Thanks to my radio buddy Ryan Semchuk in Drumheller for seeking these out. If you're BBQing for the first time this weekend, here is a 'when in doubt' guide to get you through tough times. Print this off and stick it to yo' fridge!
GRILLING SAFTEY - TIPS & FACTS
KEEP IT SANITARY - Do not allow raw meat and fish to come into contact with other foods. Use separate cutting boards, or thoroughly sanitize the one you are using. Wash with hot soapy water, spray with a 5 % solution of chlorine bleach, and air dry. Plastic cutting boards can also be sanitized in the dishwasher.
MARINADES AND ALUMINUM DON'T MIX - When using an acid-based marinade, be sure to use only containers made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel or use food-safe plastic zip-lock bags. Do NOT use an aluminum container - It creates a chemical reaction that can darken the food and the aluminum container.
KEEP 'EM SEPARATED - Use two separate sets of plates and utensils, one set for handling the raw meat and one to use once the meat is cooked and ready to be served.
WASH UP - When handling and preparing fresh meat or other foods, always wash hands and the preparation surface areas regularly. This is particularly important for fish, pork and chicken.
GET YOUR COOKING GRIDS HOT - Set the burners on high for at least 10 minutes before you start cooking. By pre-heating the cooking grids, they will sear the meat to give it nice grill marks, but more importantly, it will keep the meat from sticking to the cooking grate...
COOKING WITH THE LID DOWN - The temperature of your barbeque changes each time you open the lid and even the best temperature gauge will not react instantly. For the best cooking results, try to cook with the lid down as much as possible.
A LITTLE OIL GOES A LONG WAY - To prevent food from sticking to the cooking grid or warming racks you can spray or brush on oil before lighting or spray the food with a mist of oil before placing it on the grid. Experiment and see which method works best for you..
THE OTHER COOKING SURFACE - Remember, cooking times vary depending on the air temperature, heat setting, and the thickness of the food being cooked - use your warming rack to accommodate for these differences and serve the entire meal together.
FOR WOOD SMOKED FLAVOUR - Wood chips impart smoky, distinctive flavours to grilled foods. Soak chips in water for about an hour so they don't burn, place your smoker box in with the cooking medium and cook your food like usual. Try earthy mesquite or spicy hickory.
INSECTS NOT ALLOWED - Clean your venturi tubes at a minimum of once per year. Insect nests are the number one cause of gas barbeque fires. Click here for step by step cleaning instructions or check your Use & Care manual.
COOL CANADA - Barbeques made in Canada generally have a higher BTU rating than barbeques made in the U.S. because Canada enjoys a cooler climate than the United States, requiring more BTUs per square inch to maintain proper cooking temperatures. This is especially important for those of us who barbeque during the winter months.
KEEP IT GREASE-FREE - Keep your barbeque clean and free of greasy build-up, this will enable your barbeque to work most efficiently and can prevent greasy deposits from catching fire, a situation you want to avoid.
KEEP YOUR GRIDS CLEAN - Try to clean off your grids after each use when the grids are still warm so they're ready to go for the next time you cook. A long handled brass bristle brush with a metal scraper works well, as does a scrubbing pad.
GET SOAKED - If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water first for at least half an hour, This way they won't burn on the grill. These skewers are great for parties since they're disposable.
CHECK THE TEMPERATURE - Have an instant-read thermometer close by so you can accurately determine when your meat has reached a safe internal temperature and is fully cooked. Take extra care when cooking poultry or pork.
ENJOY YOURSELF - Don't rush. Relax, plan ahead, take your time, have the necessary ingredients and tools available before you begin. Thaw out meat in the refrigerator the night before and marinate for up to 2 hours before grilling. Set out your plates and cutlery and have your condiments out and ready for your meal.
GET ORGANIZED - Grilling demands you to be organized. Use your side shelves or integrated front panels to set all your ingredients, utensils, and serving platters before you begin grilling.
READY, SET, EAT! - Set your table, prepare your side dishes and make sure your family or guests are hungry and ready to eat because barbequed food is best eaten as soon as it's hot off the grill!
