If you like your food grilled but don’t want to go through the hassle of standing there and doing it yourself, an electric barbecue may be the best solution for you. These great appliances don’t pollute the air, they are easy to clean and simple to prepare for cooking. They are ideal if you are a beginner who wants to start cooking and enjoy delicious foods without having to slave in the kitchen for hours. But as is with most things, learning a new skill requires some patience and knowledge. Here are some simple tips to help you kickstart your new grilling journey.
• For grills that have a cover, it’s important to have a temperature gauge in order to know the right time to preheat the grill and when to start cooking. Although open electric BBQs aren’t going to make that much use of it, most units have an LED light that changes colour or it comes on when it’s time to change the temperature.
• Alongside the temperature gauge, you also need a thermostat function so you can cook different foods and still be able to enjoy their original taste. So, having the ability to adjust the temperature is key, as otherwise, you may end up with a burnt steak and a perfectly smoked rib, which means that you should also look for a BBQ that has a quality thermostat.
• With all the parts properly protected from all the gunk and grease that’s going to be sticking on them, you’ll rest assured that your BBQ won’t fail on you when cooking your next meal. Moisture is also a great threat to metal parts so having them coated with the proper substance is also important. For example, grilling surfaces should be coated with a nonstick substance, usually Teflon, or porcelain which also makes them easy to wash.
• Talking about cleaning electric BBQs, an important part of the process should be maintaining the detachable components. Parts that you can access easily won’t need that but for other parts that aren’t as accessible, being able to pop them out of the grill will make it easier to clean them manually or put them in the washer. This will help you save time and unnecessary stress.
• Before every use, there are some things that you need to do no matter whether it is your very first time or your 100th cookout. Preheating the grill is an obvious one but what you also want to do is spray some oil on it or as cooks like to say, grease the grill. This will prevent the food from sticking and the best type of oils for this are avocado and olive oil with the least recommended one being canola as it’s not as healthy as the previous two. Pre-heating will kill any bacteria and prevent the meat from sticking on the surface but you can never go wrong with applying some oil before putting a piece of meat on the grill.
• The second part of the ideal grilling procedure is to know which temperature to use for which type of meat. For example for lamb roasting, it’s preferred to have the grill set on about 60°C for medium done and about 70°C for medium-well. Beef steaks, on the other hand, need to be cooked at 55°C for a rare setting but if you want them medium-rare, you need a temperature of 57°C. 62°C is for medium cooked and 70°C is for medium-well. Beef roasts are somewhat similar as the grill needs to be set at 54°C for rare and medium-rare, 62°C for medium and 70°C for medium-well.
• Safety measures are even more important than the cooking itself as without them you won’t be able to use electric BBQs in the first place. First off, you should never leave paper towels or anything plastic near the grill or have your cookout near a pile of leaves, fuel or any other flammable fluid. If you go for an open grill, don’t put a lot of oil on it or have your grill on a dry wood picnic table. To avoid getting an electric shock, keep the grill away from water or from places where the cord can get submerged into it. Knowing the capabilities of your product is well important so you know not to push it past its limits.
• Cleaning the inside of electric BBQs includes getting rid of flake-like paint which is the build-up of vapor and grease that has dried out, converted into carbon and fallen on the inside of the lid. While this may not be toxic for you, it can easily get into your food. Cleaning this will require a stainless steel bristle brush and keeping the inside clean will require a regular wipedown with a paper towel when the grill is warm, not hot.
• The outside of the grill is pretty easy to clean as all you need is a damp cloth and detergent or mild soap to get rid of dirt and other debris. But remember to do this on a regular basis as dust particles can easily burn into the enamel of the lid. The catch pan is also an important part to keep free from grease by waiting for it to cool off and then scrubbing the grease off – you’ll also want to remove any leftover cold grease with an absorbing paper. Make sure to replace the drip tray every time you need to use the grill.
• When cleaning the cooking grates make sure to put the BBQ at the highest temperature that it can handle until there is no smoke coming out. This will carbonize the grease and make it easier for you to clean them. Remember, you’ll need to brush the grates while they are still hot so you can clean them faster and easier.