Just coming off the May Long Weekend, the official kick off to summer, BBQ’s were fired up everywhere and the smell of smoked meat was lingering. However, some of us were not prepared. Not to worry I’m here to help! There is a knack, maybe even a finesse (I’m told) that one requires when BBQ’ing outdoors and if you are any similar to my household the men have claimed this territory. Whether you are the one taking the reins or assisting like me 😉 you’ll need these BBQ essentials to get you started. I have tips from the experts at Hopcott Meats and Joseph Richard Group Director of Culinary Operations, Chef Matthew Stowe (Top Chef Canada winner), as well as must-have BBQ items from the Real Canadian Superstore so that you can get the most out of the season.
And side note drinking beer at a barbecue go hand and hand but using beer when smoking and grilling is what you need to try! So pop open a cold one, fire up your girl and try one of these flame-tested techniques. So many possibilities. Let me show you the ways!
Preparation is key when getting ready to BBQ. Here are some tips from Hopcott Meats to keep in mind:
- SET THE ENVIRONMENT: Gas is great but a charcoal BBQ brings adds that extra smoky flavour. A lid is essential too, to lock in flavour and moisture. Or, buy a contained griddle or a grill basket and add the chips you want. Layer your smoke with flavour.
- ONLY USE HOME-MADE PATTIES: Hopcott has a great selection of patties or you can ask one of their butchers to give you some prime ground beef, turkey, pork, or chicken to make your own.
- MARINADE, MARINADE, MARINADE: We all know the phrase ‘leave for a few hours, ideally overnight’. This rule, heavily, applies to barbecues, to make sure the flavours aren’t overridden by the addition of the smoke. In fact, it’s best to save some marinade to brush your meat or fish every 10 minutes or so as it cooks. You will add moisture, trap the flavour, and caramelize gently.
- CRISP THE VEGGIES: Go for that charring along the bars – it looks amazing and tastes even better. Slice the veggies closer to the thin side, then grill away with light olive oil and the seasoning of your choice.
Now you’re ready to get started. To help you I’ve gone to our expert Chef Matthew Stowe to give you a step by step guide to help you with your BBQ game:
- PRE-HEAT: Always pre-heat your grill until it reaches at least 400 degrees Celsius.
- RUB THE GRILL: Be sure to rub your grill with some tongs and a towel soaked in vegetable oil to prevent food from sticking.
- LET IT WARM-UP: When cooking steaks, leave your meat out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before starting to cook. Cooking steaks fresh from the fridge will make them take longer to cook and the outside will overcook before the centre is a nice, medium rare.
- SIMPLE SEASON: Season your steaks with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. While marinating chicken or salmon with different options is great, its best to keep steak simple with just some salt and pepper.
- LEAVE IT BE: Once the food touches the grill, leave it alone! Let it sit for at least two to three minutes to build a crust before you flip it or move it. Moving it around too much will keep it from developing the colour and crust you want.
- TAKE THE HAND TEST: Check with a thermometer or take the hand test. Place your open palm about 5 inches above the rack. If you have to move your hand within 2 seconds, it’s too hot! 5 seconds is medium and 10 seconds is low.
- TIP: Keep a spray bottle, filled with water, on hand in case you need to shoot down the flames.
- LET IT REST: When grilling any red meat our poultry always allow it to rest on a board or plate before you cut into it. As a general rule the resting time should be half the cooking time; for example if it takes ten minutes to cook a steak let it rest for five minutes
- AGAINST THE GRAIN: Always slice meet across the grain to ensure your meat is tender.
Bonus tip! Add your favourite beer to your smoking chips for enhanced flavour and a smouldering, slower burn or to your marinade of choice. Compliments beef, pork, and chicken well.
Now that you are armed with tips you don’t think I would leave you hanging with the right products to have on hand. As you know the Real Canadian Superstore is fully stocked with BBQ essential items and my go-to spot when I think of patio entertaining and all things outdoors. Here are some items that you need that will help you with all your BBQ needs.
•Elevate your beach picnic and make it a BBQ! The Tera Gear 12KBTU Stainless Steel Table Top Gas Grill, found at Real Canadian Superstore, is the perfect item to bring summer flavours with you (nearly) anywhere.
•The Tera Gear 67K BTU 5+1 BBQ Grill is a great, and eye catching, addition to any backyard decor. With a spacious grill, warming rack and side burner, you’ll be able to cook chicken breasts for the whole party!
•If you’re feeling Canada150-proud, grab the Tera Gear 4-pc BBQ utensil set with wooden handle. Outfitted with a small maple leaf, it’s a great talking point and an easy way to inspire others to celebrate this great country!
•You’ll need something to serve all the food on! The PC Canada Day Round Tray is another easy and trendy way to show your country pride this summer.
•No BBQ can ever have enough bowls. From popcorn, to buns, to BBQ Doritos chips (I’m on the BBQ train, what can I say) even napkins or cutlery the PC Wood Grain Bowl is the perfect addition to add a little colour to any table setting.
•Whether your guests are drinking water or something a little heavier, the PC Mason Beverage Dispenser 1 Gal will do the trick! Even grab a few, filling one with cucumber, ice and water, and the other with a fun summer sangria!
Hopefully with these tips, you will be able to enjoy some well-cooked, delicious summer food at home. While summer is prime for BBQ’ing, steak is always king. Too complicated for you, head to S+L Kitchen & Bar’s newest location in South Surrey part of the Joseph Richard Group, opening this Monday, June 5 at 11am to have a BBQ’d steak made to perfection from Chef Stowe.
And remember how I mentioned beer goes hand in hand with BBQ’ing. Well this is the beer part. All my beer enthusiasts, get ready to drink in the details of each legendary beer event apart of Vancouver Craft Beer Week, happening across Metro Vancouver from May 26 to June 4. Details at vancouvercraftbeerweek.com. Perfect spot to pick up some ideas to take home with you for patio season this summer!
Natalie’s BBQ Giveaway:
We want to give another lucky listener the chance to WIN a $75 gift card to HOPCOTT MEATS, perfect for a BBQ dinner with DAD (wink, wink Father’s Day is coming up, if you’ve been under a rock. Don’t worry we have a gift guide coming up)!!! Please note: Winner can choose their choice of meat!
And because I’m emceeing this weekend’s ZAJAC NIGHTS in support of ZAJAC RANCH, we want to send two people to join me!! This Friday, June 2nd take part in a timeless experience, a roaring 20’s themed extravaganza, with all the themed cuisine and free flowing drinks you could ask for and themed rooms all over the Terminal City Club!! Valued at $400!!!! Call in to WIN after our feature at 1245p!!!!!!
To Enter to Win Craft Beer Tickets & Hopcott Gift Card: Tell us what you like most about BBQ’ing in the summertime + which prize you’d like to WIN in the comments below!
Contest is now closed congratulations to Tyler and Deb!
**Contest Rules & Regulations**
The winner agrees to abide by the rules and regulations outlined here http://www.jrfm.com/contestrules/ for pick up at #300-1401 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6H 1C9. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm.
All prizes must be claimed within 60 days at the offices of CJJR-FM and are non-transferable. After 60 days, prize becomes the property of CJJR-FM, to do with as it may determine, including awarding it to another contestant, and CJJR-FM shall be released and discharged from any liability or responsibility in this regard.
Only ONE member of the household will be eligible to qualify or win in any single Contest.
By entering the Contest, all persons are deemed to have read and to have accepted these rules and regulations.