* Approximately 30 minutes prior to grilling, prepare the charcoal fire so coals have time to reach
medium temperature. At medium, the coals will be ash-covered. To check the temperature of the coals,
spread the coals in a single layer. CAREFULLY hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away: approximately 4 seconds for medium heat. Position the cooking grid and follow recipe directions.
* Never place meat directly over an open flame. An open flame is an indication of incomplete combustion, the fire will discolor the meat by leaving a black carbon residue on the meat. An open flame actually has a lower temperature than coals that are glowing red.
* Whenever barbecuing, use tongs to turn the meat. A fork should never be used. For it will punch holes in the flesh and allow the natural juices to escape and loose flavor and become chewy.
* For a juicer hamburger add cold water to the beef before grilling (½ cup to 1 pound of meat).
* Use a gentle touch when shaping ground beef patties. Over-handling will result in a firm, compact texture after cooking. Don't press or flatten with spatula during cooking.
* Poke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while shaping them. The burgers will cook faster and the holes will disappear when done.
* Tomato and/or sugar-based BBQ sauces should be added only at the end of the grilling process. These
products will burn easily and are seldom considered an internal meat flavoring. Once added, the meat should be turned often to minimize the possibility of burning.
* Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using them so they won't burn during cooking.
* If you prefer metal skewers, which have a long life, use square or twisted types, which will hold the
food better than round ones.
* To keep food from slipping off during cooking and turning, use two parallel skewers rather than a single skewer.
* If you're using a wooden skewer, as you thread the food move the pieces close together, with no space
showing. If the skewer is metal, you can leave small spaces between the pieces.
* When using foods with different cooking times (such as shrimp and beef), don't combine them on the
same skewer. Instead, make skewers of just shrimp or just beef, start cooking the beef first, and then combine them on a serving platter.
* Curly Bacon
No "curly" bacon for breakfast when you dip it into cold water before frying.
* Rolled Bacon
Before opening a package of bacon, roll it. This helps separate the slices for easy removal of individual slices.
* Braising Meats
When braising meat, cook it at a low temperature for a long time to keep the meat tender and have it retain all the juices.
* Prep Meat
Prep meat ahead. Brown 5 pounds of hamburger and freeze in 1-2 cup portions. Cook several chicken
breasts then cube or shred and freeze.
* Hamburger Grease
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while