ARTICLE

How To Barbecue Right With Curtis Stone

15 October, 2020 – 4 mins read

This time of year, many of us enjoy our evening meals outside, taking advantage of the warm weather and long nights. Celebrity-chef Curtis Stone is no different. The glitter of Los Angeles is a garnish of success for Curtis Stone, but firing up the BBQ with family and friends back home in Australia is his happy place. Learn how to BBQ like a pro with Curtis’ simple but brilliant tips as well as how to create one of his favourite recipes.

Don’t have a BBQ? Or perhaps you’re ready for an upgrade to help up-level your outdoor cooking game? View our guide for a little extra help deciding which type of BBQ to purchase this summer.

Curtis Stone Barbecuing tips

Barbecue tips and tricks with Curtis Stone

1. Preheat the barbecue

This will prevent sticking and creates a good crust on your food.

2. Keep it clean

Ever wondered how to clean a BBQ? After preheating, scrub the grates with a stiff-bristled grill brush and then wipe the soot from the grates with a wet cloth. After cooking, leave the heat on for five minutes and brush the grates again. Voila!

3. Dry it off

Big flavour comes from a good sear. Since moisture is the enemy, pat your meat dry before cooking to help ensure delicious flavours.

4. Oil the barbecue or oil the food?

Always lightly coat the food you’re grilling with oil (though too much will cause flare-ups). For fish and thin steaks, oil the grates as well.

“The glitter of Los Angeles is a garnish of success for Curtis Stone, but firing up the BBQ with family and friends back home in Australia is his happy place.”

5. Avoid flare ups

One of the most common mistakes that people make is thinking that it’s a good thing when the BBQ flames flare up and engulf the food. However, this is not the case. When flames swallow your food they leave a nasty, sooty layer on the surface of it. Minor flares are fine, but avoid the big ones by closing the lid which will help to reduce the size of the fire.

6. Think outside of the box

There’s more to a BBQ than burgers and sausages. Cooking seafood on the barbie imparts a delicious, smoky flavour. Not only is it fun to try something new but serving whole grilled fish is sure to impress your guests!

7. What tools do you need before you start?

Curtis has a collection of tools that he calls his ‘barbecue caddy.’ Place all your tools on a baking tray and take it outside with you. His caddy includes: salt and pepper, a plate with the raw meat and vegies, a clean platter or two for the cooked food, a towel, canola oil for oiling the grill grates, a kitchen towel, a bowl for rubbish and scraps, a spray bottle with water for any flare-ups, and a cold beer! A digital thermometer is great too.

Completing a barbecue once over

To avoid running into setbacks and dramas on game day it’s important to do a few checks beforehand:

  • Is your BBQ clean?
  • Do you have all the right tools in your BBQ toolkit?
  • Do you have sufficient gas, charcoal or wood supply to keep it cranking?

Being organised and prepared ahead of time makes life so much easier. Plus, it allows you to spend more time entertaining and mingling with guests without the stress.

Best barbecued rib-eye steak recipe (with salsa quemada)

The barbeque is more than just a sausage, a lamb chop or chicken wing for Curtis. His favourite food to cook at the moment includes Fred Flintstone sized BBQ rib-eye steaks.

Ingredients for salsa (makes 4 cups): 2 tbs olive oil, 2 dried chillies de arbol, 8 large tomatillos (husked and rinsed), 3 medium heirloom tomatoes (560g), 2 red jalapeno chillies or 2 long red chillies, 1 green jalapeno chilli or 1 long green chilli, 1 bunch of spring onions trimmed, 2 garlic cloves, 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander, juice of 1 lemon

Ingredients for steaks (serves 6): 4 boneless rib-eye steaks (about 360g each and 2.5cm thick), 3 tsp olive oil

Special Equipment: 3 cups hickory wood chips soaked in cold water for 1 hour, smoker wood chip box or 32 x 23cm aluminium foil pan (if using a gas BBQ)

Method
Prep:

  1. Let steaks stand at room temperature while you prepare the BBQ at medium-high heat and make the salsa.
  2. For a gas BBQ, spread drained wood chips in smoker box and close it; alternatively, spread wood chips in foil pan. Place smoke box or foil pan on a lit burner. For a charcoal BBQ, sprinkle drained wood chips over hot coals.

To make salsa:

  1. In a small heavy sauté pan, combine oil and chillies de arbol and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until chillies are toasted and beginning to blacken.
  2. Remove chillies and set aside.
  3. Allow chilli oil to cool slightly.
  4. On a large baking tray, toss tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapenos and spring onions with chilli oil and season with salt.
  5. Lightly oil BBQ grates, place vegetables on BBQ, and close lid.
  6. Cook vegetables, turning only once, until they are blackened as much as possible; don’t worry if tomatoes and tomatillos break open and begin to fall apart — it’s a sign that they’re cooked through.
    Aim for these cooking times: 8 minutes each side for tomatoes and tomatillos, about 6 minutes each side for jalapenos, and about 3 minutes each side for spring onions.
  7. Using tongs, transfer vegetables to baking tray and let cool slightly.
  8. Trim stems from jalapenos and remove seeds, if desired. Do not remove charred skin.
  9. In a blender, combine blackened vegetables, garlic, coriander, lemon juice and toasted chillies de arbol and blend until smooth.
  10. Season salsa with salt.

To BBQ steaks:

  1. Coat steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. When you see wood chips beginning to smoke, set steaks on BBQ grates and cook for about 6 minutes each side, or until meat feels only slightly resilient when pressed with a fingertip, for medium-rare.
  3. Transfer steaks to a carving board and let rest, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve steaks with salsa.

Now’s the perfect time to upgrade your BBQ, channel your inner MasterChef and create Curtis’ delicious rib-eye steak recipe. Make the most of the beautiful summer weather and enjoy a barbie with friends and family, the iconic Australian tradition! Visit us online or instore to find the BBQ that’s right for you.

Source: Originally published in The Home Edition News Corp Australia

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