I've been outdoor cooking off and on for a long time. But I've been doing it in earnest the last 10 years. I've almost always owned some type of grill, but got my first smoker about 8 years ago and my first Dutch oven about 12 years ago.
While I've still got tons to learn, I've got some things that I think I've learned and work for me. It's not everything, to be sure, but this list is a good start.
What I learned
- Greasing grill grates keeps meat from sticking.
- A small pat of butter on a steak while it's resting adds great flavor.
- You can add a smoky flavor to your grilling by putting wood chips in a aluminum foil pouch with some small tears on the grill.
- Make an indentation with your thumb in your burger before you put them on the grill.
- Mixing some bacon grease with your hamburger will give them some great flavor.
- Put two ice cubes in your foil dinner to add some extra moisture and provide some insurance against burning.
- Hot dogs can be even better with some creative toppings.
- Brining poultry gives it an unbelievable flavor and tenderness.
- Don't put the barbecue sauce on the meat until the last 10 minutes on the grill.
- The 3-2-1 rib formula works great.
- Using a thermometer lets you grill your meat exactly as you like it.
- Veggies are delicious on the grill, but they need a little oil and seasonings.
- Don't use lighter fluid to light your charcoal. It will give your food a flavor that you don't want.
- Lump charcoal can give some smoky flavor to your grilling.
- Dutch ovens make delicious desserts.
- You can use foil more much more than foil dinners
- Prep all your food inside before you take it outside to cook.
- There are many ways to add flavoring to what you throw on the grill. Using several of them really bumps up your grilling.
- A good steak can be delicious with just salt and pepper for seasoning.
- Let meat rest after taking it off the grill.
- Hot dogs wrapped in bacon are delicious.
- Heck, almost anything wrapped in bacon is delicious.
- Spread ribs with mustard before putting the rub on. It will help tenderize and give the rub something extra to stick to.
- Yes, remove the membrane from ribs.
- One great way to do kebabs is with the meat on separate skewers from the veggies.
- Grilled corn on the cob is fabulous.
- Don't use easy-to-light briquettes. They will give off a flavor similar to that of lighter fluid and they won't last a long.
- Grilled fruit makes a delicious dessert.
- Don't squish burgers during grilling--you'll just squeeze out some of the juices.
- Veggies are delicious on the grill--don't forget to try them.
- Low and slow is the way to go when you are doing true BBQ.
- You can cook almost anything in a Dutch oven.
Well, that's it for now. Just a few of the things that I've learned. There are so many more. I captured over a hundred tips, plus some of my favorite recipes in my eBook "Outdoor Cooking Magic Tricks". You can get that by signing up up here.