Few things cap off a summer day like a good meal made on a BBQ. The smells coming from a grill whet the appetite and set the stage for a relaxing evening. Make sure your evening is full of good memories by following a few simple safety tips when making your meals. We’ve even included a recipe that’s a favourite around DKI-CRCS in case you’re looking for some inspiration.
Preparation is everything, and we don’t just mean the food. Be sure that your BBQ is in good condition by following three simple steps.
- If you haven’t yet checked gas lines and propane tanks to make sure they’re in good condition, now’s the time. If lined are cracked or the tank or metal fittings are rusty, it’s best to exercise some caution and replace with fresh parts.
- Make sure to drain the grease trap. As this fills over multiple grilling sessions, the risks of a fire grow substantially.
- Check that the grilling surface is clean, and free of remains of previous meals. Not only could this transfer charred taste to your next meal, the leftovers can hold pockets of grease that cause flare-ups.
Once everything is clean, you’re ready to light it up, right? Well, almost.
- It’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on hand. Baking Soda can also work to snuff flames, but water will only make things worse by spreading a grease fire further.
- Be sure your BBQ is stable, on flat ground, and away from any overhangs.
Now that you’ve checked and cleaned the grill, and setup somewhere stable with a fire extinguisher close at hand, you’re all set to get cooking. Just remember to follow any safety recommendations for your particular grill.
Be sure to leave enough time to get your grill up to temperature before cooking. Charcoal grills cannot be hurried along by using lighter fluid. Not only will it not significantly raise the temperature of the coals, but the fluid can vaporize near hot coals, and explode rather than just igniting as a fire. On gas stoves, open the lid before opening the valves. If there’s a leak somewhere, keeping the lid down can contain the gas and be a real hazard.
Finally, make sure that the BBQ always has someone keeping an eye on it. Not only do you not want to burn your food, but it’s a good idea to ensure that kids or pets don’t accidentally bump into it.
Now that you’re all set to make a meal, it’s on to the good stuff – the recipe. In our experience, few things are as tasty as tender, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs slathered in BBQ sauce. This recipe takes a few hours but is well worth the wait and is really easy to do.
Start off by getting your BBQ up to temperature. You’ll want to have it hot enough to sear the meat before turning it down to the lowest heat you can manage for the rest of the process.
- Sear the ribs on the grill. The inside of the curve of the ribs obviously won’t touch the grilling surface, so you’ll want the heat high enough to brown the surface on that side. While the outside of the ribs won’t take long, that inside face can take a few minutes. Be sure not to overdo it, as there’s plenty of time to cook the meat to perfection in future steps.
- Once the surface of the ribs have been browned, make up a foil envelope or use a covered foil cooking tray to hold the ribs, along with some apple juice – about a cup. Make sure the package is sealed up tight so that the meat can steam in the juice. Turn the heat down low and leave this for an hour. Don’t rush this part. You’re adding flavour and loading up the meat with moisture – important to prevent the meat from drying out in the final step of the process.
- While the ribs are steaming away, get your BBQ sauce ready. Some people buy an off the shelf sauce, but if you’ve got the time and interest, you can whip up your own mix. Start with a base of ketchup, add soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, a little liquid smoke, and some seasoning. We’re constantly adjusting our blend, but there are plenty of recipes online that will give you a sense of proportions.
- Once the ribs have been steaming for an hour, remove them from the foil and put them back on the grill on low heat. If the heat is too high, the sugar in the sauce will char and create a burned flavour. Start brushing on the sauce, turning the ribs every few minutes and adding more sauce. Repeat this process for 30-45 minutes until your guests are salivating, and then serve.
- Extinguish the grill and keep an eye on it while it cools down before emptying ashes and putting it away.
- Hopefully you haven’t forgotten about veggies. These ribs go well with grilled corn on the cobb and a fresh salad.
With a long summer ahead, there’s plenty of opportunity for great meals on sunny days with friends and family. Enjoy!