Why is Barbequing So Popular?

Barbequing is an American tradition. Each year, statistics show that at least 90% of families attend at least one barbeque party or celebration. About 40% of families delight in throwing parties that center around the idea of barbequing. With statistics like that, one must wonder why barbequing is such a popular event and tradition.

First, barbequing or grilling allows you to create a meal that is unmatched by any other type of cooking. The grilled smell and taste will perk up even the pickiest meat eater.

A variety of meats and side dishes are used when barbequing. Traditionally, families cook pork, beef, and fish on their grills. When visiting your local grocery store, look for meats that are specifically cut and packaged for barbequing. If you do not find pre packaged meats, then chances are spices, marinates, and kits for grilling are somewhere near by.

Traditional side dishes include potato salad, beans, and coleslaw. These sides work well with the variety of meats available and are easy to prepare and store until it is time to eat.

Your traditional condiment bar should include pickles, relish, and onions.

Different types of grills will present different types of flavors. Charcoal and smoker grills present a natural “smoked” flavor which is one of the most known tastes of barbequing. Smokers even allow you to control slight changes in the favor of the meat by using different types of woods. Alternatively, propane grills allow grillers to cook their meals faster, but still have a grilled flavor.

Some grills have the ability to come with many different types of cooking surfaces. These different cooking surfaces include a BBQ surface, a flat grill, and a ribbed grill. Some grills even offer these types of surfaces as none stick, which allow you to cook a whole array of foods that you would not be able to cook on a grill otherwise. You will be able to cook your whole meal, including side dishes if you plan correctly. Some gas grills even contain a Wok type surface for cooking pasta and rise dishes, or a full rotisserie set that allows you to cook rotisserie chicken.

Another reason barbequing is so popular is the fact that it gives you a reason to hold a party or celebration.

Outdoor parties not only allow your guests to be present during the cooking of the meal, but also give them the opportunity to be with friends.

Themed parties are always fun for your family and guests. Festive decorations can be found at any local party or general store. You may also consider purchasing decorations that can be stored and reused at a different time, such as reusable tablecloths and Tiki torches. Give your clambake a beach theme by adding tropical music and you may even consider adding some sand.

Finally, barbequing is popular because it can be considered a hobby as well. Barbequing, like anything else in life, takes time and practice. It can be fun to play and experiment with different techniques and recipes. Once you have developed a like for barbequing, then you can focus on creating your own variations on traditional recipes and ideas.

Barbequing is typically thought of as a summer event, but some diehard fans of barbeque will not think twice about breaking out their barbeque grills right in the middle of winter.

Your First Charcoal Grill

Perhaps you have just moved into your first place, or you decided that you wanted to broaden your horizons and try new things. Maybe you went to a Fourth of July barbeque party and tasted the beautiful smoked flavor, and decided you wanted to try to replicate it. After doing your research, you decided that a charcoal grill is right for you. Now what?

Now that you have decided you want a charcoal grill, you have to decide what type of charcoal grill will suit your needs. Are you planning on traveling and using your charcoal grill? If so, you will need a charcoal grill that is small enough to travel with you. Smaller charcoal grills are ideal for cookouts, camping, and tail gate parties, but would not be useful if you were cooking for a larger amount of people. If you plan on feeding a larger amount of people, a larger charcoal grill will better suit your needs. If you are having issues deciding on which type you should get, you may consider getting both. Smaller charcoals grills can cost as little as $10 to $15 dollars, and will give you the ability to travel.

Charcoal grills contain hot embers and fire when it is in use. Safety should also be a major concern when you are picking out your first Charcoal grill. Look for a charcoal grill with a sturdy structure and sturdy legs. If you grill does now have sturdy legs, it’s chances of falling over is much greater. When a charcoal grill falls over, it will send the hot coals flying. Many charcoal grills also have built in safety features such as a water reservoir and smothering valves. Undoubtedly, when you are cooking with fire, accidents can happen. In the case that your grill gets out of control or become to hot, these safety features will prevent potentially dangerous fires. The fire department has much better things to do then help you cook.

