• Piero's Meat Merchant

Barbecuing tips

Dos and don'ts of barbecuing sausages How to get the best flavour out of barbecued meatWith over 25 years experience in the meat industry, Pierre Mastromanno knows a thing or two about meat!!  Director of The Steak and Wine Co., Pierre heads up an experienced team of butchers that source the highest-quality produce from around Australia, ensuring his customers walk out with the best produce every time.

Here are some of Pierre's tips for making the best of your next barbecue.

  • Think about food safety. Take the meat out 15 minutes before you cook it to bring it up to room temperature. Don't put barbecued meat on the same plate you used for the raw meat.

  • Vegetables are great barbecued too. Slice them thin without oil or seasoning and when they're cooked sprinkle them with a good-quality olive oil and a touch of vinegar.

  • Let the meat rest for 5 minutes after cooking, covered loosely with foil. This makes it more tender and juicy.

  • Clean the grill while it's still hot. Wear protective gloves and use a good grill brush. And empty the grease tray too.

Barbecue mistakes people make

  • Poking holes in the meat by turning it with a barbecue fork: use long-handled tongs. If you want to check the temperature, buy a meat thermometer. Also, pressing down and flattening a cooking hamburger squeezes out the meat juices and leaves it dry.

  • Not preheating the grill for at least 10 minutes, just like you would preheat an oven. Preheating reduces the cooking time so the meat doesn't overcook and dry out. And putting the meat on a very hot grill crosshatches it with tasty, caramelised sear marks, essential for getting the best flavour from the meat.

  • Using low-quality meat (which you'll never get from The Meat & Wine Boutique). Higher-quality meat tastes better and has a better texture.

  • Overcooking the meat. There is evidence that overcooked meat is unhealthy, particularly if it is charred. If you like your meat well-done, buy a meat thermometer and don't cook it over its recommended temperature.

How to get the best flavour out of barbecued meat

  • Marinades and seasoning make for a delicious barbecue ... and remember the old advice 'let it stand in the fridge for at least a few hours and ideally overnight'. Save your marinade to brush the meat while you're cooking to add moisture and caramelise the outside.

  • For a quick and easy marinade, pour some beer over each side of your steak while you're cooking it.

  • If you've got a gas grill, experiment using a smoker box (with woodchips). And keeping the lid down builds up smoke, which adds extra flavour.

  • Preheating the grill, not overcooking and letting the meat rest are essential for maximising the flavour of a cut.

Dos and don'ts of barbecuing sausages

  • Take the sausages out of the fridge to let them get up to room temperature. This means they cook through more evenly, in less time.

  • Generally, cook sausages on a low heat for a longer time.

  • Watch them carefully for flare-ups from dripping fat, which can burn the casing.

  • The big question, to prick or not to prick your sausages? The experts say definitely no. It lets the fats and juices with all that flavour escape and dries out the sausage. Sausages are meant to be fatty: if you're avoiding facts, barbecue some lean cuts instead.

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