Aurora Catering's

BBQ Cooking Techniques

When roasting or grilling with a BBQ pit closed, open a can of beer and place the beer over the hottest part of the fire. The beer will boil and super saturate the air inside the pit with water vapor, beer flavors and alcohol. This will help in keeping the roasting meats moist, while adding flavor to the meat.

“Blasting” is the preferable method to remove fats from ducks, geese and beef rib roast. The oven or BBQ pit should be preheated to it’s highest setting (usually +500F). Place the meat on a roasting pan and rack assembly, sear the meat for 20 - 30 minutes in this heat. After a cooling period of 20 minutes or so, the meat can be roasted or grilled as required. Reserve the drippings for Yorkshire Pudding and other recipes.

Whenever barbecuing, use tongs to turn the meat. A Chef’s fork should never be used. For it will punch holes in the flesh and allow the natural juices to escape and loose flavor and become chewy.

When grilling meats, it is usually best to turn the meat only once. If the meat is turned over several times it will not “mark” the meat properly. A Chef tries to use the grill to sear “grill marks” into the flesh and therefore will try not to turn over or move the meat during cooking. Prior grill planning is of the utmost importance.

When grilling meat to a medium or greater doneness, use the lid to assist in cooking. This will decrease the cooking time by applying heat to all sides of the meat at once. The lid will also inhibit the flare-up of an open flame by starving the coals for oxygen.

When grilling New York Strips (1 -1/2” or thicker) it is sometimes possible to grill all four sides of the steak. Try it! It adds extra char flavor and produces much more even cooking.

Basting renews flavors to grilling or roasting meat. Basting will also rejuvenate dried meat during the cooking process. A roast or turkey will become dry if it is not basted several times during the cooking process.

A “bouquet garni” can be used to baste barbecued meat. Select several 5 to 7 inch long fresh herb stems, such as basil, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon. Use a small piece of cotton twine and tie the bouquet together, then use this to flavor the meat with extra marinade during the cooking process.

Be careful when basting meat over very hot coals. The oils in a marinade will drip on to the coals and create a flash fire.

Cooked meat should never be returned to a cold marinade. If you desire to use the marinade for a sauce after the meat cooking process, then heat the marinade in the microwave or in a sauce pan on top of the grill. A used marinade has uncooked blood in it from the saturated meat. These juices harbor bacteria and microbes, do not reuse a marinade you can die!

Most grilling is done over the hottest of fires. This will seal in the juices, reduce cooking time, use less coals, and produce the most desirable of flavors.

Tomato and/or sugar based BBQ sauces should be added only at the end of the grilling process. These products will burn easily and are seldom considered an internal meat flavoring. Once added, the meat should be turned often to minimize the possibility of burning.

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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address:
Copyright 1995 Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 21, 2016.