How to Grill Your Meat to Perfection: Interview with BeardandBBQ
We love your Instagram page. When, and how, did your Beardandbbq journey begin?
I’ve always loved cooking and have been cooking since I was a kid. My Instagram journey, however, only started at the beginning of lockdown when I had started showcasing my cooks when I had a bit more spare time at home.
There's a large variety of meat-based dishes on your account – all of which look amazing. Out of all the meats you’ve cooked, what's your meat of choice, and the best way to cook this?
This is a tough one as there are so many things I like! If I had to pick one, I would choose pulled pork. For me there is nothing better than a low and slow cook and this is the one of the ultimate BBQ meats that also has a variety of leftover Options! The best way for this is a low and slow cook around 225-250°F, which can last anything from 6-15 hours, depending on size. You just need your favourite BBQ rub to apply to the meat before cooking and patience! I will personally spritz the meat with apple juice every 45 minutes or so.
Many people will also wrap their pork butt in either foil or butchers' paper once the meat has a nice colour and continue to let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of around 195°F. However, many will also leave it unwrapped for the entire cook. This is the beauty about BBQ as you can experiment with many different methods.
While you’re cooking (especially with the low and slow technique), how do you keep your BBQ burning steadily?
Have a good quality fuel source and a good understanding of heat management. There are many ways to do this depending on your type of grill. My best tip would be that it’s better to wait for a grill to slowly come up to temperature than to rapidly get it hot and then try to cool it down.
The charcoal and briquettes burn steady and for a prolonged period of time. This makes them suitable for low and slow or hot and fast cooking. The lumpwood charcoal particularly has seen me through an 8 hour cook with no problem. To get them going, the Ecoblaze firefighters are an eco-friendly and easy lighting option that allow lumpwood charcoal or briquettes to go from the bag to glowing white in a matter of minutes.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve cooked on the BBQ?
I would say the most unusual thing I have cooked on the BBQ is probably a cake. It’s not the first thing that springs to mind when you go out to BBQ but having a little smoky hit of flavour certainly makes it stand out!
Do you have any advice for beginners?
Don’t be worried about getting things wrong. Everyone was a beginner once and I don’t think there is anyone within this community that has got it right every time. I have had several cooks that haven’t gone to plan but ultimately this is how we learn.
If you want to get started, you don’t need an expensive grill or the most expensive cut of meat.
Get to know people in the community. I have made so many friends within the Instagram cooking community and there is so much knowledge that is on offer. If I am thinking of trying something new, I always have people I can ask for help.
Read on for some advice from Jack which will ensure your culinary skills are on fire (and not your hair).
Jack’s top tips:
Allow yourself more time than you think you may need. No two cuts of meat are the same and there is nothing worse than hungry people waiting to eat if your timings are off!
Get a good meat thermometer. A seasoned pro may be able to tell by touch when meat is finished, but for guaranteed results using a meat thermometer will get you great results each time.
Have a good quality fuel source. This can be lumpwood charcoal, briquettes or wood but having the ability to either get to really hot temperatures for searing or really low for the ultimate low and slow cook requires a quality fuel source.
Have patience - this is really for low and slow cooking. If you are cooking a big brisket, time is your friend!
Number five is probably the most important point - none of this is relevant if you aren’t enjoying the process! Having the right tools and the right mindset will allow you to experiment with the best flavours and textures, which will bring your grilling game to a whole new level. But most importantly, if in doubt, reach out to someone like Jack on social media for advice and inspiration. Follow Beardandbbq on Instagram to see some mouth-watering content: instagram.com/beardandbbq
Purchase lumpwood charcoal and charcoal briquettes using our White Horse express service: whitehorseenergy.co.uk/express