EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR’S THE EDGE!

It often said that every man needs a barbecue.  It seems almost genetic.  Many of the male species believe that they have an innate ability to grill the perfect steak and that even charcoaled sausages taste sublime with their culinary touch.

Certainly there is nothing wrong with restaurants around town that offer their versions of barbecued delights, but somehow the need for many to do their own thing at home persists.  There’s something therapeutic about watching over the grill with a beer or two, perhaps a throw-back to fueling the fire in more primitive times.

Foreigners in Thailand don’t generally seem to have imported this home barbecue culture, but there’s no why this can’t change.

All that residents here really need is a small out door space or even an open balcony on a multi-story building will do.

If you’re thinking about buying a barbecue, we’ll break down the pros and cons of charcoal/wood and gas grills.  For those without a barbecue culture in your home country, we’ll follow up with some of the first steps to throwing some food on the barbie and some of the tricks to get it right.

Despite what some fervent grillers say, one isn’t necessarily superior to the other. There are pros and cons to both grilling methods, so it’s really your call!  

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR'S THE EDGE!

Charcoal/Wood Barbeques

  • There’s a full range of prices: inexpensive grills are easy to find, and upscale models are available too (+)
  • Gets very hot (+)
  • Needs to be manually lit and preheated for a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes (usually much longer) (-)
  • Cleaning is more complicated due to ashes (-)
  • Smoky flavour every time you grill (+/-)
  • Tough to keep a constant temperature (-)
  • You get to play with real fire (+)
  • The fuel supply is not really a problem but getting it to the barbecue may be issue (-)
  • Really only for outdoor areas away from the residence and kitchen. (-)

Gas Barbeque

  • Typically pricier with a wide range of sizes shapes and accessories available.  (+/-)
  • A more complicated grill means more parts that can break (-)
  • Easy to clean (+)
  • Has the option of smoky flavour or not, with use of wood chips in a smoker box (+)
  • Convenient (+)
  • No preparation required, just light it up and the heat will be quick and easy. (+)

Barbecue Preparation

If you’re using a charcoal/wood grill, empty the ashes from your last grilling session.  Both types need to be pre-heated before you start cooking.  Gas grills turn on easily when the lid is open. 

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR'S THE EDGE!

To start a charcoal/wood fire, you’ll need a starter or kindling.   Please don’t light your charcoal with lighter fluid!  It seems like a quick fix, but it can be dangerous and make your food taste ‘chemical’.  

Potato chips can be a quick saviour and you’ll only need a quick visit to the 711.  Not just one chip at a time, but throw a pile onto your grill. And who wouldn’t rather bite into a juicy burger that has a slight hint of potato chip to it instead of an overwhelming lighter fluid flavour anyway?

Let the gas grill heat up for at least 10 minutes and your charcoal grill for at least 20.

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR'S THE EDGE!

After your grill is preheated, use a brass-wire brush to scrape the charred goo and gunk off of the grate. You’ll need to give it a good scrape at the beginning of a grilling sssion. Then a quick brush before and after grilling should do.  

Once your grill is clean, oil the grate by grabbing an oiled paper towel with some long tongs, and wiping it over the bars. You’ll need to use oil with a high smoking temperature, like canola oil.

Now that your grill is hot and the grate is clean, your food won’t stick to it as much, and you’re likely to get those classic grill lines!

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR'S THE EDGE!

What to grill

Sure, everyone knows steaks and burgers can go on the grill, but did you know that it’s also great for poultry, kebabs, seafood, vegetables and pizza.

Corn on the cob with its own package …… the husk! It’s perfect for throwing on the grill.  Grilled sweet onions wrapped in bacon make a great appetizer or party food.

Grilled pizza doesn’t have to be complicated! Pork chops and caramelised onions are simple to make on your grill! Grilled Teryaki beef kabobs are seriously tasty, especially if you make your own  teriyaki sauce. Salmon is a firm fish with a naturally high fat content – perfect for grilling.  Leaving the skin on during grilling protects the flesh from overcooking and falling apart.

Barbecue Tips and Tricks

To avoid losing juices during turning, always flip your meat or vegetables using tongs or a spatula, rather than a fork.  Try to limit the flips. Ideally, you should flip each item once during the grilling process.

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR'S THE EDGE!

Whatever you do, don’t press down on burgers or chicken (or anything) with a spatula while they’re grilling! This squeezes out the juices and once they’re gone … they’re gone! If you’re bored and need something to do with your hands, learn to juggle (but not too close to the grill, please!).

For great smoky flavor, soak some wood chips in water for a while, then throw them onto your charcoal and cover the grill. 

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR'S THE EDGE!

To infuse grilled foods with herb essence, toss herbs directly onto the charcoal while you’re grilling. Or, if you’re using a gas grill, soak the herbs in water, and place them on the grate before putting your food on top of them.

If you want to baste your meat or vegetables, save this step for last. That way the sugars in your marinade or sauce won’t have time to caramelise or burn.

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD BARBIE!, SOME TIPS TO GIVE YOUR'S THE EDGE!

A final tip; Australians swear that Vegemite is the best way of infusing flavour in a steak.  It’s a rarity in Thailand, but if you find a supply, be brave and give your steak a vegemite baste before grilling.