5 Expert BBQ Tips from Midwood Smokehouse to Kick Off Summer Grilling Season

With May as National Barbecue Month and summer temperatures on their way, Midwood Smokehouse provides their pitmaster's top tips for drool-worthy BBQ. 

Guests will gush about your grilling skills after you use Midwood Smoke Pitmaster Matt Barry's BBQ tips.


Lake days and summertime soirees are almost ready to shine as Charlotte weather heats up in preparation for the summer solstice's official debut on June 21. But there's no need to wait until then to get out your grill master gear—summer or not, it's grilling season. May is National Barbecue Month, which means the time for perfecting your grilling skills is right now.

Though we believe every self-proclaimed grill master is no less than a true master of meats, we do also believe in consulting experts for their input. That's where popular Charlotte barbecue restaurant Midwood Smokehouse comes in today. If Midwood Smokehouse is delicious enough to open multiple Chartotte-area locations in Birkdale Village, Park Road Shopping Center, Ballantyne, and Plaza Midwood—even one in Columbia, S.C.—then surely the FS Food Group-owned restaurant has opinions on how to do barbecue right. And, given their success (and mouth-watering brisket), we're willing to wholeheartedly trust their tips.

Giving us his best tricks and tips for succulent, savory grilled meats, Midwood Smoke's pitmaster, Matt Barry, goes over everything you need to know to be regarded as the most skilled grill-tender in the Triangle (or, at least, within your close-knit group of family and friends). 

Get those tongs ready for action.

Midwood Smokehouse Pitmaster Matt Barry. 


BBQ Tip #1: Low and slow is the way to go

You may have heard the phrase "low and slow" before, and for good reason. This method of smoking and grilling yields the best flavors. Barry says, "Be patient... I like to smoke meats at home while I'm doing yard work so I can keep an eye on the fire, but I'm not in a hurry to eat."


BBQ Tip #2: Don't peek!

Bouncing off his tip about doing yard work while his meats smoke, Barry reiterates the importance of patience when barbecuing: "Every time you open the pit or smoker, you lose heat, resulting in longer cook times and uneven cooking." He says, "If you must know what the meat is doing at all times, use a probe thermometer."


BBQ Tip #3: The better the meat, the better the 'cue

"Always use the best quality meat you have access to," Barry says, noting that you should never use frozen meat. Additionally, make sure the meat has some fat on it. Fat equals flavor, according to Barry. "For example," he says, "look for fatty cuts of brisket, and know that the fat easily renders under heat, causing the final product to be extremely moist."


BBQ Tip #4: Marinate lean cuts

There are few things worse than a dried out pork tenderloin. Don't let that be your fate. Though fatty cuts produce more flavor, there are still times when leaner cuts of meat are preferred. When grilling a leaner cut of meat, be sure to marinate or brine it first—this will help keep the moisture in.



BBQ Tip #5: Get rid of the gas

Barry says you should always use either wood or charcoal as opposed to gas. "Cooking with wood dates back to ancient times and gives better flavor to the BBQ," he states.

The only thing better than getting exclusive expert grilling tips from a Midwood Smokehouse's pitmaster is learning how to grill in a hands-on environment. If you're still iffy about your grill skills, Midwood's Park Road Shopping Center location (540 Brandywine Road, Suite C) will be hosting an American BBQ 101 cooking class on June 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets will be sold on Eventbrite.

Midwood Smokehouse has also rolled out a new cocktail list and Knob Creek whiskey-glazed Baby Back Ribs to celebrate National BBQ Month, so hurry into your nearest location to taste these festive additions. Visit the website to see their main menu and learn more about one of Charlotte's hottest barbecue joints.