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Our grills are much more than that.
Think of them as a multifunction oven for outdoors and use it according to all its possibilities.
The direct and indirect method are the most traditional, but you can also smoke and grill on a skewer. See how below.

 


 

Direct method

By cooking with the direct method, also known as grilling, the food is directly above the heat.

You should pre-heat the grill, turning on all the burners on high, close the lid and in 5 minutes you can place the food. This method with the maximum heat serves to seal the food and keep the juices and flavor inside. Usually it’s done in a quick manner and in small foods, such as steak, sausage, hamburgers, small fish, scaled or sliced, vegetables, etc. In larger items this method is not effective, as it will burn on the outside and the inside will be raw.


- Before you start grilling, rub the grills with vegetable oil or olive oil. This way the food won’t stick and will be left with beautiful grill marks.

- Turn the food only once, and always use tong or spatula to do it. If you use a fork you will pierce it and it will lose its juices. Resist the temptation of turning it too much, because this way it will lose humidity.

- To grill a thicker food, like a thick steak, use the direct method initially, but then turn down the heat and use the indirect heat to finish. This way you will get a well-cooked steak, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

 


 


Indirect method

This method usually described as oven roasting. With this technique, the food is cooked at low temperatures,
for longer periods of time and without direct heat below the food.

The grill should be pre-heated by turning on all the burners and closing the lid. After it is heated, open the lid and place a tray with the food in the center of the grill, turn off the burners that are below the tray, and leave on the ones at the end at the minimum temperature and close the lid. In case your barbecue has 3 grill, you should only leave one of the side ones on.

This method is ideal for cooking larger foods, such as a pork loin, chicken, whole fishes or for roasting potatoes.

The low temperatures and the longer time that they are in the oven, make the food tenderer because it will dissolve the fibers and leave it tenderer. Also the flavor obtained with a roast in a Barbecue is different and richer than baked in a kitchen oven.

 

- It is important not to open the lid too often to check on your meal. This will lose heat and will take longer to roast.

- Use a thermometer to check the inside temperature of your food. This way you will know if it’s cooked.

- Place food on a grid, with a tray underneath to collect the juices. In order to mix these juices with corn flour, heat and enjoy this gravy.






Smoker Method

This technique of smoking food is not very used in Portugal, except for the tasty smoked sausages.

With this method the food is cooked with smoke, at very low temperature and for a long period of time.

You will need a smoke box with wood chips. Soak the chips in water, for at least 20 minutes, and then place them in the smoke box. This will make them burn slower producing more smoke. Then do everything as in the indirect cooking method, but first place the smoke box with the wood chips directly on the burner, which will be turned on and the lid closed. The wood will heat and start smoking, you will probably need to add more wood chips, depending on the size of your food and the cooking time.

This technique requires patience, and it can take up to 10 hours to cook a large piece of meat with bone,
but you will taste something more intense, and the meat will be tender and falling off the bone.

Or why not make your own smoked salmon?


- To perfume more, use walnut tree or apple tree chips and soak them in beer or wine, and you can even burn rosemary branches. Create your own mixture of flavors.

- Mix wet chips with dry ones. The dry ones will serve to speed up the process, which is ideal for smaller foods, and the wet ones to go further when the foods are larger and need more time.

- For long smoking periods, place a pan of water on the grill. This will maintain the humidity of the food and the temperature lower.



 


Rotary Method

This method is known as grilling on the skewer. Who has never tasted a delicious pork on the skewer?

You will need an accessory for your barbecue, which is the Rotisserie. Basically it is an electric rotating skewer, to place the food. You should assemble the skewer according to the instructions and make sure that the food is well centered, because if the skewer doesn’t rotate easily it will ruin the motor. Then you can use the direct heating method, but you should use a medium fire not to burn. The indirect method is probably more efficient and without a doubt makes less of a mess on your grill. You should place a tray with some water underneath the food, where the juices will fall on, and you should use the side burners for an indirect heat. If your grill has infrareds on the back, you should use that source of heat instead, and then close the lid to preserve the heat and flavor.

In this method, patience is the most important ingredient, but you will find that it’s worth it because the constant rotation will keep all juices and aromas used.


- To add aromas, place beer, wine and fruit juice on the tray below the food. Also try adding cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, rosemary or lemongrass. Brush the food several times with a marinate to obtain a tastier crust.

- Use a thermometer to check if the food is cooked inside, but don’t leave it in while it’s rotating.

- To roast chicken of even turkey, you should tie the legs and the wings to the skewer with a string soaked in water.

- If you cook a large piece of food and you can’t close the lid, use a shim to leave it slightly opened. This will even serve to lower the temperature, prolong the cooking time and better the flavor.

 


Learn how to turn your grill into
a pizza oven





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