Grill to Perfection

It’s Father’s Day weekend and we all know that Dad’s love the BBQ. To honour Dad and his fantastic grilling skills here are five tips to help him perfect the meat.

*Tips from Avenue Calgary

Have faith in your butcher

Home Tasting Room’s Geoff Rogers emphasizes the benefits of trusting your neighbourhood butcher and sourcing local:
“When purchasing meat, support your local butcher. They can customize any cut for you and suggest cuts you may not be familiar with. Try to source locally and ethically raised meats, as the flavour is far superior ‚Äî and it’s good for the soul. Try to cook any and all meats on the bone and with the skin on. This is where a lot of great flavour comes from.”

Properly prep prior to grilling

Drew Masterman of Blue Star Diner is known for his popular brunch dishes, but he’s also all about the fine details when it comes to grilling:
“Use an oiled rag to clean and lubricate your grill first and keep your meat lightly oiled, but not too much as to cause flames. Evenly salt the food so that flavour is imparted by not only the salt but also the moisture that is drawn away from the skin causing the browning effect, or Maillard Reaction.”

Turn your barbecue into a smoker

“Many people do not know that you can use your barbeque as a smoker,” says Kyle Groves, executive chef of Catch.
“Simply turn the barbeque on the lowest setting and [put] a tray of wood chips (hickory or apple wood is what I use) on the bottom shelf. Let the wood chips smoulder so that they do not ignite but are smoking pretty heavily. Lay a couple sides of wild sockeye salmon on the top shelf and let it slowly smoke until the fish is cooked and it has a nice smoky aroma.”

Don’t play with your food

“Allow your meat to come to room temperature before grilling and once you put it on the barbecue, don’t play around with the protein (i.e. moving it around),” says Shawn Greenwood, executive chef at Taste.
“You want to get a nice char or crust on it, so flipping twice or three times is usually enough. When you’re ready to serve, remember to let the meat sit for a few minutes before cutting to retain its juices and flavour.”
Slow down

When it comes to the perfect barbecued meal, Claire Cameron, executive chef at Vin Room, stresses the importance of taking your time:
“Patience is a virtue. Let your charcoal or wood burn down to hot coals so you have an even fire. Enjoy a glass of wine or two while this happens. Remember that marinades and sauces with sugar (like our pinot noir BBQ sauce) burn easily so use indirect or low heat. It will take longer to cook, but the end product will be caramelized and delicious.”

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