With the coming of spring more and more people take out their barbecue kits because it’s great to grill meat, but it’s awesome to barbecue them. In our previous article, we showed you the difference between grilling and BBQ. We also showed you what type of oven to buy and what kind of firewood you should use if you want to hold an old-fashioned barbecue party.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what kind of meats you can put into your smoker. Cuts of pork like ribs, butt (shoulder), spare rib or thin flank are perfect but we’ll be talking about other cuts too, the spices to use with them and what kind of sauce to make so that we can summon America into our back yard.
If you want chicken, you should cook it whole. You can try this with turkey as well, but we don’t advise this technique with duck because its skin is thicker and its meat is leaner. If you opt for beef it shouldn’t be dry-aged, because the meat loses its moisture during the aging process. Unfortunately, the beef you can buy in most grocery stores is lean so we don’t recommend them for barbecuing. If we absolutely want to eat beef we should buy ribs from farmers. If you don’t want to wait for your meat all day – although that’s the point of BBQ – you can go for fresh cuts. It only takes 50 to 60 minutes for a duck breast or lamb chop to be cooked to perfection.
Dry marinades used in BBQ are called rubs. You actually have to rub the spices on the meat to evenly distribute everything on the surface. This should be done hours prior to cooking. There are thousands of variation so experimenting is encouraged to test out what’s best for us. Coarse salt and pepper are the cornerstones of every rub. Sugar is also used in many rubs, but be careful with that as it can burn easily. We can also use paprika or chili powder and other complementary spices like cumin, coriander, mustard seeds or cloves. American rubs also include onion or garlic powder. Green herbs, however, are not recommended as they burn fast. If we really want to use these they should be fresh and should only be used to cover the meat prior to barbecuing. If you don’t want to bother with making your own rub, you can order one that’s been put together by Nyárspolgár BBQ here.
There are as many sauces as there are rubs so there’s room here to experiment too. You don’t actually need to make a sauce if you don’t want to, but it has many functions during a barbecue. It can be used as wet marinades or for “mopping” the meat during cooking. If you apply the sauce at the end it’s called glazing. They can also be served with the meat as dips. The texture and composition of the sauce should depend on what we want to do with it. Usually, they’re tomato based, although in some cases vinegar is used but that’s usually used for mopping. Mustard and mayonnaise can also be used as a base for sauces. The most important rule, according to the BBQ Expedition is not to make it too sweet or overpowering. We don’t want to suppress the flavor of the meat with the sauce. We want it to highlight and complement its flavors.
We can’t overstate it enough that BBQ is a time-consuming activity. If you decide to try it you should plan ahead because this thing needs a lot a preparation. We have to have a free day for the cooking alone as that can take up to 8 to 10 hours. Don’t hurry anything or try to save time with tricks like pre-cooking the meat. BBQ is the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to enjoy a quiet day under the sun. And of course to eat amazing meats.