Cooking is one thing, but grilling is another beast. Is there anything more manly than standing near the flames of your backyard pit and mastering barbeque recipes that impress other grillmasters?
No one comes out of the womb knowing how to barbeque, but that doesn’t mean you can’t master the basics and join the ranks of the other skilled patio daddy-os. We’ve put together some BBQ ABCs to get you up to speed, along with four of our favorite recipes you can learn and grill on repeat
The Basics of Barbeque Skills
These tips are for the grilling novice, whether you have just reached cookout maturity or finally have a backyard or patio that accommodates a grill. Either way, you need to learn to walk before you can run, so here are some baby steps to help you understand the art of barbequing.
Practice Makes Perfect
Until you have experience, expect to make some mistakes along the way. It is not unusual to undercook or burn foods until you get the hang of grilling. Avoid overcooking meats and veggies; after all, you can always put them back on the grill for a little longer, but you cannot un-char something once it’s cooked for too long.
Fan the Flames
Do you want to go with the convenience of a gas grill or kick it old-school with charcoal? Gas grills are a great place to start your BBQ journey because they are easy to use. Most have a built-in starter, and you only have to adjust the flames to get it to the right temperature. On the other hand, charcoal imparts more of that smoky flavor that makes barbeque so dang delicious.
Get the Right Stuff
Stock up on grilling tools for your outdoor cooking station. Long-handled tongs and spatulas are a must, but remember to get a quality grill brush to clean it before and after you’ve cooked your heart out. A meat thermometer and oven mitts are also helpful to have. Technically, you don’t need a “Kiss the Cook” apron, but it doesn’t hurt.
Know Thy Heat
Direct heat is for smaller pieces of food that you can finish grilling in less than 20 minutes. Indirect heat is low and slow, making it perfect for larger or tougher cuts of meat that take longer than a third of an hour. Be sure to preheat your grill before you slap any steak on it if you want some luscious grill marks.
The 4 Best Barbeque Recipes for the Novice Griller
Are you ready for some easy barbeque recipes that taste like you’ve worked your fingers to the T-bone?
1. Basic BBQ Rub
Everyone needs a spice blend that can go on everything: fish, chicken, pork, even vegetables. Here’s one of our favorites, but feel free to mix and match herbs and spices to create your own signature rub. We recommend letting this rub sit on the meat you plan to grill for at least an hour before the first flame kisses it.
This makes one cup:
- 2 TBSP coarse salt
- 2 TSBP ground pepper
- 2 TSBP cumin
- 2 TSBP garlic powder
- 2 TSBP chili powder
- 2 TSBP brown sugar
- 1 TSBP mustard powder
- 1 TSBP cayenne (if you like heat)
- 1/4 cup paprika
Mix the spices and store them in an air-tight container. Use it on anything you put on the grill and into your mouth.
2. The Perfect Burger
The trick to a good burger is quality beef that you grill to perfection. Salt, pepper and whatever toppings you want. So simple and so good.
Here’s what you need for four burgers:
- 2 pounds of ground beef with 15 to 20% fat
- Salt and pepper to taste
Form your patties by hand, patting them out to desired thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then set aside. Preheat your grill to high heat and oil the grate. Place your burgers on the grill grate and let them brown for four to five minutes. Flip them once, and let them cook for an additional four to five minutes on the other side for medium-rare to medium. Leave them on the grill for another minute or two if you prefer your burger well-done; we aren’t here to judge you.
Kick up your burgers with grilled buns. Butter the cut sides and pop them on the grill for just a minute, away from the flames.
This recipe may seem simple, but it can make for a great barbeque when the main dish is simple. It adds to that classic smoky flavor of the grill and lets it work well with any toppings your guests choose.
3. Beer Can Chicken
Wow your friends and family with this delicious and scandalous poultry presentation. This recipe takes advantage of indirect heat grilling.
- One 3- to 4-pound chicken, cleaned inside
- All-purpose spice rub
- Cooking oil
- One can of beer
Drizzle oil inside and outside your chicken, then rub it all over with the spice rub. Pop open a can of beer (yes, you can taste it to see if it’s still good) and set the chicken, cavity end down, atop the can. The chicken should balance with the legs and can like a tripod.
Preheat your grill to medium heat, then place the chicken and can over a drip pan in the center of the grill, away from direct heat. Let it roast for about one to one and a half hours. Check the internal temperature to make sure it’s fully cooked, then allow your chicken to rest for ten minutes before you carve and serve it. Adjust your grill heat and cover the bird with foil if it browns too quickly.
4. A Good Steak
Much like the burger, a quality steak doesn’t need all those bells and whistles. You can marinate it in a Worcestershire, soy and garlic concoction, use some of your beloved spice rub or simply stick with coarse salt and cracked black pepper.
- One steak, any cut and weight
- Marinade, spice rub or salt and pepper
Use high heat and grill your steak for four minutes per side for a medium-rare sear. Let it rest for three minutes before serving.
Beyond Basic Barbeque Recipes
These barbeque recipes and grilling tips should get you up to speed. Before you know it, you’ll be boasting your grilling prowess with the rest of the guys. Check out other recipes and tips at The Rugged Standard to achieve grillmaster status, and follow us on social media to see what’s new in our world.