In the second in our series of UAE winter barbecue tips, Chef Kamil reveals his expert advice on how to prep, grill and serve the perfect steak so you can BBQ like a boss.
Open your door on any weekend in Dubai and Abu Dhabi right now, and you’re likely to get a sniff of that incredible smoky aroma synonymous with barbeque season. But there’s a BIG difference between throwing some meat on the grill and hoping for the best or serving your guests the kind of BBQ flavours that will crown you king or queen of cooking with fire. Hunter & Barrel’s Chef Kamil is here to make that happen!
It's BBQ day! What do I need to remember before cooking?
It is important to remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before grilling. This will lower their cooking time and help them cook more evenly. Select the most appropriate charcoal for grilling meats, as the fuel you choose can dramatically affect the flavour. And finally, only start grilling the meat as soon as you are ready to eat – and not before!
Let’s talk marinades. Do I / don’t I, and what with?
A good steak does not require a marinade. We simply brush with butter or house basting in order to caramelise the meat and give it that authentic ‘Hunter’ taste. However, if you are aiming to serve meat on skewers, a marinade is usually recommended. For chicken skewers, marinate the chicken pieces overnight in a mixture of garlic cream, chilli paste, salt, pepper and white vinegar. For beef skewers, marinate the pieces of beef overnight in a mixture of strong flavoured herbs such as rosemary or thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper and mustard.
Time to fire. Take us through grilling the perfect steak.
- Reaching the appropriate temperature is very important. You want to heat your BBQ grill to around 300o
- In the meantime, season the steaks with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and brush with sunflower oil, on both sides.
- Just before grilling, wait until your charcoal has burned to an even temperature before placing any meat on the grill grates. You want to wait until two-thirds of the charcoal have turned white and the charcoal has stopped smoking.
- When ready, place the steaks on the grill and sear for two minutes on each side, then rotate them across for an additional two minutes.
- Continue grilling until the steaks reach the desired level of doneness i.e. rare, medium-rare, medium, medium well and well done.
What about the need to ‘rest’?
Steaks need time to ‘rest’ after you have removed them from the grill. I recommend a three-minute rest period to allow the moisture to be evenly redistributed and reabsorbed back into the meat. This will trap the flavour inside the steak and give it that tender and juicy texture. Then, place them back over the hottest part of the grill, sear them for an additional one minute and serve directly. And one top tip to ensure that the meat maintains its distinctive barbecue taste: Do not cover the meat during this period.
And what should I serve with my perfect BBQ steak?
Keep it simple and let the meat take centre-stage. I suggest you serve a light garnish such as vegetables, chips or a simple green salad to ensure that the meat remains the dominant flavour, with a cold sauce such as chimichurri, house chilli or mustard.
Of course, you can enjoy the best BBQ in the UAE at Hunter & Barrel here.