Would you start to work on your car and take things apart before making sure you have the proper tools and parts to complete the job? More than likely not. If you want to cook great tasting BBQ you have to approach it the same way.
When you are cooking BBQ, or anything for that matter, making sure you are prepared beforehand is essential. Especially if you are doing outdoor cooking. Having to run in and out of the house or realizing you don’t have a key ingredient for your BBQ sauce after you’ve already started making it can cause some serious problems.
In this article we’ll break down the proper technique, and why it is important, to make sure you are prepared to make great BBQ sauce and cook some great tasting meat.
If you’re ready to make your time preparing your BBQ sauce, grilling, or cooking anything go much smoother, it’s time to learn the technique known as mise en place. Pronounced meez-ahn-plahss, this French cooking term translates to “put in place”.
Preparation using mise en place ensures that everything that will be needed for what you are cooking is ready, in place, and in reach before any cooking is even started. This technique is used in the kitchens of every top chef in the world. You may have even dined in one of these fine dining restaurants with an open kitchen and noticed how each cook moves effortlessly and the kitchen seems to be running like clockwork. This is mise en place in action.
Source: Twin Cities’ Star Tribune
Each cook has every spice, vegetable, fruit, meat or other ingredients they will be using already measured out, chopped, portioned, and ready to go. Pans are in reach and tools set out. Every single thing they will need is within quick and easy reach before any oven or stove is turned on.
The good thing is, you don’t have to be a top chef to implement mise en place for your BBQ sauces, outdoor cooking, or grilling. If you are not already doing it, you’ll be amazed at the results that can come from making sure you are fully prepared and how much easier it makes it to avoid any problems along the way.
Implementing mise en place in your home kitchen or outdoor cooking can prevent some problematic scenarios that can happen. Like when you get halfway through a BBQ sauce recipe and realize you are missed a crucial ingredient. Or you are grilling or smoking outside and realize you forgot the basting brush or left the tongs inside just when it’s the perfect time to take the meat off. In BBQ, not being prepared can quickly mean disaster.
One scenario where mise en place is the most effective in BBQ is when it’s time to make that perfect BBQ sauce for your outdoor cooking. For example, chopping up onions you need to saute should definitely not be done when you are trying to heat the oil in the pan. Same with measuring out spices when your base sauce is hot.
When you are ready to start preparing your BBQ sauce (or getting ready to grill/smoke or cook anything really), effective mise en place starts even before you start pre-chopping or measuring anything out.
The first thing you should do is read through your entire recipe you will be following. Then read it again. Make sure you are familiar with every step of the process. If you need to double the recipe for any reason, make sure you understand exactly how much more of your necessary ingredients you’ll now need.
After you have done the mental prep work, it’s time to get every item that you will need ready to go. Pull every ingredient you will need out of the refrigerator or pantry. Measure each spice and seasoning out ahead of time, wash and chop up any vegetables, fruit, or garlic needed. Make sure everything is laid out on your workspace within reach of where you’ll be cooking. Placing the ingredients in order of when you’ll need them is even more effective.
Source: Self Proclaimed Foodie
All of your tools and equipment should be ready to go as well. Make sure your utensils are within reach, pots and pans are in place on the stove, and towels and pot holders are ready. If you haven’t already and will be cooking your meat right after the BBQ sauce is done, go ahead and trim the meat as needed ahead of time as well.
Great tasting BBQ largely comes down to proper techniques and adequate preparation beforehand. It’s critical to implement mise en place and ensure you have all of the ingredients, tools, and materials you need for every step ready to go and in easy reach before you even start cooking anything. It will also ensure a much smoother process, fewer headaches, and even less clean up because you will have time to clean up as you go!
Preparation techniques and how to make great BBQ are just some of the things you’ll learn from us here at BBQ Champs Academy. The first virtual BBQ cooking school of its kind. Built for everyone from the backyard cooker to competition-caliber BBQ enthusiasts and led by some of the world’s best pitmasters and grillmasters. Get all access today!
Have you mastered mise en place? Do you have some stories about things going wrong when you were not fully prepared beforehand (and you can laugh about it now)? Leave a comment below. We want to hear from you!