It’s finally that time of year for Canadians: the weather is warm, our backyards and balconies beckon, and our BBQs are ready to be fired up for those perfect summer evening feasts. As many Canadians took to revamping and upgrading their outdoor spaces over the past year, that also meant investing in all-new BBQs and BBQ equipment.
Members of the iCASH team, a licensed online Canadian lender, are here to share with you our top BBQ cooking techniques for those perfect grilled meals this summer.
Grill the Perfect: BBQ Chicken Breast
Just because you fire up the old barbecue, doesn’t mean you have to throw a piece of steak on there (but don’t worry, we’ll get to that, too!). Chicken is an awesome alternative to red meat, with healthier properties and so many marinade possibilities, as well as cuts and cook times. The most common way to BBQ chicken is either as a breast or in cubes on a skewer – kabob style. Unlike red meat, chicken cannot be served undercooked or raw in any way.
The best way to ensure the ideal BBQ cook for chicken is with a meat thermometer. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, but a digital read-out will make your BBQ chicken experience that much easier. Cook times will vary depending on the thickness of your cut of chicken, as well as the temperature of your grill.
Ideal internal BBQ chicken temperature: 165F (75C)
2. Grill the Perfect: BBQ Steak
We couldn’t exactly talk about BBQing without bringing up the perfect steak! Now, of course it will depend on what cook you desire on your BBQed steak, but there are still a few rules you can follow to have the best barbecued steak on the block. For starters, you’ll want to ensure the grill is good and hot. High temperature works best with steaks, so those great grill marks appear, and you get a solid sear on the outside of the meat.
Once again, the tool of choice for BBQing steak is the meat thermometer. Different temperatures will ensure different cooks on the inside of the steak.
Ideal cook time and internal temperature for medium-rare BBQ steak: 3-5 minutes, 135F (57.2C)
Ideal cook time and internal temperature for medium BBQ steak: 5-7 minutes, 140F (60C)
Ideal cook time and internal temperature for medium-well BBQ steak: 8-10 minutes, 150F (65.6C)
3. Grill the Perfect: Salmon Steak
Seafood is also a great alternative to pork, beef or poultry on the barbecue. And while, any fish can be tossed on the grill, salmon is the heartiest and grills up the best. There are a few methods that can be used when it comes to BBQing salmon, and unlike other meats the interior temperature is less important. What is important is the texture of the salmon meat; when it flakes away easily with a fork, it’s done. The colour will also turn from dark pink to light pink. Some prefer a medium cook on their salmon, in which case the centre can stay a darker pink.
BBQing the perfect salmon steak can be done with the skin on or off, but if you choose to put your slice directly on the grill, it’s recommended to keep the skin on. Of course, there is always the longer method of BBQing salmon on a cedar plank (plank must be soaked in water for up to 4 hours beforehand, and it can take up to 45 minutes for the salmon steak to reach its ideal finish) or wrapped in tinfoil and steamed.
4. Grill the Perfect: Pork Chop
One of the less popular meat choices for barbecue season is pork. Mostly because it can be difficult to grill properly, without drying it out. So, ensure you have a good brine to keep the cut of pork nice and moist throughout the grilling process. It’s important to have the BBQ temperature between 350F (176.7C) and 450F (232.2C), and after a 5- to 15-minute grill time on the barbecue (depending on the thickness and cut of the pork) you should have a perfectly BBQed pork dinner.
Ideal internal BBQ pork temperature: 160F (71.1C) with no rest time or 145F (62.8C) with 3-4 minutes of rest time before serving.
5. Grill the Perfect: Tofu
Now, tofu might not be on everyone’s mind when it comes to BBQ season, but trust is on this one it makes a great meat alternative, and it can be just as savoury and yummy as a steak. The key to a well-BBQed cube of tofu is the marinade and a well-oiled BBQ grill.
Ensure that the tofu has been well drained of the marinade before you place it on the grill (it can’t be too liquid-y), and that the BBQ is properly oiled by rubbing olive oil on the grill top. Set your barbecue to medium or high heat, and watch your tofu closely, flipping it often. BBQ time is about 15 minutes. Make sure you pull the tofu off the grill before the grill marks turn black!
6. Grill the Perfect: Halloumi
Now, this is one BBQ meal you may not have thought about: Cheese. That’s right, halloumi – a semi-ripened cheese that originates from Cyrpus – is known as a grilling cheese and meant to cooked over high heat. Halloumi is loaded with flavour and can even be dipped in herbs and spices before grilling to add extra oomph.
Add halloumi cubes to skewers with veggies to really spice things up and add a little extra to boring side vegetables. The very best way to BBQ halloumi is on a lower heat and either in a pan with some oil on the grill or directly on the grill but with a well-oiled surface.
Find Your Perfect BBQ Meal this Summer
With warm months ahead of us, there is still plenty of time to explore all the meals and meats that can be BBQed to perfection this summer on your backyard grill.
Of course, if you don’t have a BBQ yet and have been thinking about purchasing one, but don’t necessarily have the funds, that’s where iCASH can step in to help you borrow money quickly, before that weekend BBQ bash.
Don’t let bad credit, limited funds or a long application process stop you from enjoying a blissful barbecue celebration. Apply for up to $1,500 in cash advance from iCASH today and get ready to light up those BBQs!