BBQ and marinades

Interrobang

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Since the BBQ season (in the colder parts of the northern hemisphere) just kicked in, I thought why not have a Discussion about BBQs. :)

And to kick off, a question to the american Forum members ... I like Barbeque-sauce. A lot. I would like to marinade meat and chicken with said flavor. How is that best done? Just put it into the sauce? Will that work and give it the flavor or should I add something? How long would you suggest? Or is there no way to adding this flavor by glazing while on the grill?
I?ve tried already last weekend, but Hickory Barbeque-sauce (I belive it?s sold as "Hunt?s" in the states) and chicken after some hours together just didn?t taste of enough barbecue-flavor after the grill.

and yes, oil and lime marinades come much more natrual to me, feel free to mock my failed atempt at american bbq :)
 

jasonof2000

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No one should mock a first attempt!

When I grill I usually marinade the meat for at least 2 hours (often for 24 hours or so) and when I do put the meat on the grill it is on the lowest setting. I flip the meat fairly often (you have to be careful, the sauce can char and leave the inside of the meat under cooked) and recoat the meat with marinade or sauce after each flip. With chicken or a thick cut of steak I usually score with a knife before I put it in the sauce.

I am also a fan of the Jack Daniels sauces however they are more expensive than Hunts or other main brands so I don't grill with them all the time.

Is your grill a gas grill or charcoal? I prefer gas myself but if you use charcoal you can get hickory chips that give a nice smoky flavor to any meat.
 
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Twerp128

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OHHH BABY! THIS IS MY KINDA THREAD!

There is really too much to cover in one post, direct/indirect heat, rubs/mops/brines/marinades, a million sauces! I'll post some of my encyclopedic barbecue knowledge later. I have to get some things done today!

As for sauce, if you can find this stuff BUY IT!

 
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Interrobang

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When I grill I usually marinade the meat for at least 2 hours (often for 24 hours or so) and when I do put the meat on the grill it is on the lowest setting. I flip the meat fairly often (you have to be careful, the sauce can char and leave the inside of the meat under cooked) and recoat the meat with marinade or sauce after each flip. With chicken or a thick cut of steak I usually score with a knife before I put it in the sauce.
I think I will try that next time. Slow cooking something on the grill, aplying something in the process isn?t a common german grilling-thing. It?s mostly, throw on, cook fast untill almost burned, flip once and drown in ketchup.

I am also a fan of the Jack Daniels sauces however they are more expensive than Hunts or other main brands so I don't grill with them all the time.
I like them better too, but the only place I know where to get them charges double for what I pay for Hunt?s at my supermarket (and the Hunt?s sauce is already an expensive import compared to the "local" bbq-sauces that you can buy - though they all suck, it?s all fruity ketchup with bbq flavor, hardly a sour note). And even though they are good, I won?t pay that ...

Is your grill a gas grill or charcoal? I prefer gas myself but if you use charcoal you can get hickory chips that give a nice smoky flavor to any meat.
Mine is charcoal ... but we often grill at friends and some also have gas (grill). Gas is awsome for fish I have to say ... but nothing like red meat on charcoal. :)
Hickory chips? (had to google it) Isn?t that too much? I would asume that flavor would be pretty overpowering then, wouldn?t it?
 

jasonof2000

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OHHH BABY! THIS IS MY KINDA THREAD!

There is really too much to cover in one post, direct/indirect heat, rubs/mops/brines/marinades, a million sauces! I'll post some of my encyclopedic barbecue knowledge later. I have to get some things done today!

As for sauce, if you can find this stuff BUY IT!
That is indeed good sauce, I am also a fan of the "Sticky Fingers" restaurant sauces.

I'm interested to hear what you know, I've been grilling for a couple years now but mostly simple rubs, marinades and BBQ sauces. Recently I got an electric smoker and so far I am going nuts.
 
