Monday, February 2, 2009

Barbeque Techniques: Two Methods to Consider

When it comes to barbequing, there are two main schools of thought for the techniques that you can use.

The first of these techniques – and the most popular method for those who grill in their back yards – is the style where the food is cooked directly over the source of heat. This way, the food is rapidly cooked on a hot grill suspended directly over the charcoals, the wood, or the gas burners. Rarely is the lid ever closed. Any foods, including the most tender cuts, hamburgers, steaks, kabobs of all kinds, chicken, and even vegetables are quickly seared and cooked to perfection using this technique. If sauces are desired, they can be added before hand, during the cooking process, or even after the food comes off the grill. These choices will all create different and enjoyable tastes and flavors.

The second barbeque cooking technique uses heat indirectly. This is more appropriate when you're cooking much larger or whole cuts of meat, such as especially thick steaks, roasts, a whole hog, or a pork shoulder. When you're cooking using this method, the food is cooked away from the actual source of heat. This usually requires a water pan of some kind in order to maintain the moisture level of the food. The temperatures generally sit in around 250єF. During this cooking method, the lid of the barbeque remains closed most of the time, and the length of the cooking is much longer than in the first method. When you're using an indirect barbeque cooker, there is usually an additional fire box that allows you to combine charcoal and wooden logs for burning. This allows the heat and the smoke to rise through the cooking chamber where the meat is, so that it is heated perfectly. The rule of thumb of this technique is a low temperature for a long time.

No matter which method you use, it's important not to cook your meat too quickly. If the internal temperature of your meat rises too quickly as you cook it, the water and the fat within it will be expelled before the collagen is able to melt. This means that your cut will be dry and tough. However, you cannot cook too slowly or you will risk a bacterial contamination. Though there is a fine line for barbequing properly, it's important to find that line and stick to it.

If you're already dealing with a cut of meat that is tough, such as a brisket or a pork roast, consider cooking slowly as the collagen adds flavor to the meat. If you buy a less tough, more expensive cut, you can cook at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. This is why ribs and steaks take such a short time to cook, while pork shoulders or beef brisket can run up to 20 hours.

As a final note, it's important to have fun while you barbeque! Your pleasure will come through in your cooking as it will leave you motivated, and willing to try new and interesting things.

About the Author: Richard Cussons is a prolific and diverse writer. You can find out more about the origins of barbeques at http://www.top-bbq.com/.

Tips on How To Plan A Harmonious Family Garden

Keeping your garden looking good whilst using it for a variety of needs is not as hard as you might think with a bit of garden planning. This article looks at a few solutions that will enable the whole family to enjoy a perfect outdoor living.

Ideally you want your garden to work for you and at the same time look good. You want to use it to relax in and also use the space as an extension to the house, for other members of the family to enjoy as well. Initially this might seem a problem; kids want to play, adults want to entertain and everyone wants to relax.

1. Identify exactly what you want from your garden.

Do you want to entertain a lot; barbecues etc?
Do you need somewhere for children to play?
Do you want a vegetable patch to grow your own produce?
Will there be a greenhouse?
Are you planning on having garden furniture?

Come up with your ownlist.

2. Design your garden accordingly

Remember there are no rules here. You have a blank canvas. Most problems arise between children playing and adults wanting to garden or relax.

a) Consider hardy shrubs and grasses that will take the odd bashing from a football.
b) If your garden is small and space is at a premium, why not grow upwards? Put climbers on a pergola. Until the plants have established themselves you can cover the sides temporarilry with sheets for shelter from the wind. Use the space inside for relaxing or eating.
c) Take advantage of plants in containers. That way you can move them at will to accodomodate various situations or when you just feel like a change.
d) Situate your garden furniture and dining area away from the potential play areas and use wind breaks as barriers. Buy weatherproof and rustproof products.
e) Try to locate your barbecue in a safe area. Consider a mobile barbecue so you can adapt to any situation and weather conditions. And get a gas controled one. Don't spend all day trying to light one!
f) Consider games that both adults and children can enjoy. Croquet is ideal, although ,make sure the kids don't take chunks out of your lawn! Show them how to play.

The best solutions are those that allow you the greatest flexibility. Try to establish the different activity elements of the garden so that in theory they can be moved around with the minimum of effort. With some pre-thought you can plan a garden that will suit all members of your family and accomodate visitors when you are entertaining. Work, rest and play all at the same time..honest!

About the Author: Paul Curran is webmaster at Gardening World featuring nature hills plant
products, including fruit
and flower seeds.
Also an extensive article library and photo album facilities for registered users.

Pregnancy Fitness After the Baby is Born

What happened to that pre-pregnancy body you once had? After nine months of your body going through numerous changes, many of which you do not like or enjoy, your newborn is here and it's time to lose the excess weight you have most likely gained. You can speed the process of regaining your pre-pregnancy shape by exercising regularly.

While it may not help eliminate any stretch marks you may have, exercise will help you regain the body you had prior to becoming pregnant. Some of the most common questions asked by new moms are: How soon can one begin postpartum exercises? How long will it take to regain my pre-pregnancy shape? And what are the best exercises to help me achieve my goals? Keep in mind one of the most critical factors that help determine the answers to these questions is how healthy you were during your pregnancy - both physically and mentally.

Have you ever wondered how celebrity moms lose their baby weight so rapidly? One of the most common reasons is because they exercise strenuously prior to and during their pregnancy. Celebrities have been known to lose up to 60 pounds in what seemed like a few days. However, please keep in mind that this is not considered as the normal time frame. These individuals are also quite careful (almost to the point of obsession) about the types of foods they eat. They are also quite able to afford personal trainers and nannies so that they can perform their exercise routines 5-7 days a week for many hours at a time.

Because most new moms have the regular everyday tasks to contend with such as work, errands, families, losing that excess weight after childbirth is not quite so easy. Hopefully you found the time and the desire to engage in some kind of exercise during your pregnancy, even on the days you just wanted to simply crawl back in bed. If you did, you will find that the process of losing that extra baby weight will be a lot easier for you than for new moms who did no exercise at all while pregnant. Exercising regularly during your pregnancy will have given you the opportunity to become familiar with what will motivate you, give you the best results, and identify the types of exercise that you find the most enjoyable.

Walking, jogging, aerobics, yoga, and many other types of exercise will allow you to lose the extra weight more quickly and you will feel better at the end of each day. Having a new baby can be an exhausting task and the simple act of exercising regularly will undoubtedly increase your energy and stamina when you need it most. Most doctors will say that it is safe to start a post-pregnancy exercise routine six weeks after the birth of your child. Walking and swimming can be started shortly after your baby is born if you do so in moderate amounts at a slow pace. Work up slowly to the more strenuous exercises to ensure your safety and reduce the risks of any complications that could arise from over-exerting yourself before your body has had adequate time to recover.

About the Author: Tina Titas is a columnist for http://www.FunExerciseVideos.com From pregnancy yoga videos to pregnancy pilates, you'll find exercise videos at a great price.