DRY RUB - Rub some flavour into your food! Dry rubs enhance flavour as opposed to tenderizing. A rub is usually a mixture of fresh or dried herbs and spices, sometimes mixed with an oil, crushed garlic or mustard, which is rubbed into the surface. Recommended for meats that require only a short time for cooking. Allow meat to cook for about 1/3 to 1/2 the total time before applying any basting sauce so you don't "wash off" any of the dry rub seasonings.
DON'T SQUEEZE THE LIFE OUT OF YOUR BURGERS - Do not over-mix or compact ground beef as this will result in firm, dense and tough burgers when cooked. Turn ground beef patties with a metal spatula. Do not flatten them as this causes flavourful juices to escape, resulting in dry burgers.
CHOOSING YOUR BEEF - Select beef with a deep red colour, without any grayish or brown blotches. Look for beef that is firm to the touch. Check that the package is cold and has no holes or tears and doesn't have excessive fluid.
KEEP YOUR ROAST JUICY - When rotisserie cooking, use a spray bottle or basting brush to baste the meat or poultry as it turns on the rotisserie spit. Experiment with different liquid combinations such as soy sauce, sherry, fruit juice, chicken or beef broth.
A LITTLE FAT FOR FLAVOUR - Leave a thin layer of fat on steaks and roasts during cooking to preserve juiciness. Trim the rest of this layer off after cooking.
EXTRA FLAVOUR AND MOISTURE - When rotisserie cooking, place a heavy duty disposable foil drip pan with herbs, apple juice, beer or wine on your cooking medium directly beneath the area of the grid where you will be cooking to catch any drippings and to infuse the meat with added flavour and moisture.
PRE-COOK NO MORE - Instead of precooking foods such as ribs, chicken legs or sausages, start them on the main cooking grid to sear in the juices and get the grill lines and then move them up to the warming rack to ensure the meat will be thoroughly cooked.
CHECK THE WATER CONTENT OF YOUR FOOD - When planning your meal, remember that the higher the water content, the faster the cooking time. Tomatoes have a high water content, so they cook very quickly and should be put on a warming rack for no more than 5 minutes, whereas potatoes have a low water content and usually take longer to cook than the meat. Keep this in mind when putting an assortment of meat & vegetables on shish kebob skewers.
BREAD ANYONE? - Make bread in your grill! Your hi-top lids works best for this. Bread cooks faster, sometimes twice as fast, in the BBQ as compared to the oven so keep a close eye on breads when you are baking.
SPRINKLE IN A LITTLE FLAVOUR - Salt enhances some flavours while inhibiting others. It tends to lessen the bitter taste and smoothes out harsh tastes so that flavours blend more harmoniously. Don't add salt to your meat until just before putting it on the grill. Salt can leech out the moisture, turning your meat dry and tough.
MARINATE YOUR MEAT - Marinades flavourize, moisturize and tenderize. Choose flavourful, spicy, fragrant, or aromatic ingredients like fresh or dried herbs or spices, dried chili peppers, onions, shallots, garlic, and ginger. A tenderizing marinade must contain an acidic ingredient such as citrus juice, yogurt, buttermilk, wine, vinegar or fresh papaya, ginger, or pineapple.
GIVE YOUR MEAT A RINSE - Before putting your meat on the grill, gently rinse the meat, poultry or fish and pat dry to remove any odors or materials that may be on the surface of the meat due to handling. This will also allow the meat to accept the desired seasonings and create better browning.
THE KEY TO PERFECT KEBABS - The key to well cooked kebabs is to cut your meat into even-sized pieces and use flat bladed skewers to help keep food from twisting as you turn it and enabling you to cook it from all sides.
YOUR VEGETABLES NEVER TASTED THIS GOOD - Eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, potatoes and many other great vegetables can be safely and flavourfully prepared on the backyard grill. Lightly coat the cut up vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with your favourite herbs and spices.
TOO TOUGH - Tender seafood and poultry can get tough or mushy if left in a tenderizing marinade for longer than half an hour.
THE FINISHING TOUCH - To make perfect cheeseburgers, add the cheese only during the last few minutes of grilling.
Thanks again to tattooed Ukranian DJ Ryan Semchuk from the Mighty DRUM FM for these.