We don’t know anyone that doesn’t like a BBQ. Who can resist that tangy taste a BBQ sauce gives to your meats. Just think of that chicken that has a BBQ flavor you can’t get with herbs and seasonings. And the best part is how the meat just slides right off the bone. Ribs with tender, juicy meat that melts in your mouth and also falls off of the bone is another memorable meal. Your mouth should be watering right now. Myself, I’m heading for the kitchen to get some BBQ.
Though the BBQ sauce itself pretty much sets the tone for the flavor imparted to your taste buds, how you cook the meat dictates a whole lot more. There are several ways to cook your BBQ but he main ones are grilling with wood, grilling with charcoal and smoking. Each method has its drawbacks and benefits.
When you BBQ your meat over a charcoal grill you typically use lighter fluid to stoke up the coals. The problem with this is that if you use too much lighter fluid the taste of that fluid can be imparted to the meat. Grilling over a fire has another drawback though this is more likely with a home griller rather than a professional grilling in a restaurant. You have to keep your fire at a particular level. You want your coals to smolder not spark a flame. The reason for this is that if you spark flames too often or for too long, the outside of the meat could get done before the inside of the meat is safe to eat. This is why the BBQ sauce on the ribs at your friend’s house is a little burned and slightly brittle because the inside of the meat wasn’t yet finished.
If you grill over wood chips or chunks your food gets a slightly woody flavor to it. In many cases, that enhances the natural flavor of the meat, but some woods, like hickory for example, can overwhelm the taste if not handled properly. The advantage of wood chips over charcoal is that they are much easier to start up. You don’t need lighter fluid or any other type of fuel you just have to know what you’re doing.
What we like is slow smoked meats. We set them on racks in the smoker, light it up, close the door and several hours later we slap on the BBQ sauce and let it bake right in. Sure, we use charcoal to keep the wood smoking, but we don’t put the raw coals in the smoker, they’re lit and hot by the time they gain entry. You won’t believe the flavor unless you’ve experienced it yourself. .