Your grill may be an altar for red meat but why partake only in steak when there are so many other delicious animals and vegetables to try? Here’s what you’ll need to roast birds and bivalves alongside your bevy of beef.
Beer Can Chicken is both delicious and easily prepared, even if you’re already three sheets to the wind. Take a medium (1.8kg) roaster chicken, remove the giblets, and rinse out the cavity and exterior. Pat it dry with a paper towel and rub it down, inside and out, with salt, pepper, and your favourite dry rub. Crack open a fresh can of beer, drink half of it. Now drink the other half. Open a new brew, drink half of this one, then set it on a firm, level surface and jam the open end of the bird carcass over the open end of the beer can, like Martha Stewart eating a turkey. At this point, you can either attempt to set the bird on the grill using its legs and the bottom end of the can like a tripod or you can use something like the Bayou Classic ChickCAN Rack. This stainless steel rack fits between the can and the bird, securely holding both atop a 7-inch diameter base.
It doesn’t take much to make delectable barbecue chicken either. Marinate the various pieces — thighs, wings, drumsticks and breasts overnight (a 1/2 cup of soy sauce with an Italian seasoning packet works well, for example) then toss them on the grill for a half hour until the outside is crispy brown and the inside is no longer pink. Slather with barbecue sauce and you’re done. If the drippings keep causing flare ups or the skin starts to stick to the grill, try using a wing and drumstick rack. This device hangs the various chicken bits over a shallow drip tray, catching the grease before it hits the flame.
Nothing beats grilling a trout you’ve freshly caught yourself. Wrapping the cleaned fish in aluminium foil with herbs and lemon is a popular method but doesn’t really create that smokey flavour you’d expect from barbecue. Instead of foil, marinate the fish in a mix of olive oil, basil, parsley, rosemary, garlic (two cloves) and basil overnight, then spread the meat over the flame using a rack. This lets the meat absorb the BBQ essence without burning the delicate skin to the grills.
Grilled oysters are freakin’ delicious — especially with a little butter, herbs, and pepper — grilling oysters, on the other hand, is a pain in the arse. The little bastards will go sliding out of their shells at a moment’s notice. To keep your bivalves in line, don’t just stack them willy-nilly on the grill, set them securely in an oyster rack for the five minutes they take to cook.
The great thing about Jalapenos is that you can stuff just about anything into them — sausage, cheese, bay shrimp, smaller peppers — and it will still come out delicious. And with a jalapeno rack, you’ll be able to stuff them more easily and lose less filling to the fire once they get to the grill. Jalapeno racks hold the pepper upright, which leaves you with both hands for filling and prevents the filling from extruding from the open end while it grills.
Your backyard barbecue may be a mecca of meat but without a little greenery no meal is complete. Coarsely chop some carrots, zucchini, white and red onions, cauliflower, and mushrooms, then put them in a ziplock bag with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake the bag until the veggies are coated then dump them into a grilling basket like this one from Weber. The basket keeps the delicate veggies concentrated in one easy place, making it easier to reposition them on the grill as they cook or as you add meat.
Who says you have to eat just one kind of meat at a time? First, there’s the unlimited skewer technique: Marinate your desired cubes of meat (chicken, steak, lamb, prawns, etc) and vegetables, then load them onto a flexible cable skewer and drape it over a grill. With a sufficiently long cable, you’ll be able to effectively loop the kebabs, pulling cooked pieces off one end as new bits are added to the other.
Second, you can always just entomb your favoured flavours of meat in a ground beef casket using a burger press. This device allows you to create stuffed burgers (they’re cheesier on the inside). Beyond the joys of a burger that bleeds cheddar, anything listed above can be used (in any combination) as well. Let your stomach’s imagination run wild.