Four Basic BBQ Tips!

 Tip #1: Invest in high quality equipment.

My ability to turn out great barbecue greatly improved the moment I stopped messing around with cheap POS grills and pits and started buying Weber products.  Spend the danged money and buy a Weber.  They are EASY to work with and will last for at least ten years.   I don’t care if you want to grill burgers, smoke a brisket, use charcoal, use gas, whatever…if you want to get serious then stop messing around and get a Weber.

Yes, it is possible to turn out some great barbecue on a crappy grill or smoker.  I get a certain amount of pleasure from that challenge when cooking away from home.  However it is very hard to LEARN with crappy equipment.


If you are short on cash then you can start with the 22 inch One Touch Silver for about $100.  If you don’t have a Weber then it’s not a deal killer.  Keep reading.  Just make sure that when your current grill breaks that you replace it with a good one.

 

Tip #2: Make data based decisions.

You know that guy who knows when chicken is done by the color of the juices?  He is the same guy that knows when a steak is medium rare by pushing on it with his finger.  He is the guy that knows how hot the grill is by how long he can hold his hand over the grate.

Don’t be that guy.

Buy two thermometers.  Buy a thermometer to place in your grill or smoker.  Buy a nice digital instant read thermometer to place in your food.

Don’t guess at the temperature of your pit.  Know the temperature of the pit.

Don’t guess if the meat is cooked.  Measure the temperature and know if the meat is cooked.

This is the easiest way to improve your barbecue skills RIGHT NOW.  I have been at this game a long, long time.  I use thermometers whenever possible.

 

Tip #3: Dial it down

The biggest mistake that new grillers make is they think everything needs to be grilled over scorching hot flames.  This is a great technique if you are a fan of food that is burnt on the outside and bloody on the inside.  Mmmm…burnt and bloody chicken!!

The biggest mistake people make when learning to smoke briskets and ribs is using way too much smoke.  Billowing clouds of white smoke look impressive and taste awful.
Bonus tip: vacuum seal the ribs after they are smoked, the taste later is the best. I got this tip from Vacuumsealerresearch.

There is a very large probability that you can improve your barbecue significantly just by dialing things back a little bit.

 

Tip #4: Practice

Get out there and practice every chance you get.  You don’t need to cook a brisket every day but you should be aiming to grill or smoke something three to four times a week.

The cooks should not be social events and the amount of food you grill is not important.

Grab a pack of chicken legs and grill them up on a Saturday.  Grill half of them using one technique then turn around and grill the other half differently.  If you screw up and ruin the chicken, no big deal.  Throw four or five chicken legs in the trash and try again.

These cooks aren’t really about learning how to grill chicken legs.  These cooks are about spending time with your grill.

These cooks are about learning to control your grill and gaining confidence through a low pressure repetitive process.   You will be learning all of the “little things” about your cooking rig.  Where are the cold spots?  Where is a good spot to hang my tongs? Well that spatula sucks! Dang, that part gets really hot! What is the best way to light this grill, clean the grates, dump the ashes, replace the tank, etc?

Once you understand how to work your grill (again, much easier if you are working with a Weber) then you can start the serious experimentation with different rubs, mops, sauces, smokes and injections.

All you need to know about barbecue