Special thanks to BUSH’S for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own!
If you guys didn’t have a chance to see my first post, I had the opportunity to participate in BUSH’S BBQ Bootcamp led by the expert griller, Steven Raichlen.
I had a fantastic time learning from Steven at this bootcamp, discovering my own personal style, and not only have I grown to love grilling now, I’m actually pretty good at it:) Step aside husband, I’m the griller from now on! There’s so much I learned at this bootcamp that it would be impossible to write it all down, but here are a few key takeaways that have made the most difference for me:
- Oil the grill — every time you go to grill food, you should clean the hot grill grates and then generously grease with oil. This is what gives you gorgeous grill marks and keeps your food from sticking to the grill grates. Steven said it over and over again in reference to the grills: “keep it hot, keep it clean, keep it lubricated.” To do this, dip a rolled-up paper towel in a bit of oil and, using tongs, wipe the paper towel evenly over the grate grill until it is all greased.
- The difference between indirect and direct grilling heat — to grill over direct heat means to cook the food directly over the heat source. Indirect grilling is cooking the food adjacent to the heat source. Direct heat is going to give you the amazing grill marks and juicy burgers. It’s great for searing meat and giving it a great color and crisp skin. Indirect heat is best for whole chickens or an entire rack of ribs, or other large pieces of meat that take longer to cook. And there are plenty of instances when you’ll grill something over both direct and indirect heat. For example, you could cook whole chickens over indirect heat at a low temperature until they are almost done and then move them to the direct heat to finish cooking and get a nice crisp skin.
- Seasoning rubs — Steven’s famous 4-ingredient rub couldn’t be easier to throw together – paprika, brown sugar, coarse salt, and cracked pepper, all in equal proportions. Those 4-ingredients rubbed into perfectly grilled meat makes for an incredible flavor, and extremely little effort. Steven amps up this basic seasoning mix by adding garlic powder, onion powder, and/or other spices to taste.
- Importance of a meat thermometer — you can go from a perfectly cooked steak, burger, chicken, etc. to an overcooked piece of meat very quickly. Steven uses a meat thermometer frequently to test the meats and makes sure to remove them as soon as they hit the “safe” number. This ensures you’ll get a safely cooked meal that isn’t dried out or lacking tenderness.