Mouth-watering barbecue. Photo by Peter Hellebrand.


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PHYLLIS HASKINS, who teaches and writes on the fine art of barbecue, is the co-owner of Teddy Bear’s BBQ in Monroe, Washington. She and her husband Konrad have won more than 70 awards in BBQ competition since 2002. To study BBQ with the masters, e-mail Phyllis.



June 2006
Updated May 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Meat & Poultry

How To Make Barbecue

Page 3: Four Cardinal Sins Of Barbecue Cooking


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Four Cardinal Sins of BBQ: Mistakes To Avoid

No matter what you read elsewhere, or what you’re told by trusted friends, promise us you will not transgress by:

  • Using Charcoal Lighter Fluid or Match Light® Charcoal. Lighter fluid will impart an off flavor to anything cooked over it. We use a charcoal chimney with great success. It’s a very fast, clean way to light charcoal.
  • Boiling The Meat. When you boil meat you are making stock and the flavor stays in the water. The boiling of meat was a technique pushed by magazines starting after World War II, to make sure the meat was thoroughly cooked when grilled over high heat. Learning to cook with indirect heat and instant-read digital thermometers has rendered this flavor-robbing technique obsolete.
  • Bronco Bob'sSaucing Raw Meat. Most barbecue sauces are high in sugar. Using sauce early normally results in an unappetizing black carbon crust sometimes referred to sarcastically as “perfect caramelization.” The best way to get flavor into the meat is with a spice rub and/or marinating. Sauce is best left for the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Clock-Watching And “Sneaking a Peek.” Cooking great barbecue is different from following a cake recipe. The meat is done when both the desired internal temperature and tenderness are achieved, not when the timer goes ”ding.” Cooking with indirect heat greatly reduces the chance of burning; constantly lifting the lid means the temperature is constantly dropping. We often hear horror stories of meat taking forever to cook; almost always it is caused by constant lid-lifting.


Continue To Page 4: Cooking Barbecue Chicken

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