Let’s get something out in the open shall we? We didn’t expect this hot spell in London to last long. A couple of weeks of sunshine, at best, is all that we had pinned our hopes on. Still, here we are, almost the end of July and still basking in glorious, unrelenting, sunshine. The weather has held up for so long that we are forced to reconsider our behaviour. Dare I say it, we may even have to adopt some warm-weather habits such as barbecuing.
With year-round sunshine and cuisine influenced by a diverse Creole, Mexican and Native American heritage, Fort Worth topped my list of places for inspiration. With Britain’s collective failed attempts at barbecuing it seemed the most natural place to turn for help. The city’s celebrity chef Tim Love of Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters was, to our good fortune, in London recently. I was happy to be able catch up with Chef Tim. With multiple restaurants including Lonesome Dove and Woodshed in his repertoire rest assured that we are in good hands. Here are Chef Tim’s seven top tips you need to know about barbecuing.
Barbecue Vs Grill
In the US we differentiate between barbecue and grilling. The key to barbecuing is slow and low which allows the meat to soak up smoke and the seasoning allowing it to become tender and moist. The purpose of grilling is to char the surface of the meat and seal in the juices by creating a smoky caramelised crust. In America this is done over both charcoal and gas grills.
- Experiment with different woods when slow cooking. Each burns at a different temperature and will give different flavour notes to your food. You’ll soon figure out your favourite.
- Start your fire early and let your smoker heat up fully. This should take about an hour and a half.
- Be adventurous and remember that you can smoke anything from savoury to sweet.
- Top tip: My favourite thing to smoke is chocolate chips which I use in cookies.
- First and foremost be patient and make sure you have a very hot grill.
- Also keep half of the grill hot and the other half cooler. This allows for searing. It also gives you a place to finish your meat off by roasting.
- Top tip: When grilling vegetables, soak them in ice-cold water first. This is great for searing and also keeps the vegetables crisp after you’ve cooked them.
Lonesome Dove Restaurants are located at 2406 N. Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76164, 419 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas 78701 and 100 N Central Street, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. For more information visit: www.lonesomedovebistro.com
Woodshed Smokehouse is located at 3201 Riverfront Dr., Fort Worth, TX. For more information visit: www.woodshedsmokehouse.com