Sunday, September 12, 2010

THE COCKTAIL HOUR: Weekend Barbecue Tips

Today on The Cocktail Hour, we come back from our little summer hiatus with something a little different. Instead of a drink recipe or a drinking field trip, we’ll be talking about that great summer drinking activity, barbecuing, so put a couple of cold, refreshing brews on ice and join us on the patio (see the video for an example of the brews we’re having).
Watch the Video!

For our barbecue, we like to use a kettle grill such as a Weber because of the even heat distribution. And, yes, I’m going to call it barbecuing even though it’s kind of a mix of grilling and barbecuing that we do.

To start, I like to use a chimney charcoal starter. First, because it eliminated any flavor from lighter fluid; second, it’s better for the air especially in a place like here in the smoggy L.A. basin; and third, because it lets me play with fire. Take some old paper like newsprint, wrapping paper, or old utility bills and crinkle them up loosely in the bottom of the chimney. Fill the top with charcoal and light the paper.

When the charcoal is ready, pour into one side of your barbecue. Spread it out evenly but keep it to one half of the grill only. Put the grilling grate on and let heat up for a few minutes.

Once the grate has had a few minutes to heat up, clean it by scraping with a wire barbecue cleaning brush.

Season your meat to your liking and put on the side of the grill with the coals. Sear for 2-3 minutes a side and then move the meat to the other side of the grill. Cover with the lid…make sure the vent holes are open…and cook on each side. A one inch thick steak would go for about 6 minutes per side; thick pork about 10-12 minutes per side; chicken about 8 minutes per side. Thin steaks, like flank steak, about 3-4 minutes per side.

For a side dish, cut up some veggies. Salt them and wrap up loosely in foil. Put them on the non-coal side of the grate for the entire time you cook. Corn on the cob can just be laid as-is on the same non-coal side for the entire cooking time as well.

That’s it! Have fun, be careful, and enjoy the food and drink.

Copyright 2010 – Darryl Musick