Though the terms grilling and barbecuing are
often used synonymously, the two techniques are actually quite distinct.
Grilling refers to cooking relatively tender foods quickly over high heat.
Barbecuing is just the opposite: cooking relatively tough foods for a long
period of time with the gentle heat and smoke of a very low fire,
Barbecuing is really a form of braising, in which large cuts of tough meat
are basted with sauce and slowly cooked until their fibers soften to the
point of meltdown.
To get the most flavorful barbecue, use a
combination of hardwood charcoal and wood, such as apple or hickory. And
to sustain the low temperatures required for a proper charcoal barbecuing,
use the indirect method. Push the hot coals into parallel rows out on the
sides of the grill and set your food in the center of the grill grate so
that it's not directly over the coals. If using a gas grill with separate
heat controls, heat only one side of the grill and place the food on the
other side. Rotate the food occasionally so that all sides are heated. If
your grill has vents, close them partially.
To prevent flare-ups from the dripping fat,
place a disposable aluminum pan between the coals directly underneath the
food. This drip pan makes cleanup a snap too. If you need to test the
barbecued meats for doneness, stick a large fork directly down into the
meat and try to pick it up. If it's impossible to pick up because the meat
is so tender that it won't hold the fork, the meat is done.
Fast Faux Barbecue
Rub 1/4 cup barbecue seasoning over the
surface of 2 pounds pork butt or beef chuck. Place meat in a pan and brush
all over with 2 tablespoons hickory-flavored oil (made from 2 tablespoons
oil mixed with 1 to 2 drops liquid smoke hickory seasoning). Add 1 cup
beer or water to the pan and wrap the pan with foil, covering completely.
Place in a 275oF oven and roast until the meat is fork-tender,
1 1/2 to 2 hours. Slice and serve with barbecue sauce for dipping.