With the good weather and the long summer evenings comes the time of the good smells of grills floating in the air. This year, more than ever, Quebecers are celebrating the BBQ. For those who don’t have one yet, or for those who want to replace their aging BBQ, here is our buying and care guide.
The choice of fuel
In the BBQ world, there are different types of fuels on the market. Each fuel has its advantages and disadvantages. What type of fuel is best for you?
There are the most propane BBQs on the market. Their huge advantage is their speed of obtaining heat. “In 10 to 12 minutes, you are ready to cook on your BBQ,” explains Benjamin Alarie, corporate chef at Weber.
Its ease of use and maintenance, as well as its ability to be used at all times, even in winter, charms many Quebecers.
For Benjamin Alarie, many propane BBQ owners do not use their machines well. Because of the intense heat that is reached quickly, people tend to cook at too high a temperature. “You have to know how to manage the temperature of the grates to allow us to properly grasp our food and then move them to a less hot area in order to continue cooking,” he describes.
Coal remains the purist’s choice. “There are many advantages,” explains Benjamin Alarie. The taste, the heat, the time to build its cooking, the possible wood essences to give different tastes and textures … Charcoal is very versatile for cooking at high temperature or at low temperature for a long cooking, or well in smoke. “
Simon-Pierre Laliberté, manager of the seasonal department of BMR FV Lalonde, in Les Coteaux, notes a strong return to charcoal BBQs in recent years, even if they require more time and maintenance. “Coal is becoming more and more fashionable. I call it the weekend BBQ. We get together, we take our time. “
The only drawback of charcoal: “Cleaning and disposing of the ashes after cooking is finished,” says Benjamin Alarie. A metal container must be provided for safe disposal of the ashes. ”
Wood pellets are used in BBQs specially designed for this purpose and which must be connected to an electrical outlet. “The advantage is its ease of use and its ability to cook for a long time without much effort,” explains Benjamin Alarie, while Weber launched its first wood pellet BBQ this year, the Smoke Fire. Cooking with wood pellets gives incredible flavor to food without difficulty. “
The consumer will only have to fill the smokehouse with pellets, plug it in and select the cooking temperature. The BBQ takes care of the rest! There are several types of wood for different flavors.
On the downside, we can note that this BBQ must be connected to electricity, so it is less mobile. Benjamin Alarie also notes that it is absolutely essential to “protect the pellets from humidity in order to ensure good uniform combustion. “
Electric BBQs meet the growing demand of condominium owners and tenants who face restrictive regulations. Indeed, many condominiums prohibit the use of BBQs in
propane or charcoal on balconies or terraces.
“With good power to grab good steaks or to get juicy burgers, these BBQs are easy to maintain and can be used outside,
describes Benjamin Alarie. These models are especially made for direct cooking considering the configuration of the burner. Long or indirect cooking is less obvious on this type of BBQ, but still possible with a little experience! This is a great choice when you are limited in space and regulation! ”
Three trends to follow
1. Connected thermometers
The BBQ industry is not immune to the trend of connected objects. Thus, connected thermometers, via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, have appeared on the market. Applications let you know when the desired temperature is reached and how long you should leave your steak on the grill.
Weber is one of the leaders on the market with the iGrill, its connected thermometer, and has just launched the Weber Connect, an assistant connected to grills which sends, by Wi-Fi, notifications directly to your smartphone on all stages of cooking, from the preparation of the barbecue until it is time to turn the food over, serve and taste it.
2. Pieces and wood chips
Nothing like pieces and wood chips to give a subtle taste to your meals. Many brands have launched their wood chips, ideal for propane BBQs (we put them in a smoker on the grill), or pieces of wood for charcoal BBQs. There are different species, such as apple, hickory, walnut or cherry. It’s wood smoke that will give your dishes more flavor.
3. The return to local products
According to Benjamin Alarie, corporate chef at Weber, “The return to local products will take up a lot of space this year, and that’s good. We have so many beautiful Quebec products, so don’t hesitate to put as much on our plate as possible. With the current situation, a return to lesser-known cuts of meat will also be on the agenda, sometimes for lack of choice or for reasons of economy. We will certainly be able to discover new things. ”
- For the propane BBQ, protected during the winter, you must turn off the burner and clean it at the start of the season.
- For the wood pellet BBQ, vacuum the compartment with each 20 lb pellet pocket, about four to five times a year for regular consumption.
- For the charcoal BBQ, remove the ashes regularly and scrape the bottom of the BBQ with an aluminum ball.
- The cover is recommended for BBQs that are located next to a swimming pool or spa, because of chlorine, explains Simon-Pierre Laliberté, of BMR. If this is not the case, it is not recommended because the cover tends to keep moisture, which could cause rust.
- Cast iron grates should be oiled after each use.
Advice for maximum maintenance
Would you like your BBQ to offer you years of worry-free grilling? “Give your BBQ time!” Explains Benjamin Alarie. Weber’s corporate chef recommends brushing the grills before each use to remove any sticky food residue. “But the cleaning doesn’t stop at this stage! Cleaning your cooking vat and your fat recuperator is also essential. Cleaning your BBQ in the spring and fall is far from enough. Depending on your use, I advise you to take 15 minutes per month to remove your grills, remove your heat deflectors, remove the fat recovery system and clean it all well with cleaning products. Rinse well, dry and reassemble the animal. Here it is, 15 minutes in order to have a clean BBQ and enjoy the maximum performance of your machine. “