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Enjoying Your Summer Barbeque

Barbecuing is a universal tradition that is present in almost all cultures of our world.  It dates back to ancient times, the primary cooking method that our old ancestors have used to nourish themselves.  As time went by, modern cooking methods have been developed – people learned to bake, boil, smoke and fry their food.  Although barbecuing has ceased to become the foremost way to cook food, we still love to do it.  Why?  Because we love its taste–barbecue has its very own distinctive flavor.  And yes, it is fun.  There’s no better way to get together with friends and family during a wondrous summer day or a relaxing evening than by grilling meat, fish or seafood in your backyard or garden.  So start marinating those food stuff stacked in your refrigerator, take out those grillers, and start enjoying your summer barbeque with a high quality aprons.  Here are some tips that would come handy:

Know the type of grill you will use.   While there are a lot of grillers available in the market today, the most widely used in common households are charcoal grills and gas grills.  Charcoal grills use charcoal briquettes or raw charcoal as their source of fuel, while gas grills normally make use of propane or natural gas. Gas grills utilize lava rocks which are heated-up by the gas flame and cooks food similar to that of charcoal.  Of the two, charcoal grilling is more difficult to do – but it provides its own one-of-a-kind aroma to the meat, as well as having its own smoky taste.

Know the two different grilling methods. Grilling employs two different ways of cooking:  direct and indirect heat.  In direct heat cooking, your food is laid on the cooking frame directly over the hot coals.  Indirect heat cooking utilizes another surface (such as drip pans) on top of the heated coals.  Food that entail 30 minutes or less cooking time, like steaks, hamburgers or vegetables, use direct heat,  while those that entail longer cooking time – roasts, turkeys and other large cuts of meat- should be grilled  indirectly.

Be safe!  Make sure your grill is in good working condition.  Position the grill away from combustible surfaces, making sure that it’s standing on level ground and it won’t tip over.  Check your clothes and make sure they would not easily catch fire – hanging shirttails, ruffles, frills, or loose strings on your apron easily attract the flames.  If you plan on using mitts, make sure they are flame-retardant.   To keep away from burns and splatters, use long handled cooking tongs.  If you really want to be safer, keep a fire extinguisher near you—in its absence, a bucket of sand, baking soda or garden hose will do. By no means shall you leave a scorching grill unattended.

And oh, cooked food should never share plates or trays with your raw meat.  The juices (and all those microorganisms) in the raw meat can lead to food poisoning.

Enjoy your cooking experience.  Enjoy your summer barbeque and avoid hassles — rub oil on your grill to ensure the food you’re cooking won’t stick to it.  Always have water beside you (best to be in spray bottle) to control sudden flare-ups that might totally burn the food.  Use cooking tong in flipping your meat—sticking them with forks will allow its juices to escape.  As much as possible, keep the lid of your grill closed.  15 minutes of grilling time is lost every time you raise it.  Preparing steaks?  Let your delicious steak rest for 3 to 4 minutes before serving it.  This gives time for the juices to flow –from the center of the meat going to its exterior.

Now take out those marvelous linens, table wares and flatware, and have fun in the outdoors. Happy grilling!