Here are a few more of Ostini’s barbecue tips:
- The biggest mistake people make when barbecuing is overcooking. Searing the meat is fine, but don’t overcook it. We pull it off slightly before it’s done, and let it finish cooking on its own, while it’s on the plate, being served.
- The steaks that barbecue best are New York and rib eye. Because of their high fat content, they are more forgiving on the grill. But my personal favorite is the filet mignon, because it can be cooked fast and seared and be delicious and juicy when served rare.
- Turkey and chicken dry out quickly, so take them off the grill a little bit undercooked, because they will keep cooking, especially if you put them on warm plates—that will keep them moist. Cook chicken more on the skin side than on the meat side, thus rendering the fat on the skins, so the outside is nice and crispy.
- Pork cooked all the way through will be dry and leathery, especially center-cut pork loins, so we grill them to rare. We then take them off the grill and chill them whole, so that they don’t lose any juices. Then we slice them into steaks and cook them to order, finishing them on the grill so they don’t lose any flavor, thus keeping them crispy on the outside and pink on the inside.
- It takes 30 minutes to an hour to prepare a small- to medium-sized fire under a grill. Oak wood can smolder and make a very sooty taste, which overpowers the flavor of the food. We want a gentle smokiness, and that requires a very hot bed of coals and a lot of air coming into the fire so that it burns clean. The fire is what imparts the real flavor.