Summer means spending more time cooking and enjoying the outdoors. Impromptu barbecue bashes and all-day patio parties will be filling up your calendar and call for a simple mix of good friends, delicious food and plenty of sunshine.
So what’s your outdoor cooking style? Are you a grilling guru or a barbecue pro? The terms work interchangeably, but technically grilling is a quick cook on an open barbecue, while barbecuing is done with the lid down, typically with larger cuts for longer times. Whatever your choice, put our tips and tricks to good use.
Tools of the Trade
Barbecuing isn’t fancy or elaborate, but the right tools ensure success. You will need:
Long-stemmed tongs to safely and easily flip food
An instant-read meat thermometer for testing doneness
A large spatula with sharp edges to easily slide under food, keeping it in tact
Here are some essential instructions and techniques to keep in mind when prepping for the grill:
Check fuel and coal before cooking so you never run out
Preheat the grill to kill bacteria and provide a better sear
Brush grill with vegetable oil (olive oil burns easily) while off to prevent sticking
Know the kind of heat your grilling ingredients need. Thin cuts of meat, seafood, vegetables and burgers require direct-heat grilling. Larger cuts of meat and poultry benefit from indirect-heat grilling.
Pre-soak wooden planks and skewers for at least two hours before using
Be sure to use separate utensils and plates for raw and fully cooked items to prevent cross-contamination
Check for foreign objects in food. If you clean your grill using a bristle brush, check to make sure that no detached bristles have made their way into grilled food.
Brine or marinate large cuts like brisket or pork shoulder to maintain moisture
To amp up smoky flavours, use a cedar plank to grill fish, vegetables or cheese.
Swap regular skewers with stalks of lemongrass or rosemary to infuse their aroma into pork and chicken
Steak, burgers and salmon fillets are surefire crowd-pleasers. Look for thick steaks with rich marbling, or wrap leaner cuts like tenderloin in bacon for extra flavour. Our Canadian Burgers are handcrafted in-store daily and ready to grill when you are. They come off the grill with juicy, full flavours that burger lovers crave. For a fresh change, centre-cut salmon steaks are great for the grill and cook evenly.
The more choices offered, the smaller each serving can be, but it’s better to send guests home with leftovers than rumbling bellies, so err on the side of excess. Plan a ½ lb of boneless meat per guest (or 1 lb per person of bone-heavy cuts, like ribs and wings), a ½ lb of salads and veggies, 1.5 cups of starchy sides like potato salad and rice and one to two buns per person.
Choose Your Flavours
Feel free to experiment with marinades and spices to up the flavour. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Marinate ribs in cola and chili powder or rub them with paprika and cumin.
Create your own range of flavoured mayonnaise using Mayonnaise with Olive Oil as the base. Mix it with hot sauce, pesto, or a mix of ketchup and sweet relish.
Before grilling, toss chicken with Compliments Honey Mustard, lemon juice and thyme.
Jerk Marinade gives seafood a fuss-free aromatic punch. Finish with wedges of lime or lemon.