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Barbecuing Tips From Around the Globe

All over the world people enjoy the juicy flavours barbecuing food brings. But there’s no real consistency in the way food – be it fowl, flesh, vegetables or meat substitutes such as tofu – is cooked or flavoured.

In other words, every country does their barbecuing differently – whether it’s wrapping meat in cloth bags in Colombia or saturating it in a sweet soy sauce as in Japan. Go to America and it seems every state has its unique methods for grilling and where slow-cooking over a smoker tends to be the most popular form. In this blog post we’re going to take a look at the varying ways barbecue is done around the globe and let you make up your own mind which you’d prefer.

In Korea, for instance, it’s all about knowing when to turn the meat over. Or, as chef Kim Yong Cheol of the Sheraton Grande in Myongwolgwan told CNN: “when the meat starts crying.” Translated, that means when the juice on the surface begins to bubble slightly.

Kim claims that turning the steak or chop too often can cause the juices to run from the meat, resulting in it becoming dry.

He also recommends using plenty of salt because it “allows you to experience the original taste of the meat rather than it hiding under sauces.”

And if you’re eating mul naengmyeon (cold noodles in beef broth) at the Sheraton Grande in Myongwolgwan any time soon then for goodness sake steer clear of any condiments.

“The worst possible thing you could do is add the vinegar and mustard to our mul naengmyeon before tasting it. That is such an ignorant move,” warned Kim.

In Japan, on the other hand, they love their condiments – especially a sweet, soy-based sauce called tare (think Yakitori). Chefs there tend to use a large electric grill with smooth surface known as Teppanyaki so they can cook in front of diners in the restaurant.

In Thailand a wood burning stove and clay pot is the preferred cooking method for barbecued food here. All the meats and placed together in a circular pot and a large piece of fat on top of a hole in the lid. Once the pot starts to heat up the fat dribbles down into the pot and onto the meat lying there, adding to the flavour. Vendors in A popular grilled sticky rice known as knao niaw can also be purchased in Thailand from street vendors.

India too is fond of practically disguising the original taste of the meat. This time it’s with the use of spices, and lots of them. Their traditional barbecue is, of course, the upright Tandoori oven. Meal cooked Tandoori-style in the sub-continent could be covered in up to 15 different spices and usually dipped in a yoghurt-type dressing.

In southern and Central America natives there eat Churrasco which is a selection of skewered meats spit-roasted on a charcoal-stoked open fire. The most popular of which is a dish of sirloin with fat and thinly sliced, called Picanhaa. They cook similarly in Colombia in terms of placing the meat on an open fire – only here it’s also wrapped in cloth with 1lb of salt and the herb oregano.

Whatever your style it always tastes good on a gas barbecue.