It’s no surprise June and July are the most popular months for barbecuing. The smell of pork on the grill ignites fond memories of sunny days playing by the pool and fishing off the dock at my grandfather’s house in Vero Beach. The carefree days of summer are some of the best for family bonding, and cookouts are a fun way to gather everyone together. This blog post is going to cover some grilling techniques and safety so you can have the best barbecue on the block!
What’s the secret to making the perfect burger or tender, succulent pork? The key to a good burger is preparing your own patties and not getting flip happy. Every successful burger I’ve made/eaten has been as a result of forming my own ½ inch- ¾ inch thick patties out of ground beef or turkey (the healthy option for your bikini bod) and mixing flavors in with the meat…I like Worcester, diced onions, and Krazy Salt, let us know your favorite flavorings by commenting below! More important than the flavor, is leaving the burger on the grill. When you put the patty on the grill do not flip it until you see juices coming out the top (about 4 minutes) and when you flip it, watch out for a flare up of flames due to the fats seeping into the fire. Another 3 ½ minutes and you can put the cheese on, American and Cheddar are always solid cheese choices but for a little something different try Gouda or Pepper Jack.
Now let’s talk pork barbecue: it doesn’t have to be four hours in the oven. I’ve never had a better pork sandwich than my dad’s; many have tried but sadly failed. I probably shouldn’t divulge such treasured family secrets, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t share it. Use pork tenderloin and cover it in your favorite flavors at least an hour before cooking; a dry rub with your favorite spices or marinating it in mojo are usually good choices. Slowly cook the pork on the grill at a low heat for about 30-35 minutes. Remove it from the heat, let it rest a few minutes, slice it up, and serve it on soft onion or potato buns! We use my grandfather’s special BBQ sauce – ½ diced onion, 3c Clamato, 1 ½ tbsp crushed Rosemary, ¼ c hot vinegar (or hot sauce), ¼ c white vinegar, 4tbsp Dijon mustard, 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and salt (simmer in a pan for 15 min) – and dip the sandwiches in it, getting a perfect sauce to bread to meat ratio. If that’s not real BBQ to you, grab your favorite sauce and smother your meat with it! I know it doesn’t sound like much, it’s almost too easy, but it is so juicy and tender you’ll be begging for seconds.
Lastly, let’s talk dessert. Cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, and popsicles are always tasty choices for pretty much any occasion, but if you’re going to have the grill on, you might as well try something new. Grilled strawberries, apples, and pineapples are delicious! Something about the grill brings out an incredible sweetness in fruit, and if you really want to impress you could make a bar full of things to dip and cover your fruit in…melted chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, ice cream, and caramel will be a huge hit with the kiddos.
Having a barbecue with family and friends can be a great time, unless there’s a fire. Barbecue fires are common and scary. The most important thing about grilling is the location of your grill. Make sure your grill is far enough away from your house to ensure that a fire will not turn a fun afternoon into a devastating day filled with cleaning up the ashes of your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 28% of home structure fires were started by a grill on the patio, balcony, or porch. Gas grills account for more incidents than charcoal grills but we’ll cover the basics of grill safety for both types of grill. For gas grills, the propane tank is the biggest issue. You need to make sure your tank isn’t leaking, because this could cause an explosion that will land you in the ER. Check the tank’s hose for holes, bite marks, or cracks and make sure the cylinder mouth is free of any corrosion. Be sure that all parts are secured to each other tightly. If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal lighter fluid and a long match. Don’t add any other flammable fluids to the charcoal after the fire has been lit. For more grilling safety, visit NFPA, here.
Please share some of your favorite barbecue recipes and memories by commenting below!