Sizzling heat under the grill, meeting with friends – the barbecue season is finally starting!

Salad for barbecuing

The tip for an unusual salad is: black cabbage salad or braised cabbage salad. To make this, take a normal head of cabbage and grill it over indirect heat at 180 degrees C until it has a core temperature of 80 to 90 degrees C. Then take it off the grill and remove the outer, now blackened layers. Let the inside cool down and then you have some highly aromatic cabbage as the basis for a delicious braised cabbage salad.

He loves the classics – and he stands by them! That‘s why for André Greul the first and foremost issue is the sausage and how it tastes best. This expert barbecuer talks about what is likely the most common barbecued food which we sizzle over charcoal here in this country, with the same enthusiasm as he talks just a little later about smoked beef brisket or fine steaks. “You can throw a bratwurst on the grill, like they used to do at the bathing pond, dribble beer over it and then dip it deep into mustard,“ he says. “But then you miss out on enjoyment which a bratwurst can offer just like a good piece of meat can. Mustard is okay – but, please, just a tiny touch and in no way so much that you don‘t taste the filling anymore. It must be high quality and the crust tender. But how to do that, how to grill a sausage properly – that‘s something you have to learn.“

Glowing passion

For example, from him. André Greul (53) is the host of the Romantik Hotel Fürstenhof in Landshut, a chef and known for his creative magic on the grill. For over ten years he has been teaching classes for beginners and more advanced students.

For barbecuing, the trend – despite all the vegetarian or vegan hype – continues to be meat, in an increasing variety. The „American barbecue style“ is gaining ground: spareribs, pulled pork or beef brisket, cooked in the smoker at a low temperature. In America, a lot of meat traditionally goes on the grill. However, barbecuing experts advise doing the opposite: better to eat less meat, but pay even more attention to its quality. Because even the best barbecuer can‘t make a good steak out of a bad piece of meat.

Charcoal or gas?

For some barbecuers, this is almost a fateful issue: what is better – a charcoal or a gas grill? Many barbecuing experts see this in a relaxed way: if you have a good gas grill and have mastered how to use it, there is hardly any difference from a charcoal grill in terms of the taste. It depends more on the ‚personality‘ of the barbecuer. If you don‘t want to expend a lot of effort, gas is better for you. The other guy is the one with the ‚old grill genes‘. He loves barbecuing in all its variations; he experiments from time to time. To do this he also has to know his charcoal grill well and master his craft. Because barbecuing over charcoal is more challenging than sizzling something on a gas grill. To put it in general terms: gas is easier, charcoal more exciting and closer to the good old campfire.

Many niches have developed in the growing barbecue market. „Plancha“ was the magic word last year, the method of grilling on a stainless steel plate that is popular in Spain. Aromatic woods were also suddenly en vogue. This year, rotisserie will celebrate a big comeback. Barbecuing on a spit – manufacturers offer special attachments for meat and vegetables. The barbecued food will be cooked gently and evenly by the rotating motion.

There is also an exciting variation: the so-called B cuts – steaks from the shoulder or the abdominal area such as hanger steak (Nierenzapfen) or flank steak. Here especially, you can only expect good results from high-quality meat.

Important tip for amateur sizzlers and for professionals: a lid is an essential part of a good grill. Why is this lid over the embers so important? Without the lid, the heat comes only from below. With a lid, however, you can also attain the desired temperature above the barbecued food. Therefore, the distance from the coals can be greater – the meat doesn‘t dry out. Besides, the grill lid and bottom have an air vent that only lets in as much oxygen as the embers need. This amount is so small that no open flame can develop when some fat drips onto the embers. This way, the meat cannot catch fire.

With a lid, the grill practically turns into a kind of oven, in which you can use long cooking processes. With all the trends: barbecuing is always a wonderful shared experience. Invite friends, talk shop about the right temperature, gaze into the embers and dream. Being together and enjoying it – just like in the past, with a grill and bratwurst at the bathing pond.