in their husks and smoke them until they are juicy and ready to eat. Want to ramp up your asparagus? Wrap them in bacon before throwing them on the grill.
3. Select Your Side Items
Every great movie has great side characters. It’s the same with a BBQ meal. You need those killer sides. I am talking creamy coleslaw, smoky baked beans and gooey mac and cheese. One side that I have had a lot of success with in the past would be stuffed peppers. Fill a pepper with bacon, cream cheese and whatever else you want and enjoy. I have not even mentioned all the options you have when it comes to potatoes. The options are endless . Explore new condiments and dipping sauces. Even just adding some smoke flavour to some jazzed up mayo is to die for.
4. Make A Plan
Now this seems nerdy to some, but planning out your BBQ meals is key. You want to have the right meat for the right day. I hate freezing meat when I know it is meant for the grill. Map out a grilling plan on your calendar and mark which will be just for family and which are for guests. When throwing a party it will likely mean hitting the butcher the morning of. You can never plan enough. Make sure you always have extra propane, charcoal or whatever you use to cook. If you are smoking a brisket for 12 hours, make sure you know when the food is supposed to hit the table and work backwards.
5. Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment
Sorry to be that guy but since I have a Big Green Egg, I have all I need. Having the right equipment not only makes grilling more fun, you will be able to taste the difference. Want to do indirect cooking, make sure you have what you need. Meats stay juicy and tender, even when cooked medium or well done. Add skewers, griddles, and rotisseries and broaden your grilling options. I would also recommend having a digital thermometer, a great pair of BBQ mitts and lots of matches.
There are you ready for National BBQ Month? I sure am. My only problem is I don’t know what to cook first.
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