One of the most noticeable features when using charcoal is the flavor of the food you cook. To cook with a charcoal grill, you must buy charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid. Charcoal is a one use item, and will need to be discarded after each use. Charcoal can be picked up at your local superstore, gas station, or grocery store, and is typically pretty inexpensive. Charcoal must be light and allowed to burn until the charcoal is no longer on fire, but is red embers. The best way to get the pile to burn is by stacking it in a pyramid.

While no one likes to clean their grill, it is necessary to maintain your grill if you want it to last it’s intended lifetime. One problem you will face is the fact that Charcoal grills stay hot for a long period of time. You can remedy this situation 2 ways. First you can leave your grill open, allowing it to burn out. This method typically burns a lot of the grease off, but can potentially cause problems if you are not near your barbeque grill. You do not want to start a fire. Another way is to completely close off your grill and deny the fire oxygen. As soon as the grill is cold, or cold enough not to burn you, you will want to clean the grill. Leaving the grill dirty for any amount of time will cause the buildup to become hard, and may make it harder to remove. Use a wire brush to clean off the surface areas of your grill, and then spray cooking oil on the surface. Take the racks off and clean them with dishwashing soap. Dawn or other brands that have degreasers work best. Rinse the racks off, and replace them in the grill.

Wading Through Various Grill Features

When looking into different grills features, you may be faced with what seems like a foreign language. How are you suppose to pick the grill that is best for you if you do not understand what you are reading? While the language used when describing grills will not get any easier to read, understanding what the majority if what it means will help you make an informed decision.

Perhaps one of the most important things you should consider is the fuel type. Charcoal grills are one of the most used types of grills. Charcoal grills utilize charcoal and lighter fluid to heat up and cook your food. Charcoal grills come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in cost. Charcoal requires you to buy charcoal and lighter fluid each time you cook with it. It must also be cleaned out each time. Charcoal grills come in small sizes, which are ideal for apartment dwellers or people with small homes. Once you have used your charcoal grill, you can clean it, and store it away. Propane grills are also useful for someone in small areas, since they can come in smaller sizes. Propane grills use propane gas to cook your food. If you want to quickly cook foods while still maintaining a grilled flavor, you may want to consider Propane grills. Natural gas grills are a little more complicated then smaller grills, so they require more room. Natural gas grills are meant to hook up directly to your home’s natural gas line, and can cook meat in record time. Smoker Grills are used when flavor is the number one priority. Smoker grills use wood to slow cook your meat. Flavor can be controlled by using different types of woods.

BTU is the measure of the amount of cooking power the barbeque grill as. Simple math will be needed in determining the amount of heat that your grill produces. Take the amount of space available for cooking (typically measured by square inch) and divide it by the total amount of BTU’s. Ideally you will want at least 95 to 100 BTU’s per square inch of cooking space. So for example, if you have a grill with 50,000 BTU’s and 450 square inches of cooking space, then you will be receiving about 111 BTU’s of cooking power per square inch. Anything less, and you may want to consider a different grill.

The next thing you will want to consider is the cooking surfaces. How much space does it have? Will you be able to cook for just yourself, or you entire family? Depending on your situation, you may want to consider a larger or smaller grill.

What about cleaning? Does your grill have anything type of features that allow you to clean it easier? Some grills offer such things as a cleaning door, which allows you to easier remove the used fuels. This is handy if you decide on a charcoal and smoker grill. Some grills have a none stick surface, which allows you to cook without food sticking, and allows for very easy cleanup.

Another feature some grills offer the ability to control different areas of your grill with different temperatures. This is typically controlled by knobs on the front, similar to an oven. This allows you to cook different types of foods at the same time. If you want to cook a whole meal on the grill, this can be possible.

Starting your grill changed drastically with each type of grill. Smokers and Charcoal burners require you to light the media, the wait for it to burn out and turn to embers before cooking. This can take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Natural gas and propane gar grills can be started instantly, wither by lighting the burners with a lighter, or by a knob on the front, which is attached to a small hammer that slams into a crystal, causing enough spark to ignite the fuel.