Outdoor Cooking: Save Money Deliciously While Having Fun and Enjoying the Weather!
As I’ve said before, the purpose of this site is to show you ways to save money on your grocery bill while reducing the pain of doing so. Well, the topic of this post is my favorite way to do just that. This post is in regards to outdoor cooking. We’re talking about grilling and BBQ. You may be wondering how you’re going to save money with outdoor cooking. The answer is two-fold.
First you will save money in the summer time by simply getting the heat out of the house. I don’t know the figures, but I’d be willing to bet your kitchen has a marked affect on your air conditioning bill. I know, we’re supposed to be cutting the grocery bill not the electric bill, but I figure saving is saving. The extra benefit is that outdoor cooking, whether it be direct grilling or indirect barbeque, is quite delicious.
Another way you save money with outdoor cooking is that the meat cooked outdoors is frequently inexpensive. Sure, you can spend a lot of money on some rib eye’s or prime rib, but a lot of the meat that are good cooked outdoors fall into the other spectrum on the price scale.
Beef Brisket and Boston Butt are two prime examples. These are staples in the Barbeque World and are both very affordable and delicious when done right.
Barbeque VS Grilling
What exactly is barbeque? Well, that depends on where you live. The word barbeque (BBQ) can mean a couple of different things. In some parts of the country a barbeque is a gathering of friends and family as in, “Hey, we’re havin’ a barbeque Saturday. Why don’t you come on over?” It can also mean an outdoor contraption on which you cook food as in, “Hey, go fire up the barbeque, I got some steaks to cook up.”
Lastly, as far as I know, barbeque is meat which has been hot smoked in some sort of barbeque pit “low and slow”, as they say. Hot smoking is a relative term. Barbeque, of this definition, is usually cooked below 300°F. This is much lower than direct grilling and much higher than cold smoking which is done below 90°F.
This last definition of barbeque is the one I use and since I own this website, it is what I’ll be referencing anytime you see the word barbeque on this website – so there.
OK, so we know the definition of barbeque (as far as I’m concerned). What, then, is grilling? Grilling is high-heat cooking directly above the flame. Barbeque never considered to be direct cooked. In the South, purveyors of open-pit barbeque cook their meat directly over the flame with nothing in between, but the meat is significantly raised above the flame. Grilling is direct grilling in which the food is in somewhat close proximity to the flame – usually within eight to 10 inches.
Grilling is anything but low and slow. With grilling, you sear your meat locking in all the juices – yum! The trick to grilling is getting the meat done through without charring the outside to an inedible state – tricky indeed.
Which is better? Neither really. I engage in both. I love grilling up some chicken breasts, sausages, burgers and, oh baby, the occasional rib eye. Barbeque takes much longer than grilling, so weekdays are out (unless you’re a trust-fund baby, which I am not). Home barbeque is made for weekends. I thoroughly enjoy sitting on my back porch for eight to 12 hours, smelling my barbeque cook, low and slow. Brisket, pulled pork…oh, man!
So, whether you choose to grill or barbeque, it is quite easy to please your family on a budget in your outdoor kitchen.
If your grilling and barbequing knowledge and skills are wanting, fear not, I’ll be posting tips, techniques and recipes you can add to your outdoor cooking repertoire – stay tuned.