The weather’s getting warmer, and your snow boots have long since been thrown at the bottom of the closet. Spring is the perfect time to dust off the old Weber grill. We interviewed Ray Lampe, also known as Dr. BBQ and the foremost expert on grilling and American BBQ, about what’s going to be hot on the grill this summer, and tips on creating the perfect outdoor cooked meal.
Check out more tips from The Daily Meal's 5 Tips for Starting Off Grilling Season Right (slideshow)
Here are the ultimate tips we learned from Dr. BBQ:
Don’t Be Afraid of Pork Chops — Lampe said people are often afraid of grilling pork chops because they think chops easily dry out. “My secret is to cook them like a steak, whether you got a porterhouse, or a rib eye, you ask your guest how they want, and cook it that way. Grandma was afraid of salmonella, but you don’t get salmonella easily from pork chops.”
Be Careful Not to Overcook You Meat — Whether it’s pork or steak, Lampe said overcooking is the most common mistake when it comes to grilling. For pork chops, he recommends cooking the chops for a few minutes per side at 145 to 160 degrees. A little pink in the middle is fine, and even recommended.
BBQ Rubs > Marinades or Sauces — “I’m definitely a dry rub kinda guy, with some sauce on the side,” he said. “You don’t need marinade. The meat has a lot of flavor as it is!” Dr. BBQ’s favorite homemade rub is simple: just salt, sugar, granulated onion, garlic, and a good quality chili powder.
Think Outside the Box — Lampe said that he admires people who think creatively when it comes to grilling, like adding something unexpected to their dry rubs such as cinnamon or coffee. He also said most people don’t realize that there’s a lot more you can grill than just burgers and dogs. Peaches, incidentally, go really well on top of pork chops.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi