Grilling is a great way to give your food some extra flavour and is fairly easy to do once you get the hang of it! Whether you’re barbecuing for the first time or you’re exploring a newfound passion, here are some grilling tips and other interesting tidbits from our Chefs to help you feel more confident in your grill skills. Below you’ll find some tasty suggestions and products to take your BBQ game to the next level!
What are some essential BBQ tools?
- A great pair of tongs.
- An apron that keeps you clean and looking stylish.
- Some wood chips for smoking are always essential. Adding a few wood chips in aluminum foil on the grill can impart excellent flavour.
- Our friends over at BBQing.com have an amazing selection of equipment, tools, and accessories to suit all of your grilling needs!
- Bonus: A meat thermometer is an excellent tool to prevent overcooking and drying out your food. Grab an instant-read thermometer so you can make decisions quickly, or one with a heat-proof coil that you can leave in the meat and ensure proper temperature. They even make Bluetooth versions now, so grab one in your price range and get cooking!
Top 3 grilling tips?
- Get organized! Have all your prepared ingredients ready and close by so cooking will be a breeze.
- Cook food in order of how long things take to cook – the items with the longer cooking times go on the grill first, and the ones with shorter cooking times go on last so that everything will be ready at the same time.
*For example, say we had the following items to cook for a massive summer feast: veggies, chicken breast, medium-rare steak, turkey burgers, sausages, salmon on cedar planks, and shrimp skewers.
This is the order we’d cook them in:
- Chicken breast
- Cedar plank salmon
- Turkey burgers
- Medium rare steak
- Shrimp skewers
- Arm yourself with delicious sauces and marinades. We have an incredible assortment of BBQ Sauces and seasonings inspired by the flavours of the world and those right here at home in Canada!
Some of our faves include:
- Farm Boy™ Korean BBQ Grilling Sauce
- Farm Boy™ Chimichurri Grilling Sauce
- Farm Boy™ Thai Seasoning
- Farm Boy™ Mesquite Seasoning
- Farm Boy™ Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- Farm Boy™ Tuscan Bouquet Seasoning
What are a few common mistakes people make when it comes to firing up the BBQ?
- Starting the gas just before cooking, therefore attempting to cook when the barbecue has not pre-heated properly. You’ll want to light a gas BBQ 8-12 minutes beforehand to reach optimal temperature for searing and cooking. (at least to 450F for searing and 350F for cooking through)
- Not thinking ahead and lighting the charcoal or wood too late. For these heat sources, you’ll want to light 45-60 minutes before cooking.
- Not cleaning and greasing the grates before cooking. Use a grill brush like this cool Napoleon Bristle Free Triple-Row Grill Brush to clean the grates and follow up by greasing them with a lightly oiled paper towel to season and ensure they are non-stick.
Does it matter what type of heat source is used to grill?
Heat source matters because, they all give a slightly different flavour profile. Whether it is gas, charcoal, or wood, they all can produce mouth-watering meals! Gas can create a stable cooking environment with the added benefit of a strong sear and the ability to caramelize ingredients extremely well. Charcoal and wood provide you with the ability to impart smoky flavours and charr through burning the fuel of your choice.
- For the novice, gas (propane, central gas etc.) would be the easiest and most convenient way to grill, whereas charcoal and wood grilling require a bit more know-how and practice to regulate temperatures correctly.
- It is also important to note that you can still achieve smoky flavour while still using a gas grill!
- Most grills come with a smoker box accessory to allow you to use wood chips in your grill to achieve that smoky taste.
Tip: If you don’t have a smoker box, use aluminum foil to create a closed pouch, fill with wood chips, close the pouch, poke a few holes to allow smoke to escape, and toss onto one side of your pre-heated gas grill. Once you begin to see some smoke, you’re ready to get grillin‘.
*Stay tuned for our series on BBQ Hacks and Tips to get the most out of your sizzling summer!
Favourite food to cook on the barbecue?
We love the following on the grill:
- Our Flattened Chicken. It cooks up fast, remains moist and skin crisps beautifully.
- Farm Boy™ Gourmet Burgers because they stay juicy and get a nice crust from the flames.
- Farm Boy Artisan Sausages – they’re easy, quick, and delicious!
- Farm Boy™ Kebabs – for convenience and flair.
What’s a foolproof BBQ meal that a grilling novice can’t mess up?
- Farm Boy – Gourmet Burgers are quick, easy, and have a wide assortment of flavour options.
- Farm Boy™ Lemon Pepper Flattened Chicken (crisp and charr the skin slightly for an extra smoky flavour).
- Farm Boy™ All Beef Frankfurters are excellent off the grill with your fave condiments.
- Farm Boy™ Panela Cheese is “mind-bendingly” delicious when grilled as it maintains texture and caramelizes beautifully.
Most difficult food to barbecue?
Fish and seafood. Fish is a bit more difficult to handle because it often sticks to the grates and it’s easy to overcook; the same applies to seafood. And because it cooks so fast, you have to be careful not to overcook it.
Uh oh…you’ve run out of BBQ sauce – what do you do?
- You can quickly mix up a simple sauce using ketchup, a little brown sugar, and Farm Boy™ Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.
- If you don’t want to use BBQ sauce, why not use a dry rub mixed in with our Garlic Flowers and some olive oil? Great examples to use are our Korean Seasoning, Lemon Pepper, Cajun Spice, and Tandoori Spice. Simply make a paste and rub it on your protein for a decadent marinade.
- Using Farm Boy™ Lemon Garlic Dressing is also a great way to marinate seafood or chicken for a quick flavour boost before grilling.
Here are some guidelines for marinating times:
- 15min -Seafood
- 30min- Fish
- 2-4 hours Chicken and pork
- Up to 24 hours for red meats
Favourite grilling tips?
- Make sure you use the whole grill and when you flip your meat/fish/veggies, always move them to another spot on the grill, since the spot you’re on now is already cooling.
- Oil your foods sparingly; excess oil will cause flare-ups and flames.
- Soak your skewers in water to prevent burning on the grill. This also helps your food slide off easily.
- If you’re experiencing BBQ technical difficulties, use some liquid smoke, smoked paprika, or smoked salt to impart a little smoky barbecued flavour without having to use the grill.
- If you can’t get the classic “X” grill marks on your foods, move them around a little more and try to create a beautiful brown crust.
What are your favourite grilling tips and/or hacks? Post them on social and tag us! Visit our Fresh Ways to Slow Down Summer page for more summertime cooking inspiration.