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Barbecue Grilling Success
By Fran Black

Take simple steps to make sure your barbecue is the talk of the neighborhood. Barbecue grilling has never been as popular as it is today. Gourmet has come to neighborhood barbecues. Make sure you are keeping up with the Jones with these tips.

Boil First
To ensure thoroughly cooked, yet moist, pork ribs, try boiling them first (generally about 15 - 20 minutes). After boiling place them on the grill and liberally baste with your favorite sauce.

Allow meat to cook on the grill long enough for the sauce and the flavor of the grill to come through.
Drippings from pan provide great juices for basting or gravy.

Add Flavor to Meat
For great flavor variations, add 1 tsp or more of any of the following to hamburg or meat mixtures - dry mustard, garlic powder, oregano, savory or onion powder.

Marinades tenderize meat, keep it moist during cooking, and enhance favor. Meat can be marinated for 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Lean ground pork is great for juicy burgers. Dress them up, brush with barbecue sauce or keep them plain and simple.

Tomato Barbecue
When Barbecuing chicken with a tomato based sauce, grill the chicken without the sauce until it is halfway cooked, then baste with sauce. This keeps the sauce from burning onto the chicken and ensures maximum flavor.

Over Cooking
Overcooking your meat dries it out and reduces it's flavor. On the other hand, don't under cook your foods. Raw meats carry bacteria that may make you ill when ingested.

Baste the meat throughout barbecuing with the marinade, if sugar content is minimal. Otherwise
, baste in the last quarter of barbecuing time, as sugar content causes charring, thus drying out the meat.

Room Temperature
Bring meat to room temperature before barbecuing, however, the time the meat is out of the fridge should not exceed one hour.

Never add salt until meat is cooked, as salt draws out the moisture, causing Pork to become dry and tough.

Pork Alternatives
If you can't find ground pork in the meat counter, ask your butcher to grind pork from a shoulder butt or picnic roast. Lean ground pork helps the burger keep its' shape while cooking.

Meat Storage
Always store raw meat separately and on the bottom of the refrigerator. Use a thermometer to check that your refrigerator is working properly.

Cooking Time
If you don't wear a watch, keep a small portable clock or timer near the grill.

Great with a steak
Cut a red onion in half and blot cut halves on a paper towel to soak up moisture. Place the cut ends face down in soy sauce. Leave the onions in the soy for a few minutes then grill next to steaks.

Wrap potatoes in tinfoil and place them among the charcoal while you grill the rest of dinner. When potato is about 3/4 of the way cooked remove the potato, slice it open and add a slice of onion. Then return it charcoal to finish cooking.

Grill FlareUps
If using a gas barbecue, you can grill roasts evenly without flare-ups by only turning on one side of the barbecue and placing roast on the other side. When gas barbecuing, preheat grill on high for 5-10 minutes. Then, adjust to desired cooking temperature. Remember, it's the heat from the rocks that cooks the meat.

Herb Sausages
Using marinades or brushing sauces on the sausages will easily add a gourmet flavor. Brush the sauce on during the last quarter of barbecuing time. For a delicious change, lay whole sage leaves, mint of bay leaves on the sausage, on the grill, or even skewered between chunks of sausage.

Use tongs (not fork) for turning. Cook over direct heat on low to medium, turning often. Don't pierce with a fork flavorful juices can be lost, if the meat is punctured.

Indirect Heat
Indirect heat, with the barbecue lid down, is the most desirable method to cook Pork Roasts. Pork is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let the meat rest for 15 minutes before carving to set juices.
Remember, it's the heat from the rocks that cooks the Pork - not the natural/propane gas.

Try kabobs instead of large pieces of meat, such as steaks. The less time the meat spends on the grill, the better. Kabobs have short cooking times because meat is cut into small, bite-size pieces.

Hamburg Impressions
When making hamburgers, impress a thumbprint in the middle of both sides of each burger. This keeps them from bulging up while cooking, and they'll cook more evenly this way.

About the Author
Francesca Black is contributing author and publisher to an on nline resource that provides you with information, articles of interest related to barbecues.

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