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jasonof2000

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I think I will try that next time. Slow cooking something on the grill, aplying something in the process isn?t a common german grilling-thing. It?s mostly, throw on, cook fast untill almost burned, flip once and drown in ketchup.
Most BBQ sauces have a good portion of brown sugar in them, too hot and the sugar will caramelize and char. When I cook chicken I usually flip it a total of 4 times and I usually cut up at least one piece to see if it is done to my liking (I'm paranoid about under cooking chicken, it took me awhile to cook chicken that is moist and not dry).

I like them better too, but the only place I know where to get them charges double for what I pay for Hunt?s at my supermarket (and the Hunt?s sauce is already an expensive import compared to the "local" bbq-sauces that you can buy - though they all suck, it?s all fruity ketchup with bbq flavor, hardly a sour note). And even though they are good, I won?t pay that ...
I'm becoming a fan of rubs as well, you just coat the meat with some olive or veggy oil and then just rub (or pat) the spices on. You can buy rubs (I usually do) but I've seen plenty of websites that tell you how to make your own rubs and sauce for a fraction of the cost.

http://www.bbqrecipesecrets.com/bbqsauce.html

Mine is charcoal ... but we often grill at friends and some also have gas (grill). Gas is awsome for fish I have to say ... but nothing like red meat on charcoal. :)
Hickory chips? (had to google it) Isn?t that too much? I would asume that flavor would be pretty overpowering then, wouldn?t it?
I'm not a fan of charcoal, yes I know that if done right it can give superior flavor but I like the reliability and ease of propane. I am tinkering with smoking meat now, but I've noticed that if you use a few wood chips along with your charcoal it gives a nice flavor that isn't too strong. I suspect if you used all wood to cook it would be too strong but just a few should be fine.
 
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Twerp128

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Aww fuck it, I need a break.

As for commercial sauces I only really ever buy Stubbs and KC Masterpiece. I usually make my own though, Epicurious has a great root beer sauce. There are too many good sauce recipes, and any good sauce will have one odd ingredient. As for when you add the sauce, generally only at the table or the very last minutes on the grill. Otherwise it will burn.

There are a million ways to add moisture and flavor before grilling. Brining is just soaking meat in salt water and herbs overnight, it works great on whole birds. Marinades and rubs go with just about anything, and mop sauces are great for keeping meat moist on the grill.

Also remember so many other foods are great on the grill, just this spring I've made pizza, salsa, kebabs, lobster, baked potatoes, corn, asparagus, cream corn, stuffed peppers, french toast, baked beans on the grill are AWESOME, and several types of cobblers and crumbles. Gotta get your monies worth out of that charcoal.

As for smoking, there are a ton of different chips available. Hickory is a safe one, just make sure to soak the chips for a half hour or so, otherwise it'll just taste like a bonfire. You can also do it on a propane grill, just need a smoker box or pouch. As for charcoal vs. gas it's really up in the air. Most barbecue nuts have both. Propane is easy, even, fairly fool-proof, and fast. Great for thin cuts, hamburgers, and sausages. Charcoal is far trickier, but allows you more control and a wider range of heat to play with. Don't forget an open fire too, there is something cooking over hardwood coals in the open air that neither charcoal or propane can match.

If you want a really fun recipe watch this, Steven Raichlen's other videos are great too. And if you like BBQ you'd do well to buy his book.

[video=youtube;20RC4n4w-MM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20RC4n4w-MM[/video]
 
