How to Barbecue - Recommendations and Tips
By Jean-Louis Vosgien
“Preparing a perfect barbecue is not as simple as one might think.”
I have been a guest at many barbecue parties, all over the world, but rarely have I had the good fortune of enjoying properly grilled meat! Perhaps it is not generally known that barbecuing is a definite skill with specific rules to doing it well.
I do remember, however, a wonderful barbecue at the home of a good friend of mine in the south of France. John cooked up and served one of the best barbecues of my life! The meat was first marinated in a wonderful choice of spices, was tender and perfectly cooked! This was a wonderful several course meal served in a magical evening toward the end of the summer in the south of France! A wonderful memory, for me!
I also remember a restaurant in Moscow where great big skewers were grilled on huge barbecue, in the dining room itself!
Another great barbecue that I can remember was in Douala in Cameroon, in western Africa right out in the street! The barbecue consisted of a big steel barrel with wood burning inside and then the chicken was slowly being cooked on a sheet of heavy brown paper, which allowed the chicken to be half smoked while also being grilled. The result was quite delicious and I ate there often during by stay in Douala.
In Asia where people barbecue enormously and the choice of recipes is huge, barbecuing is generally done very well. I have very fond memories of women, sitting on the sidewalk barbecuing tiny bananas with barbecued chicken wings available a little further down that same street!
Grilling, or barbecuing meat is an art in itself and this is why I wanted to write this to helping you to do a better job and also to give you some basic recipes that you can try. I hope that by trying them, I’ll give you the desire to barbecue more often and also to create your own recipes!
Basic Information on how to barbecue
Barbecuing is the art of cooking food on a grill. How one does this can range from simply barbecuing over some wood surrounded by three pebbles and then skewering a piece of meat on a small branch held over the fire, to using the most up-to-date electric or gas grill. In between are all kinds or techniques like using a stove top grill. The methods of barbecuing are just infinite!
Whatever equipment you are using, anything in this chapter could be done with any of them. What you really need to do a good BBQ is a rack and a source of heat.
You can BBQ almost anything: meat of course, but also fish, seafood, vegetables, bread, even cheeses and fruit. In fact, if you are using the BBQ for a meal, you could actually prepare the entire meal on the grill (except the raw parts of the salads, of course)!
At the beginning of the chapter, I told you all about my disappointment with grilled food. The main trouble a non-expert usually has with using a BBQ to cook with is that they tend to get the grill too hot and then burn the food on the outside. With burnt meat, you can see all the black lines on the food. Grill marks should be brown or dark brown but not black. When you see black lines on BBQ-ed food, know that that food was cooked at too high a temperature or was cooked for much too long.
Something else that is very important when grilling is not to burn the fat. Frequently during cooking, fat melts onto the fire and catches fire. Even if it seems professional to look at and fun when the fat burns like this, burned fat or meat are said to be a cause of cancer and the burn taste takes away from the taste of good BBQ-ed food.
Get into the habit of trimming off excess fat before cooking on the BBQ. Even if this has been done before you buy the meat, it is a good idea to check this point before cooking. Make sure that all gristle, extra bones and extra fat have been removed or do it yourself.
Don’t put your BBQ onto the highest heat you can, as it might well be too hot. Temperature is something you need to be watching and adjusting as you cook. Are you interested and want more tips? Download the free ebook excerpt "Cook French and Stay Slim" by Jean-Louis Vosgien www.photos-and-recipes.com
Jean-Louis Vosgien is a culinary consulting chef. He was the first chef in France to introduce in the 1980's fusion food, which at the time was unknown, and is considered an expert in that field by press people. He created two cookery schools, one in Saint-Tropez and the second in Lorgues, near Saint-Tropez He created a cake, famous in France, “Le Canelou de Provence”, sold today in the three major supermarket chains in France.
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