Great Grill: Top Tips to Make your Barbecue Stand Out from the Crowd, From Prep to Serving
The sun is shining. Your friends are over. Everyone is sipping something cold from the cool box. The grill is hot. You’ve selected the choicest cuts of meat. Now’s your chance to shine!
At Victorinox, we enjoy a good barbecue as much as anyone. There’s a simple pleasure to be found in grilling a sausage over an open fire in the forest, as well as in hosting a big barbecue for family and friends. Our knives can help you take your grill skills to the next level – with precision blades for prepping meat or vegetables, sturdy and reliable helpers for use on the barbecue itself, as well as super sharp carving tools for slicing and serving the meat.
We share our top tips and tricks for each stage of your barbecue and show you which of our knives will give you the cutting edge over your grill competition!
The Prep Step
Many cuts of meat need careful preparation before grilling them. Take spare ribs for example, these are a barbecue staple, but there are certain key steps to be taken before placing them on the grill. Firstly, you have to trim the skirt, as otherwise it will burn during cooking and cause the ribs to cook unevenly. You also want to separate the rib tips before cooking, as this part contains cartilage, connective tissue and smaller bones, which will cause uneven cooking if cooked together with the rib rack. Therefore it is better to separate it beforehand. The curved narrow blade of the Swiss Classic Boning Knife enables you to stay close to the bone, preserving as much meat as possible.
Vegetables shouldn’t just be relegated to the realm of side dishes. Whether you are grilling them whole or threading them on skewers, they make a colorful and nutritious splash for any barbecue. But let’s steer clear of the usual mushroom and pepper combination. You can spice up your skewers by rubbing veggies with a paste like harissa or miso for an exotic touch. Or why not try one of these less conventional combinations:
Haloumi, zucchini and leek
Cauliflower, tofu and za’atar spice rub
Brussel sprouts with balsamic reduction
Or a combination of fruit for a dessert option: pineapple, banana, peaches etc
The trick to a kebab which both looks good and cooks evenly is precision chopping. The Swiss Modern Office Knife and Santoku Knife will not let you down, thanks to their stainless steel blades and ergonomic handles.
Second only to the actual eating, grilling is the most fun part of any barbecue: Getting the grill at just the right temperature, watching that delicious char form on the meat, flipping and turning to cook the food evenly. Everyone has their own tips and tricks for success and Darren O’Rourke, Head Butcher at Victor Churchill in Sydney, swears by bringing his meat to room temperature before grilling it. He also recommends salting the meat right before you cook it, so the salt does not draw the moisture out of the meat. Cooking sausages on the grill is practically the national dish of Switzerland and our handy expandable Barbecue Fork helps you keep a firm grip on your brats for grilling perfection.
So you’ve grilled the steak to perfection, just the way you like it. Your guests are all salivating in expectation of the tender meat you are about to serve. “But wait!” says Darren O’Rourke. “A piece of meat needs to rest for a third of the cooking time to ensure that the juices stay in your meat”. “Another common mistake that many people make is to stab the carving fork into the meat in order to get a good grip before slicing it” says Urs Heinzer, who runs Victorinox’s training and sales demonstrations, and is also a trained chef. “But stabbing the freshly grilled meat is a sure way to lose a lot of the juices that make the steak so tasty. Much better is to lay the carving fork flat on top of the meat and exert pressure so that it remains stable, whilst slicing with a sharp blade. The sharper the blade, the less pressure you will need”. Luckily our Swiss Modern range can offer you a two-piece Carving Set with a fork and knife designed to work together to deliver exquisite results.
Sometimes only a big piece of meat will do. Whether it is a slow-cooked brisket or a more complex porchetta, you need the right knife that will slice the beautifully tender meat without tearing or destroying it. The rounded tip but super sharp blade of our Slicing Knife make it the ideal tool for such a task. The fluted blade helps to stop meat sticking to it for an even cleaner slice. This is undoubtedly the number one tool loved by the barbecue pros. As Urs Heinzer says “A piece of meat needs to be handled respectfully, so that it looks good but tastes even better!”