BBQ: the essential skill to master for the backyard summer
It’s getting hot out there. But you don’t have to flee to cottage country to enjoy the heat. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your own backyard (or, you know, balcony, if you live downtown). We’ve rounded up BBQ experts, beer masters and party people to show you how to have the best summer ever, right at home.
Some of the city’s top foodies give us their takes on hassle-free nibbles for eating al fresco
Mark McEwan (of North 44 & Fabbrica fame) recommends a three-step appetizer recipe — simple, but sure to wow even the most discerning backyard dwellers. It means you’ll spend less time cooking and more time relaxing outdoors. (Recipe)
For outdoor entertaining made simple, Richmond Hiller and Origin chef Claudio Aprile recommends a five-step recipe for the most delicious grilled corn. (Recipe)
The GTA’s queen of cake, Dufflet Rosenberg, shares her foolproof no-bake recipe for extraordinary ice cream sandwiches. (Recipe)
Use this old chef’s secret and you’ll never overcook your steak again. Simply compare the firmness of the fleshy part of your hand to the meat — and voila! Dinner is served.
RAW Open the palm of your hand and hold it in a relaxed position. Use the index finger of your other hand to push down on the area below the thumb and gauge the firmness. A raw steak
will feel the same.
RARE Make a circle with your index finger and thumb. The fleshy area below the thumb should feel slightly more firm. This is what a rare steak feels like.
MEDIUM RARE Press together the tips of your thumb and middle finger and now feel the area beneath the thumb. This is how firm a medium-rare steak should feel.
MEDIUM A steak cooked to medium will have the same density of the fleshy part of your hand when pressing together your thumb and ring finger.
WELL DONE The flesh below the thumb should feel quite firm when touching your thumb and pinky together. Well-done meat will have the same density.
With so many great Toronto-made beers to choose from these days, you can find a craft brew to match pretty much anything you throw on the barbie. A certified cicerone, local resident Mirella Amato tells us what pairs best with our favourite backyard bites.
Cheeseburger For a classic burger with all the fixings, Amato suggests a pale ale with hops, like Black Oak Pale Ale, to cut through the richness of the meat and cheese.
Pork Ribs Since pork ribs tend to be sweet, they need to be matched by a sweet beer. Amato suggests an amber ale, such as Amsterdam Nut Brown, which has a crisp finish.
Hot Dog Because hot dogs don’t tend to have a ton of flavour, a pilsner, like Steam Whistle, which won’t overpower it, is a good match, says Amato.
Grilled Shrimp Amato recommends a wheat beer, such as Duggan’s Sorachi, with shrimp, as its citrus notes complement the light flavour of the shellfish.
Create your own Southern (Ontario) BBQ with slow-cooking and seasoning tips from Boneyard Grill’s Ephraim Dloomy: “The secret to great ribs is slow cooking — for at least two to three hours — in a great sauce. Ours includes over 30 ingredients, but key ones are soy sauce, ginger, garlic, ketchup and BBQ spice. Cook over charcoal or hickory-flavoured woods.”