The 10 Secrets of Championship BBQ

By Ronnie Shewchuk, Barbecue Secrets Deluxe!

1. Keep it Low and Slow.
The thing that sets real BBQ apart from Grilling is the low temperature (approx. 200-225F / 95-105C) and the long cooking time (3-4 hours for chicken and as long as 18-24 hours for a big beef brisket). This technique allows the fibers in the meat to gently break down over time, creating the melt-in-your-mouth texture of real barbecue.

2. Guests Eat with Their Eyes.
Care about presentation. Great BBQ tastes even better when it looks so good you want to jump into the plate and wallow in it.

3. Mustard & Rub.

This simple yet time-honored technique gives barbecue its fabulous crust, or “bark”. The mustard provides a base for your rub to stick to, and gives the crust a nice tang when you bite into it. The rub with its combination of salty, savory, bitter, and sweet flavors, accentuates the flavor of the meat without overpowering it.

4. Granulated Garlic.
The addition of this seemingly modest flavor makes a difference to that first taste.

5. The final temperature of the meat is more important then how long its is cooked.
Watch internal temperature of meat for great BBQ every time.

6. Let it Rest.

Resting the meat after you take it off the heat allows the juices to redistribute inside, within the protective crust. It allows the protein to set, or gel, almost like custard. Resting lets meat come to that perfect texture.

7. Sauce lightly, or don’t sauce at all.
The tang of BBQ sauce or finishing glaze helps to complete the perfect barbecue flavor. Sauce can also overpower the taste of the meat so use lightly if at all. The best barbecue needs no sauce. Serve BBQ sauce on the side and let the guests use to their own taste.

8. Use combo of woods for complex flavor.

Use hardwood as flavoring agent. Some sharp, some sweet. Depending on the meat and cut. Use hickory, maple and oak for classic barbecue flavor, fruit-wood (apple, cherry) for rich sweet flavor and mesquite for astringent sharpness.

9. Barbecue is about balance.

Balance all flavors to create a single, complex but unified taste.
Balance temperature, length of cooking time and resting time to achieve the perfect texture. Balance the appearance and quantity of the barbecue on the guest’s plate, so the portion looks plentiful but not vulgar, moist but not over-sauced, richly luxurious, but with some fresh green as a visual counterpoint.

10. Barbecue is Life!
Be gentle and passionate about your BBQ and your family and friends and you shall lead a wonderful life.

^ Back to BBQ Secrets