Getting Ready for the Grill This Summer

By Ron Lazzer

Let the good times begin.

The Victoria Day fireworks are like a starter’s pistol announcing the beginning of the summer season with lots of outdoor entertaining and fun times ahead. Show off your cooking skills to your party guests by following these tips.

Start with the right fuel.

While gas barbecues are convenient and fun they’re not much different than cooking with your oven. Bring out the full flavour of your foods with a little smokiness by using quality lump wood charcoal. This is the stuff that looks like tree fragments rather than briquettes. Sure it takes more work than propane but the rewards are worth it. Honour the cave man or cave woman in you with some true charcoal cooking.

Now that you have fire you have to control it. Try placing all the coals on one side of the grill. This will give you direct heat on one side which is good for grilling and indirect heat on the other which is good for roasting and warming. Another way to control the heat is to use the lid. Closing the lid will keep in heat and keep the temperature constant. When the fat drips from your meat onto the hot coals it evaporates and infuses your food with that great smoky taste. The best way to make that happen is by closing the lid.

Take seasoning into consideration.

Marinate your meats overnight. The longer they sit the more taste will get absorbed and the richer your steaks will taste. Also, try using various wood chips to enhance the flavour of your food. For example, if you like fish and pork then oak and hickory chips will bring out their flavours. For chicken try apple and cherry wood chips. Soak them in water for about 30 minutes before you need them and then just add them to the barbecue.

Let’s not forget the vegetables.

Slice them thin, set them on the grill and let the fire do the rest.

Don’t overdo it though. Some nice grill lines and charring along the edges are all it takes to make them tasty.

You can add seasoning after they’re cooked. Try a little olive oil and vinegar. Keep it simple to complement the rest of your meal.

There you have it. A few tips to get your barbecuing skills on par with the old way of doing things and letting you reconnect with your cavemen ancestors. Sometimes the old way is the better way, well maybe just the tastier way.

Happy barbecuing!

Ron Lazzer is the owner of Bellevue Landscaping.

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