In Australia, the barbie is a way of life. It’s how we eat every day, all summer long, and it’s definitely how we celebrate. Australian grills have a grate side that we use to make things like steak, lamb burgers and chicken, and a flat-top side, which we use to cook all kinds of seafood and even fry eggs to put on top of burgers. The first rule of an Aussie barbecue is not to stress about it. Here are five tips to pulling off the perfect barbie.
Grilling goes fast. You’ll end up overcooking your food if you’re running around looking for utensils.
1. Get organized.
Gather all the tools you’ll need and put them by the grill. That means the tongs, a large fork, marinade and cutting board are all ready to go before you start cooking. To prevent cross-contamination, I always have two sheet pans on hand: one for the uncooked proteins and another for when they come off the grill. Grilling goes fast. You’ll end up overcooking your food if you’re running around looking for utensils.
2. Raise the steaks.
Take red meats out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start grilling and let them come up to room temperature. It keeps them from being charred on the outside and raw on the inside.
3. Build your coals.
A grill needs to be really hot before you put anything on it. Start with raw wood and let it burn until it becomes white coals. Let the coals smolder a bit until the white turns to grey. There shouldn’t be a flame and the coals should emit a strong enough heat that you’re barely able to keep your hand an inch above the grill.
4. Oil the grill.
Before you put anything on the hot grill, oil the grate or flat-top to prevent the food from sticking.
5. Let it rest.
Whenever something comes off the grill, let it rest for half the time it took to cook it. If it took 10 minutes to grill a steak, let it rest for five minutes. (You can cover it with aluminum foil to keep in the heat.) Resting meat lowers its core temperature and keeps the juices inside when you carve it.
World-renowned chef, Top Chef Masters host and Melbourne native Stone’s new cookbook, What’s for Dinner? Delicious Recipes for a Busy Life, features 130 effortless recipes and scores of tips to make cooking fast, easy and fuss-free, resulting in a delicious meal every night of the week. For more about Stone, visit curtisstone.com.