Tips and Tricks for Great Barbecue

It's almost summer and you know what that means - barbecue season! That's why we traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival to bring you tips and tricks for delicious barbecue straight from the grill masters themselves. Here are some of our favorites:

Use a 2:1 Salt to Sugar Ratio for Your Rub - Sticking with the rule to keep it simple, our NC Hall of Fame Pit Master, Bill Eason, recommends a simple rub that is two parts Lawry's Seasoned Salt and one part brown sugar.

Use a Vinegar-Based Sauce - This can be a controversial tip since different regions have different (and very strong) opinions on the best sauce. At this particular festival they loved the vinegar-based sauce, which is just a simple mixture of vinegar, sugar, and pepper.

Double Dip Your Meat - The sauce is definitely a highlight of great barbecue, so let's get the most out of it! Rather than only saucing your meat once while it is on the grill, dip it one last time in fresh sauce before serving.

Layer Greens on Your Bun to Reduce Sogginess - No one likes a soggy sandwich, and one way to avoid that is to layer greens on the bun before you place the meat. This way you can pour on the sauce, and there is a barrier to keep the sauce from soaking into the bread.

Choose a Solid Bread Type for Your Bun - Maybe even worse than a soggy sandwich, is one that is falling apart! Pick a solid bread, like a Kaiser roll, and lightly toast it to keep your BBQ sandwich intact.

Peel the Membrane Off Your Ribs - Peeling the membrane off your ribs allows the sauce to better penetrate the meat for richer flavor.

Spray Your Ribs with Apple Juice - Put some apple juice in a spray bottle and spray your ribs as they cook. This will help you to lock in the moisture to ensure that your ribs aren't dry.

Cook Your Ribs Until They Bend - When you think your ribs are almost done cooking, take a set of tongs and pick up the rack of ribs in the center. If the ribs start to bend and look like they are about to break it means they are ready.

Low and Slow - This is the key to great barbecue. When barbecue is done well, it should be able to speak for itself without a ton of seasonings, and the base to that is cooking it properly. You want your grill to be set between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 250 degrees Fahrenheit is approaching roasting temperatures and will leave your barbecue dry.

Keep It Simple, But Do It Good - Choose a flavor you like, and build off of it. Avoid throwing in too many spices and flavors because this can mask the delicious flavor of your meat.

IPAs (India Pale Ales) Go Great with Spicy Foods - If you are serving up spicy barbecue, make sure you have some IPAs in your cooler.

Choose a Pilsner for All-Day Drinking - Everyone loves a beer with their barbecue, but to make sure you last as long as the party, pilsners are a great endurance beer.

For more adventures with Blue Ribbon Hunter, check us out here or follow us on Facebook!