14 Easy Ways to Improve Your Grilling, According to BBQ Experts
Every proud owner of a grill has their own way of barbecuing, and most don't take kindly to backseat grilling advice. But exceptions should be made when that advice comes from pitmasters who’ve devoted their entire lives to the pursuit of meaty perfection.
These tips come from some of the world’s most obsessive barbecue cooks, ranging from world-champion competition-circuit legends to the pitmasters behind some of the best 33 BBQ joints in the country. Heed their advice, and may your charcoal burn forever brightly.
Don’t you dare set it and forget it“Give lots of TLC, as every day is different. There is no 'set it and forget it' setting in cooking good BBQ.” -- Tootsie Tomanetz, octogenarian and 50-year TLC-giver at Snow’s BBQ (Lexington, Texas)
Buy the best meat“Invest in quality meat. They say you can’t polish a... well, you know the rest. But it rings true. The quality of your meat is relative to the success of your cook. Higher grade meat with more marbling means the cut is going to be more tender and flavorsome, and the presence of more intramuscular fat makes it more forgiving during the cook. Meaning, it’s going to be harder to dry out a Prime brisket than it is a Select.” -- Jess Pryles, Hardcore Carnivore founder, cook, and author (Austin, Texas)
Baste with herbs“Incorporate a basting brush made of herbs by attaching whole stems of thyme, rosemary, and sage onto a wooden spoon with butcher twine. Use it to baste meats throughout the cook with butter, a good oil, or sauce.” -- Billy Durney, pitmaster at Hometown Bar-B-Que (Brooklyn, New York)
Wrap or pan meat to smoke it faster“The most common technique to smoke meat faster is wrapping it in foil. This is done after the protein has absorbed adequate smoke and caramelization has taken place on the outside. Generally a liquid such as water or apple juice is placed in the foil with the meat and wrapped tightly. The steaming effect from the liquid speeds up the cooking process.
“Panning is another variation of foiling: use a pan covered tightly with the meat and liquid inside to shorten the cooking time.” -- Myron Mixon, four-time World Barbeque Champion, television host, and operator of Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque (Old Town Alexandria, Virginia)