Zen And The Art Of Barbecue

A Complete Guide To Making The Perfect Barbecue

Barbecue Grilling The Zen Way For The Best Barbecue

Barbecue Tips To Make you Drool!

This is a complete guide to making perfect barbecue food time after time, year after year. You can have all the secret sauce recipes in the world but they will count for naught unless you can master the very simple art of harnessing your barbecues potential in the most Zen-like manner.

And before we get started there is one thing that all readers need to bear in mind.

Propane, any form of gas, or electric barbecue simply does not count! The true barbecue connoisseur knows that real barbecue food MUST be cooked over charcoal. If you don’t then you simply do not know what barbecue food really tastes like. You will find that cooking in any other manner is simply never going to give you the same results.

Sure, it is fun to cook out of doors on any kind of device, but if you want a full flavor that will have you wanting to cook everything you eat via the barbecue then you simply have to cook on charcoal. BBQ grilling at its very best!

So, lets begin.

How To Build The Perfect Charcoal Barbecue Base

This is important. If we want perfect barbecue then we need to start with the basics. The pyramid of beauty. Otherwise known as building a charcoal pyramid. This allows us to ensure that our charcoal heats up quickly and it ensures that every piece of charcoal is going to be hot and perfect for the addition of our meat, fish or vegetables at the right time.

Best Practice

Start with some firelighters. These will burn off very rapidly and will never affect the final flavor of your food.

In the center of your grill place two squares of fire lighters and light them. Now comes the fun bit.

The Perfect Barbecue Charcoal Pyramid

barbecue firelightersPlace pieces of charcoal around the outside of the firelighters until you have a circle two to three pieces of charcoal deep. Then you want to place pieces gently on top of the firelighters. Then build around this overlapping the charcoal inwards and up until you have a beautiful pyramid the Pharaohs would be proud of.

Now we need to wait.

Once you begin to see that the charcoal is beginning to turn white it is time to spread out this pyramid and make it flatter and for it to take up all available space on the grill. You need to have built a relatively large pyramid but this will totally depend on the size of your barbecue grill. This simply comes with practice. True Zen barbecue Masters can gauge to a single piece of charcoal how much is needed. If you did not add enough then now is the time to lay more charcoal on top until you have enough. In time you too will become a Zen Barbecue Master.

We now wait until all charcoal is totally white all over and then it is time to actually get cooking.

You will need to have begun the charcoal roughly an hour before you wish to begin cooking in earnest.

Barbecue Cooking Techniques

We really need to respect the barbecue. And this is going to mean being Zen barbecue master of infinite patience. Not rushing to put our chosen food on the heat before the coals are ready is the first step. But then it goes further than that. We need to respect the fact that some things are not to be rushed.

The flavor we get from the charcoal is all important, and this needs to be allowed to permeate right through our meat, fish or vegetables.

How To Cook Perfect Barbecue

To cook perfect barbecue we need to make sure that we cook everything all the way through yet still keep it succulent. And to do this we should take advantage of a barbecue grill that comes with a lid. Just like the one in my review of the Bodum Fyrkat barbecue.

As the heat begins to be a suitable temperature you can add your food to the grill. And then close the lid for just a minute or two at a time. Much longer than that and you risk the whole meal as it may get to cool and go out. Just do this every now and then to begin to allow the top of the food to cook, but more importantly to allow a little bit of steam to build up in the early stages.

Dealing With Flame

The lid is also the perfect way to deal with flames that will catch if you are cooking meat. The flames can totally ruin the meat very quickly as it will simply burn without cooking through. So close the lid for twenty to thirty seconds if flames appear, and this will keep the food cooking from the heat rather than from the flame.

Keep It Simple

Make sure that you do not complicate your barbecuing. You want to keep it all as simple as you possibly can.

And then means not trying to complicate everything. We are back to cave-man days here. We are Zen barbecue masters and we know the importance of being in-tune with the heat, and reading the right temperatures. And knowing when to turn the food will become second nature to you as you learn the deepest arts of the barbecue.


Practice makes perfect.

So use your grill whenever you can. If nothing else it gets you out of doors and feeling more a part of nature.

Let The Food Do The Talking

cooked barbecue chicken

Don’t ruin your food with too many sauces. Let the food do the talking. It is one thing to marinade a skewer of fresh crunchy vegetables in some olive oil and spices. It is quite another to drown them in some shop bought concoction full of salt and not a lot else.

Let the quality of the ingredients do the talking for you.

The Zen Master knows the importance of a simple life, and he who barbecues in the simplest of ways will have the best results.

Keep your barbecue at a regular temperature that is not too hot. You want your food to cook relatively slowly to ensure it stays succulent, and is not more akin to the charcoal that you are using as your heat source. After a bit of practice this becomes second nature.

You will find that you are so in tune with your barbecue that you can tell exactly when to add food and when to turn it.

Let your quality ingredients speak for themselves. Buy the best and keep it simple. No need to smother it is sauce and other condiments. Let the natural flavors speak for themselves. All combined with the smoky goodness of your heat source.

Are you a Zen Barbecue Master Yet?

Patience grasshopper, patience 😉

Hey, who said barbecue couldn’t be fun, right?

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