Barbecue Myths: 10 Most Common Myths

Barbecue Myths: 10 Most Common Myths
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
October 10, 2018

The 10 most common barbecue myths

As we said in our last lifestyle article we are continuing with the theme of cooking with fire. Another great cooking technique that uses fire is the barbecue, known and worshiped throughout the world. As a result, they are much information about this topic, unfortunately not everything is true. So we decide to bring you the 10 most common barbecue myths.

For this, we reviewed some of our favorite barbecue cookbooks as Serious Barbecue by Adam Parry Lang,  Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin or even Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling to bring you the true answers from the top pitmaster in the business.

1. A Black and Dirty Grill Means Better Flavor

We’ve heard a lot of stories about this subject but believe us, a dirty grill is only a dirty grill! One thing is a well-seasoned grill and another thing is a dirty grill. The blackish gunk on your grill does nothing to improve the taste of your food, it only adds bitter flavors to your food. So at least once a year you should clean your grill. We like to clean out grills in the winter so they are ready when spring comes.

2. Always Cook With The Fat Side Up

I’ve all heard about this subject but the truth is that there is no right answer. Some people prefer the fat side up, and this is good because as the fat melting it is basting the meat with its own juices. On the other hand, when the fat is side down it renders more readily. So in the end, it is only a matter of personal taste.

barbecue myths
BBQ Pitmaster – Photo by Scott Madore on Unsplash

3. Seasoning With Salt Before Cooking Makes The Meat Dry

This is probably one of the oldest barbecue myths. Season or not season the meat before grilling? It’s true that season the meat before cooking extracts some moisture, but there are some advantages to this. First, when you extract moisture you will have a more concentrated flavor, and second, you end up with a better crust.

So if you are really into barbecue you should test this. Buy two of your favorites steaks and seasoning one 30 minutes before cooking and the other just before cooking. You will see a big difference, not only visual but in flavor too. (don’t forget to share your experiences with us)

4. Never Put Cold Meat On A Hot Grill

This myth is a tricky one! Some professional chefs prefer to cock the meat at room temperature and others prefer to cook the meat directly from the fridge. Personally, we like to cook our meat at room temperature, in this way we prevent the contraction of the meat preventing it from getting tough. On the other end, if you grill your meat when it’s cold the center takes a bit longer to cook, and you’re able to add an even darker crust. But only do this when you’re grilling red meat, pork and white meats are out of the list.

5. Putting Meat On A Hot Grill Seals In Its Juices

This is an easy one! Obviously, if we are talking about a steak or a hamburger you should use a high temperature for sealing. But if we are talking about a brisket a slow temperature will develop a flavor-packed mahogany crust that will retain all the possible juices you can get!

barbecue myths
Hamburger Paradise – Photo by Zac Cain on Unsplash

6. In Southern Barbecue, More Smoke Means Better Meat

Too much smoke it’s not a good thing. It can overpower other flavors, numbs your tongue, and can even mess with your digestion. If you want a deeper smoke flavor, the secret is not in the amount but in the time. The ideal is even smoke evenly delivered over a long period of time.

7. Cook Past 71 ºC (160 ªF) And You’ve Overcooked Your Meat

If you are grilling a rib eye or even a beef tenderloin, sure. But when we are talking about Southern barbecue the magic takes place around 71 ºC (160 ºF) and above. So the temperature depends on what you are cooking.

8. Meat That Is Falling Off The Bone Is A Good Thing

For us meat falling off the bone it’s overcooked. But if you’re into it it’s absolutely fine. But for us, the perfect baby back rib is when we have a delicate chew with a little resistance.

barbecue myths
BBQ Ribs – Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

9. Wrapping Meat In Foil With A Little Liquid Is Braising Not Barbecue

This is another great discussion in the world of barbecue myths. Some barbecue pitmasters defend that wrapping meat in foil it’s not barbecue and others defend that this step is fundamental to obtain optimum results. In the end, the only thing that matters is results! If your barbecue doesn’t have enough natural humidity, wrapping is essential to getting the barbecue characteristics.

10. Winning Barbecue Competitions Takes A Little Bit Of Skill And A Lot Of Luck

In Barbecue Competitions, this is one of the most heard phrases. But come on guys, the same team might not win every time, but they’re usually in the top ten or top five. We believe in the opposite, that Winning Barbecue Competition takes a lot of skill and a bit of luck.

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