Whether propane or charcoal, the barbecue holds a special place among the hearts of all those who love to get grilling over the summer. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your barbecue.
Regardless of whether it’s propane or charcoal, a barbecue needs regular cleaning to extend its lifetime.
BBQ cooking accessories
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of propane or charcoal models, summer just wouldn’t be the same without a barbecue. Some experts recommend using a charcoal barbecue to give meats a unique flavour, while the controlled temperature of propane models makes them more suitable for cooking pizzas and desserts.
Whatever type of barbecue you have at home, there are accessories that can enhance your summer meals.
Cedar plank or Salt plank
The first is the cedar plank, which is ideal for cooking fish and pork. You need to soak the plank for at least one hour before it goes on the grate to properly impart the cedar flavour into your food.
The second accessory is a salt plank for searing, cooking and lightly salting foods. It will give your fish and duck breast an exquisite taste.
The plank can be cleaned afterwards using a scraper equipped with a brush.
If you’re a rib-lover, there is a stainless steel rack specifically designed to cook ribs perfectly all over.
The rib rack also prevents your prized meal from burning, which often happens when grilling ribs directly on the grate.
For fans of roasted chicken, the electric rotisserie is a must, as it cooks and browns chicken and other poultry to restaurant-quality.
If cooking is not your forte, you may want to consider buying a digital barbecue thermometer.
This is a very simple way to check the doneness of your meat and avoid serving it under- or over-cooked.
This simple tool is your ticket to becoming a grill master!
Essential Grilling Tools
Tips for effective grate cleaning
To avoid all of your food from tasting the same due to the cooking residues stuck on your grates, you really need to clean them—and it’s easier than you think!
Firstly, stainless steel grates should be brushed when hot, while enamelled cast iron or steel grates are suited to cold cleaning.
There are many ways to clean your grates:
- Once the burners have been turned off, rub the grates with a block of frozen lard. This will stop food from sticking during your next barbecue and prevent your grates from rusting.
- Leave your grates on the lawn overnight. Residues will quickly disappear thanks to dew and insects. Just scrub them with soapy water the next day and you’re done. Hard to find a more eco-friendly technique!
- You could also soak them for a few hours in a container full of warm water with dish soap, baking soda and white vinegar. However, you shouldn’t use this method if your grates are poorly enamelled, as it may cause them to rust.
- Some people rub their grates with a sheet of aluminum foil (shiny side on the outside) or place a sheet of foil directly on the grate and turn the heat on full for one minute. The foil reflects the heat, carbonizing the deposits which then fall into the tray.
- You can always heat your grate on high and let the grease burn on its own before removing it with a stainless steel brush.
- If your rack is rusted, rub it thoroughly with an onion or potato cut in half, then wash it with soapy water and rinse.
Tip : After cooking fish directly on the grate, rinse the grate thoroughly with vinegar and water so that your next barbecue meal doesn’t taste like fish.
Cleaning additional barbecue parts
Aside from the grates, many barbecue parts need cleaning to ensure your safety and improved grilling performance.
The burner and gas hoses must be kept clean as they allow the barbecue to reach the right grilling temperature. Burners should be cleaned in the spring and fall.
Here’s what to do:
1. Fully turn off the propane tank and carefully disconnect the hoses and burner.
2. Clean hoses with warm, soapy water and wipe the burner with a damp cloth.
3. Use a toothpick to remove stubborn residues from the burner.
4. Set aside these parts and wash the inside of the barbecue with warm, soapy water and a stiff-bristle brush.
5. Rinse thoroughly and dry with paper towels.
6. The gas hoses and burner can then be reconnected.
If you have a charcoal barbecue, empty the ash pan after each use to prevent blocked vents.
BBQs can be enjoyed in winter too!
To get grilling during the winter, it’s a good idea to place your barbecue in a covered area, away from the elements—for your own comfort, not for the performance of your grill.
Because, contrary to popular belief, a well-designed barbecue does not use more fuel in cold temperatures, although it may take longer to heat. But once hot, it will take the same amount of time to cook the food. Simply close the lid and avoid repeatedly opening it to check on the food’s doneness
Also, be aware that propane gas only freezes at -40 °C, so there’s no need to store your tank in the shed or in the garage.