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5 Grilling Basics for the Perfect Barbeque

July 10, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Portland 0 Comments

5 Grilling Basics for the Perfect Barbeque

When we think of the 4th of July, Memorial Day or summer birthdays, one thing comes to mind -- BBQ. If you enjoy the culinary arts you’ve probably tried your hand at this weekend staple but there are a few tricks of the trade that can be easily mastered. With a new set of skills under your belt, you might discover that grilling is best enjoyed year round. Don’t forget not only is BBQ a delicious dinner option but a healthy one as well! Follow these 5 tips often used by the Oregon culinary scene and you will be guaranteed perfect BBQ every time.

Tip 1: Always Start with a Clean Grill

Unless you want tonight’s chicken to taste like last week’s filet, always start with a clean grill. Don’t wait until you fire it up to clean, the best time is after preparing a meal while the grill is still warm. Scrape the racks with a wire brush until all the dried and blackened bits have been removed. Leftover food can drip into a hot BBQ causing flare ups so it is very important that your grill is thoroughly cleaned before igniting.

Tip 2: Have the Proper Tools Handy
There is no easier way to ruin your dinner than to reach for a spatula to remove the perfectly medium rare burger and find that you left it in the kitchen. While you are waiting for your grill to preheat assemble extra clean plates, for holding cooked foods, spatulas, forks and tongs this way you can ensure that your grill will not need to go unattended.

Tip 3: Prepare Your Ingredients Ahead of Time
Depending on what’s for dinner planning a BBQ may require some advance prep work. To prepare chicken like the cooks at the Portland Culinary Institute try marinating whole breasts for at least 2 hours before they hit the grill. When possible allow meat to sit over night, the vinegar in your marinade will help tenderize the meat. Steaks are usually best with just a little salt to enhance their natural flavor. To grill a whole fish try brushing with a little olive oil and lemon juice. If a classic BBQ sauce is more your style keep a bowl handy and wait until the last 5-10 minutes of grilling to baste your meat, this will prevent sugar in the sauce from dripping and causing flare ups.

Tip 4: Allow Your Grill Plenty of Time to Get Hot
Always preheat your grill for 15-30 minutes before cooking any food. Grills that are not hot enough won’t sear meat properly causing them to lose their juices and dry out. If you are using charcoal be sure to ignite enough to last through your entire BBQ, wait until the flames have died out and you are left with burning red coals to start cooking.

Tip 5: Know When Your Food is Done
When dealing with the open flame of a grill it is very easy to either over cook your meal or burn the outside while the inside remains raw. There is no substitute for experience but in the beginning while you rely on cook books and meat thermometers learn how your food looks and feels to the touch throughout the cooking process. With some time and practice you will get a feel for how to judge when meat is done.

With summer approaching there’s no better time to break out the BBQ and get it fired up. Whether dining solo or cooking for a party the grill is one of the best ways to enjoy all the flavors of the season.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Portland for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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