Tips and tricks for that perfect barbecue

by Sanjeev Kapoor

The art of cooking food on a grill is called as barbecuing. This can range from simply barbecuing over some wood surrounded by three pebbles and then skewering a piece of meat on a small branch held over the fire to using the most up-to-date electric or gas grill; it just depends on how you do this. 

Make sure that no matter what equipment or technique you use, you can only have a good barbecue with a rack and a source of heat. So, you should be careful in choosing these two. Also burning of the charcoal in the house should be avoided because of the danger of carbon monoxide fumes. 

The most common barbecue trouble is to get the grill too hot and then burning of the food on the outside. Burnt food will have black lines on it and implies that that the food is cooked at a very high temperature or is cooked for too long. 

Starting a wood or charcoal fire by placing a wadded paper and kindling beneath the fuel and lighting the paper is an easy technique. You can also use an electric igniter for the charcoal. However, use of a charcoal fluid must be avoided as it may flavour the food. Gasoline or any other highly combustible liquid is an absolute no for lighting the barbecue. 

A wood fire is ready for cooking when it has become a mass of glowing embers. Briquettes should burn until they are grayish-white with no black points showing.

The simple trick to cook food to the desired degree of doneness without charring is controlling the heat. This can be done in two ways: either by moving the grill higher or lower or by dispersing the coals with a poker or tongs so that the heat is less intense. Starting the food 4 to 6 inches from the heat is also a good option. You should always remember that the thicker the cut of the meat, the farther from the fire it should be. You should also always be ready with a squirt bottle of water to extinguish the flames caused by the melted fat. 

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.