Sunday, June 11, 2006

Better BBQ, Article #14 in a Series

A few simple steps can make a big difference in the results you achieve when cooking bbq for guests or in contests, grilling hamburgers and hotdogs in the backyard for a quick weekend meal, or when cooking for the family on a day-to-day basis.

1. Sort through your cooking items and discard things you no longer use.

One of the biggest frustrations when working in the kitchen is not being able to find the items you need when you need to use them. How many times have you searched for a pot, a pan, a utensil and not been able to find it? Discarding items you no longer want or need, will make it easier to find the things you use regularly.

2. Organize your work area.

For bbq, a plastic shelving unit manufactured by Rubbermaid is perfect. They are available at Home Depot, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, Targe, etc. Organize the knives, utensils, oven mitts, supplies and materials you regularly use in their rightful place. When you've finished using them, put them back in the same place. It will make finding them easier the next time you need them.

3. Clean up your work area.

There's nothing more unsightly than a sloppy cooking area besides perhaps an unclean cook. Use proper sanitation methods and keep the work area clean. Enough said.

4. Put everything in its place.

Develop a standard and adhere to it. Don't settle for the status quo. Establish a new standard of a tidy, well-kept work area.

5. Maintain the discipline to follow this routine regularly.

After you've followed the previous four steps, this one is easy. Since you taken the time to get organized, establish a regular routine for keeping things that way. Usually that means cleaning up after you've served the meal. Don't let the dirty dishes set around. It will make your guests nervous and it will frustrate you in the long run. Besides, after working all day, who likes to come home to a dirty sink full of dishes?

Read the previous article in the series.


Adam said...

#4 is my mantra .... everything in its place. Mise en Place as the French would say. I just like saying "be prepared."

Backyard Chef said...

Great stuff, Brian. I think I'm going to print all of these out and stuff them in a binder. I really appreciate the info on trailers and whatnot below, too. My wife and I are just starting to get mobile w/ our Klose (about to get a truck and trailer) and starting to do some private events-- the info in your blog is right on point for us. Keep it coming...Thanks so much-- and hope you're having a great 'summer' so far...


Pittsburgh BBQ said...

i agree, a great cook is a clean and organized cook. you need to consider that other peoples health is in your hands