What’s the best barbecuing method?
Over charcoal, a gas barbecue or an electric grill? For many people, barbecuing food over charcoal is the only real way of doing it. But other types of barbecue have their advantages, too. Of course, the right grilling method will come down to the food that you want to cook. After all, charcoal or gas not only have an effect on the taste, but also whether you should cook the food using direct or indirect heat. We’ve provided a brief overview of the world of outdoor grilling, which wouldn’t be complete without the tastiest Monsieur Cuisine dishes for the perfect barbecue.
Playing with fire
No matter what you’re thinking of putting on the barbecue, you’ll need to know how long the food takes to cook. Generally speaking, you can split foods into those that take up to 30 minutes on the barbecue and those that take longer. Burgers, sausages, vegetable kebabs and seafood are all classic barbecue fare and take under 30 minutes to cook. As such, they’re ideal for searing with direct heat. This means that the sausages are cooked from below, lying directly over the flames or a gas burner. Whole birds or joints need to be cooked for more than 30 minutes and are best suited to indirect grilling. In this case, the food is not placed directly over the source of heat, but alongside it. Often, the heat source is at the edge of the grill, while the food rests in the middle. Of course, you could sear a juicy steak on both sides over direct heat first, before cooking it through with indirect heat. This is known as the 50:50 method and ensures a particularly crisp yet succulent result. But how can you actually set up different heat sources within a single barbecue? Switching heat sources is easy with a gas grill, as you simply switch the necessary burners on or off. if using a charcoal grill, you can generate different sources of heat using charcoal baskets or by layering the charcoal in a particular way, among other methods. Charcoal baskets can be placed on the left- and right-hand side of the barbecue, so that the centre functions as an indirect grilling surface. Another option is to lay a ring of glowing charcoal around the edge of the barbecue. This is also known as the ring of fire method and is often used to cook pizza or keep cooked food warm. And then there’s three-zone fire, which gives you the option of barbecuing food with different cooking times simultaneously. It’s easiest to imagine this as a sand dune. The embers must be layered in such a way that they start quite shallow, with multiple layers added as you move towards the edge of the grill, getting progressively higher. The flattest part of the layer of glowing coals has the least heat, while the highest and thus widest layered area is the hottest.
Put a lid on it!
No matter which type of barbecue you choose, it should always come with a lid. Whether it’s a gas, charcoal or electric grill, having the lid on simply ensures that the heat is distributed more evenly, saves energy and keeps the food lovely and succulent.
Charcoal gives food that distinctive barbecued taste
Requires careful cleaning
Harmful substances can build up, e.g. if grease drips onto the embers
Smoke and smells can be annoying for neighbours
Low preheating time
Heat is easier to control
Easy to clean
Little smoke build-up
Can be used on a balcony
The food doesn’t get a charcoal taste
Takes up a lot of space and can be heavy and cumbersome
Generally more expensive than charcoal grills
May drip onto the burner if grease has collected beneath the stones
Once you have decided on the barbecue method for you, it only remains to choose what you put on the grill, and which sauces and side dishes will complete your menu.
The finishing touch to the perfect barbecue is a homemade marinade.
We recommend the Monsieur Cuisine red wine marinade for beef and lamb: https://www.monsieur-cuisine.com/en/recipes/detail/red-wine-marinade/
The Monsieur Cuisine Cajun marinade works beautifully with chicken breast or other poultry: https://www.monsieur-cuisine.com/en/recipes/detail/cajun-marinade-1/
Good cuts of meat or tasty vegetable kebabs are simply crying out for a delectable sauce. You can use your Monsieur Cuisine to make your own delicious barbecue sauces with very little effort. They’re utterly scrumptious, plus you know exactly what’s in them. You’ll find seven fantastic barbecue sauce recipes, with notes on what works best with which barbecue food, right here: https://www.monsieur-cuisine.com/en/magazine/magazine-arcticle/record/show/lets-get-grilling/