According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association (HPBA), 55 percent of Americans surveyed fire up their grills on Labor Day. As the holiday is swiftly approaching, we’re all angling for our own barbecues to be the most spectacular bashes possible. That said, you can’t very well have the best barbecue ever without first mastering your grilling technique.
Here are 5 tips and tricks for grilling that, although simple to execute, are sure to put your Labor Day barbecue over the edge.
1. Slow and Steady Does the Trick
It’s hard to resist the urge to turn up the grill on high heat, but faster cooking isn’t always better — and that’s especially true on the grill. “Low and slow” is the mantra of the indirect cooker, writes The New York Times, and it’s a great method for slow cooking larger or denser chunks of meat. This is an ideal method for briskets, pork shoulders, ribs, whole chickens, or a pork butt, according to Barbecue U.
Recommended temperatures for indirect cooking can vary by meat type and by personal doneness preference, but 300 degrees Fahrenheit is a relatively low heat that will also cook entirely through most meats given enough time, says The New York Times. And yes, because you’re cooking less directly, this method will take longer. Be sure to start early enough to allow ample time, or you’ll have some impatient (and hungry) guests on your hands!
Even after your meat finishes cooking, the waiting aspect isn’t quite over, sadly. For best results, the Food Network advises that you give your cooked meat 5 to 10 minutes to re-settle before you begin eating. This will allow for the juices to properly redistribute throughout the cut. As you well know already, it’s worth the wait!