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Summer Grilling Tips From The Experts

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Despite our recent bouts with rain it is finally barbecue season. In fact, May is National Barbecue Month.

Edward Moody talked with "pit master" Sean Ewing from Famous Dave's to highlight tips on the art of barbecuing.

Ewing said that, first things first, you want to make sure that your protein is completely thawed and well-seasoned before it meets the grill. Let the seasonings have time to sink into the meat.

If your meat is frozen, do not thaw it out in water. That can take out the natural juices from the meat, and consequently will result in a loss of flavor.

Another piece of the puzzle to get into place right off the bat is your tools. And that doesn't just mean the tongs and the brushes. Ewing said the number one tool to keep on hand is a pen and notepad. He said you want to make sure to always jot down when recipes work or don't work as you continue to experiment with flavors.

"So much of barbecuing is a product of design," Ewing said. "Ultimately, it's a mix-and-match."

Don't be afraid to move the meat around once it's on the open flame. Because grills can be unpredictable with regard to heat distribution, you should make sure not to just let it sit there for too long.

One unorthodox tip from Ewing: If you don't have a traditional brush to baste your meat with sauce or marinade, you can affix springs of various herbs to a wooden spoon and use that to brush across your grilled proteins.

Regarding when you should sauce your meat, it's up to personal preference. However, Ewing said that the benefit of brushing the meat while it's still on the grill is that you get a caramelized effect.

And you don't have to simply stick with the Weber-style grill. Many people find that they enjoy the flavor of smoked meat. Ewing said it's nearly as important to know what sort of flavor profiles come from the wood you use as it is to select the right meat.

"Much of your pork and beef use a hickory wood," Ewing said. Poultry would be better complemented by an apple or cherry wood.


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