Okay, you’ve booked the barbecue pit at the condo and paid the extra $50 to make sure you don’t have to lift a finger in the clean-up operation, but what now? How do you ensure that the occasion goes swimmingly, the food’s tip-top and nobody ends up in the local infirmary after eating a piece of chicken that’s so raw it’s still pecking at their intestines?
Huber’s Butchery on Dempsey Road was able to provide some useful advice.
1. First of all, there’s a difference between barbecuing and grilling. While grilling refers to food that is cooked directly over high heat, barbecuing is a long, slow process using indirect, low heat generated by smouldering logs or wood chips that smoke-cook the food, giving the meat a characteristic flavour.
2. The grilling process cooks foods over a high heat source, either directly, indirectly, or a combination of both. Grilling temperatures typically reach as high as 340ºC, but any temperature above 145°C is suitable on a barbecue, where the heat source should be separated from the cooking chamber.
3. Meat is seasoned or marinated before placing it on the hot grill usually at 220ºC to 250ºC. The high heat of grilling sears the surface of beef, creating tender meat with a flavoursome crust. Once you get the nice chargrill marks, reduce the heat or move the meat away from direct heat and grill to desired doneness.
4. It helps to set aside an area on the grill with no/low heat for the meat to rest. Keep in mind that the meat will cook for a little longer after removing from the grill. Keep the meat warm for at least five minutes before cutting.
5. Use a tong to handle the meat, not a fork. The required cooking temperature and the method of grilling (direct, indirect, or a combination) depends on the cut of beef, the thickness and the quality of the meat. As with any cooking method, beef that is grilled should not be overcooked in order to produce the best results.
A cut above
James’ Butchery & Co. offers a wide variety of products and also ideas on what and how to barbecue. It sources produce from as far afield as the lush green pastures of Australia, home to some of the world’s best beef and lamb, and Gunma Prefecture in Japan, the source of very special wagyu beef.
Recommended purchases for the perfect barbecue
// Australian Angus ribeye steaks
// A4 Japanese wagyu sirloin steaks
// Sausages: check in store for range
// Aussie pork chops and lamb cutlets
// Chicken Marylands (whole leg, bone-in)
// Chicken boneless breasts
Key tips for barbecue cooking
// Always ensure that you have a moderate to hot heat that is at a constant temperature to help cook meat smoothly.
// Look out for the “blind” sides of the barbecue – i.e., areas where the heat is not consistent; cooking times in those areas will vary.
// Do oil meat while grilling.
When the gas runs out
Everyone needs a back-up plan when hosting a barbecue, just in case it all goes horribly wrong. Anything could happen when guests are full of wine-soaked exuberance, but the most common problem is running out of gas.
If you do run out of power, then Peter’s Butchery, the self-styled “Home Of The Real Butchers”, could offer a handy get-out. As well as being a barbecue specialist that provides wholesale prices on meats and seafood, a wide choice of marinades from around the world, and quality Australian wines, it also stocks and supplies Vili’s Gourmet Pies from Australia, which are very popular among Aussie and Kiwi expats. If you have to transform your barbecue into a gourmet pie night, at least you’ll get marks for originality.
Another big bonus about Peter’s is that it delivers on weekdays, and if you purchase $80+ worth of items, delivery is absolutely free.
Let someone else cook
When push comes to shove, maybe you can’t be bothered with the hassle of sweating over a barbie while watching the missus and her mates get gradually more inebriated and bolshie. So why not try a barbecue restaurant instead?
Bar B Q Tonight was launched in Karachi, Pakistan way back in 1988, and in the intervening 26 years has grown from a small outlet into a place that can seat 2,200 clients under one roof. Special recipes that are passed on from generations of the same family still remain a closely guarded secret, and those recipes can now be enjoyed here in Singapore.
The signature dishes of the Stanley Street outlet are the charcoal-grilled meats and tandoor naans, as well as various vegetarian selections.
The Singapore franchise is run by businessmen Mohammed Mehdi and Nasir Haji who saw a gap in the market for a restaurant selling traditional Pakistani cuisine. In the past three years they have won culinary awards and been featured on Channel 5’s Meat and Greed programme and also on the Asia Food Channel.