6 Hot BBQ tips for beginners: it’s time to fire up your inner pitmaster

bbq tips

It’s that time of year again, and 4th of July celebrations are right around the corner! There’s so much to do in Boone, NC and surrounding areas during the summer. From the Town of Boone 4th of July Parade on King Street (yes, there’s watermelon!), to the Fireworks Extravaganza at Tweetsie, to the Annual Beech Mountain Roasting of the Hog, there is something for everyone.

In addition to these activities, it seems like everyone is always cooking out this time of year. (Have you ever driven by the Price Park Picnic Area in the summer and NOT seen tons of cars!?) So, we thought it would be a good idea to share some BBQ tips! We consulted with our Director of Food & Beverage, Hunter Hallmark, for 6 quick tips that will take your barbeque game to the next level. So sit back and relax while we fire away.

Tip 1: Look for wood chips from fruit trees

Oh wait, you have a gas grill? Your secret is safe with us, but if you want to experience that unique, smokey, BBQ flavor you might want to consider switching to a charcoal grill. Most experts agree that the wood is an ingredient itself. If you do have a charcoal grill, look for wood chips from fruit trees to add to the charcoal. They contain more juice and more flavor.

Tip 2: Real hardwood charcoal

Use real hardwood charcoal, rather than self-lighting charcoal. It’s a bit more work to light, but worth it in heat retention, and flavor. A charcoal chimney is a great tool to make hardwood charcoal easy to light.

Tip 3: Create different cooking areas on your grill

Put burning charcoal on one side of your grill, this way you create a hot zone and alternatively a cold zone. In other words, you’re creating an area for direct heat cooking (searing, browning, fast cooking) and an area for indirect heat cooking (think slow roasting).

Tip 4: A zesty twist 
For a bright pop of citrus flavor, cut lemons in half and grill them with the cut side down. Squeeze over fish, chicken, or any other protein, or use in sauces and vinaigrettes.bbq tips

Tip 5: Grill more than just meat or fish

If you use your grill for more than just meat or fish, you create a win-win situation. Win number 1: products that are usually somewhat ‘meh’ (hello zucchini) transform into this spicy, fiery character who’s a little rough on the edges. Win number 2: your kitchen stays clean! Don’t hesitate to grill peppers, eggplant, zucchini, fennel, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms…grill it all! Toss them in some olive oil, pepper, salt, and other spices before you grill and the results will amaze you. If you feel really adventurous, grill some peaches or pineapple for dessert, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Tip 6: Re-use your charcoal

After grilling make sure to close your grill and all air vents, suffocating the burning charcoal. This will put out the coals and you will be able to use them for the next grilling party.

Just think… next year you can stay with us at the hotel and we will take care of the cooking and the drink-making. BBQ small plates anyone? You’ll just be responsible for enjoying it on the rooftop!

What is your favorite food to grill?
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Author: Sanny Visser

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