How to Barbeque

Burned Down Grill ca

This is where we will present various barbeque tips and techniques. We will show you How to Barbeque and how NOT to barbeque.

Hopefully, you will learn what to do before you start cooking. And you will learn not to do the things that are fatal to your barbeque cookout.

Nothing will be in any particular order. Information will be put here as we get it. But if you will strictly follow the methods, tips, and techniques here, and avoid the past mistakes of others, you will learn how to barbeque ...or at least have a better idea.

Big BBQ Grilling No-No's

These common mistakes that cause flare-ups are for the charcoal bbq grill or pit users. Gas grill users have flare-ups also, but they can control theirs a little easier.

  • When filling the barbeque pit or grill with charcoal, do not fill it where the coals are spread across the whole pit. You want to leave yourself a "cool spot" on either end to be able to move the food if it gets too hot or the flames start getting a little wild.

  • Do not fill up the entire grate with food. You need to have an empty spot to be able to move food that gets to too hot and wants to flare up.

  • Keep a spray bottle with clean water to knock down flames that start to get out of control.

  • Put on the food that cooks the quickest when the fire is the hottest. Put on the food that takes the longest, like the larger cuts of meat, after the fire has cooled down. You don't want the outside of these cuts to char or burn and leave the inside raw.

  • Watch food closely that has a tendency to drip fat and flare up the most. You don't want to keep opening the lid, if you stay nearby you can tell when ther's trouble about to occur. Chicken with the skin on, hamburgers, and sausages are good for flar-ups if not paying attention.

Follow all these tips and you should have no trouble keeping the flare-ups down.

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One of my pet peaves is when I see the barbeque "chef" stabbing the meat with the big long fork from that bbq set while it's cooking. Besides contributing to the flare-up issue, all the juices will leave the meat and go to the bottom of the pit. This guarantees dry, tough meat every time. That is not how to barbeque. Please use tongs and throw the fork from that bbq utensil set into the garbage. Keep just the grill cleaning wire brush, the tongs, and the spatula if that's what came with the set.

Another how to barbeque tip is this no-no. When your meat hits the grill, do not ever press down with a spatula. This is a pretty common grilling mistake. What it does is squeeze the juices right out of the meat, leaving it dry and tough.

Meat Cooking Times and Temperatures

-This is "how to barbeque" using ideal cooking times(when applicable) for various cuts of barbequed meat:

  • Beef Brisket 9-12 lbs. 220 14-18 hrs. N/A
  • Pork butt 5-7 lbs. 220 10-12 hrs. N/A
  • Pork loin 4-6 lbs. 250 3-5 hrs. 155 deg.
  • Turkey, whole 9-12 lbs. 200 10-12 hrs. 165 deg. (thigh temperature)
  • Pork spareribs 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 375 2-3 hrs. N/A
  • Whole hog 75-90 lbs. 250 18-22 hrs. 165 deg. (ham temperature)
  • Pork loin ribs 2-1 1/2 lbs 375 2-2 1/2 hrs. N/A
  • Chicken, whole 2 1/2-3 1/2 lbs. 325 3-4 hrs. 165 deg. (thigh temperature)

*A Note About Cooking Times and the Use of Wood:

Long cooking times allow the meat to absorb good smoke flavor and develop a nice smoke ring. The long cooking times on brisket and pork butt allow for natural flavors to develop without wrapping in foil.

By starting a charcoal fire with only a small amount of wood, the meat tenderizes naturally and does not get too much smoke. If you smoke a brisket for 12 to 15 hours with wood only you will ruin it with because you've used too much smoke. A beef brisket especially does not take well to a ton of smoke.

How Much Meat Per Person?

One of the questions often asked is "How many pounds of meat should be served per person?"...Well, a good rule of thumb is 1/2 pound of boneless meat per person is usually plenty. If the meat you are grilling is not boneless you'll have to kind of estimate how much meat it really is and maybe cook a little bit more than that in case you're off some. Also, if there's quite a few kids, go with less. And if there's a large proportion of big eaters, go with a more than 1/2 lb.

There will be a regular stream of tips and suggestions added here on how to barbeque, and of course, how to barbeque the right way. I hope what you have read so far will be helpful in your next cookout. Just stay safe and enjoy your barbeque.