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CAPT_Howdy

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Sorry for the bump, but how the hell did I miss this thread? Interrobang, I am a firm believer in dry rubs to start, especially if you're cooking on a grill. The high brown sugar/molasses content of most sauces will scorch if you apply it to the meat too soon - especially if what you're really doing is grilling; i.e. cooking over high heat. For true barbecue style slow cooking, you need a good rub and some good wood. Hickory is good, but probably hard to find in Germany, and expensive once you do find some. I would suggest fruit woods - especially apple or cherry. You basically want a good hard wood, that will burn for a long time. When you're cooking barbecue, resist the temptation to lift the lid to see how your meat is cooking. You will let the smoke out, and add at least 15 more minutes of cooking time each time you do.
As for meat, I really only like chicken if it's cooked in a tandoor. I prefer pork myself; especially pork shoulder. You really want a fatty cut of meat - the fat will render out and soak into the meat, making it moist and juicy.
Barbecue sauce. If you've done everything right, the sauce will be optional. You can baste the meat with it if you want - but only 10 to 15 minutes before you take it off the grill - but try it without the sauce first. Often the sauce will mask the smoke flavor you've worked so hard to get. As for what sauce to use, the sauces mentioned are all good choices - I'm partial to Stubbs' myself - but again, probably hard to come by in Germany. So why not make your own? If you look at the ingredients on a bottle of Hunt's, you'll see that it's just ketchup, brown sugar or molasses, vinegar, and various spices. Experiment with your own sauce - to make it lighter, add more vinegar (Apple cider vinegar, preferably.); to make it thicker, more molasses. Add some red pepper flakes for heat, or maybe a splash or two of your favorite hot sauce. Or some garlic, or.... well, you get the point. Have fun with it, and you can come up with something that's uniquely your own.
And look for the pink smoke ring in the outer layer of your meat. That means you did everything right.
 

The_Finn

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short of buying a real offset smoker or some kind of Kamado turning your grill into something resembling the above is going to be your best bet for getting that real "american barbecue" you are looking for.
 
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ahpadt

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I've recently been grilling with a traditional charcoal bbq after using a gas one back home for years and I can tell you that the difference in flavour is quite significant. Grilling snobs in here will probably know this already but it just shows that if you're up for waiting for 45min to get the bbq ready it's totally worth getting over a gas one. Gas is very nice in terms of how quickly it gets hot and all that but it's extremely difficult to get any smokey flavour on them.

We had sirloin steaks for sunday lunch today which I grilled on the bbq and the flavour was fenomenal.
 
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chaos386

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Big ol' bump to this thread, I know, but I wanted to get the BBQ discussion going again, and there's some good info in here. This summer has been my first season barbecuing, and I'm kicking myself for not having bought a grill sooner! Beef, salmon, chicken...it's all tasted amazing! I've mainly been cooking with charcoal briquettes, but I also went through a ~9 L bag of mesquite wood chunks (larger than chips and can be used instead of coals), which were quite fun to cook with and made for meats with some very tasty smoke flavor! I never soaked the wood, by the way, and never thought the smoke flavor was too much, even when using the chunks as the primary heat source. Then again, I love mesquite flavor, so I'm a little biased. :p

Today, I started using hickory chunks, so I'll see how the meat tastes with them. Speaking of meat, today's plan is for a long, slow barbecue (4 hours so far out of what I'm hoping will be a 6-7 hour long cook) of a rack of beef ribs. I found out that BJ's will sell you pairs of 8"x8"x2" beef short rib racks still in their cryovac bags (the package I got was 7.75 lbs @ $4.80/lb). Pork ribs are nice, but there's just something special about holding a freaking HUGE barbecued rib in your hands (four rib bones in a rack that weighs just under four pounds, so we're talking ribs that are 1 lb / 450 g each). I'm tempted to find an independent butcher and ask for 12"/30cm uncut beef ribs, but I'd be running into the limits of what would fit on my cheap grill at that point! :lol:

What's everyone else been doing this season?
 

ahpadt

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One thing which is unusual, but great, on the barbeque is leeks. Cut off most of the green part, then slice the remaining green bits into quarter from above so that you can easily wash it. It's important to wash it thoroughly under the tap for atleast a minute, to ensure that you get it rid of all potential grit. Then shake the whole thing upside-down before you chuck it on the barbeque and keep turning it untill it's completely black all around and the centre has gone soft. A tell-tell sign is when you see little pockets of liquid open up and that the middle bit feels soft when you lift it up.

To serve just whip it open by getting rid of the 2 outer most layers and cut it into nice chunks (the white bit is the most tender, I usually don't serve any of the green). Garnish with some good olive oil and sea salt.
 
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