Memorial Day is this weekend, and there’s no better time than now to polish up on your grilling technique! Here are some of our tips on how to become the grill-master at any summer barbecue:
Season Before Grilling
Just before putting meat on the grill, sprinkle on a generous amount of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. This will not only form a savory crust, but will also take the meat’s taste to the next level.
Keep the Grill Clean
A clean grill promotes better cooking and also prevents food from sticking to it. Before the grilling begins, scrub the hot grate with a wire brush, then rub it with a paper towel dipped in oil. For light, between-meal cleaning, rubbing a face-down half onion while the grill is still heated does the trick!
Fluctuate the Heat
Different foods require different grilling temperatures, so get familiar with your grill’s three cooking zones: hot, medium and low. For large roasts or tougher cuts, like brisket, apply low (covered) heat to cook all the way through. For foods like chicken, sausages and corn on the cob, apply medium heat to cook evenly. Place thin steaks and thinly sliced vegetables on high heat for searing purposes.
Grill Your Side Items
The grill is not just for protein anymore. Vegetables – and yes, even desserts! – can utilize the dry heat of a grill to intensify their natural sweetness. Tender vegetables, such as bell peppers and onions, should be placed directly over the coals, while starchy vegetables, such as sliced potatoes, should be placed as far from the coals as possible. Wrap a whole peeled pineapple in tin foil for a fabulous dessert!
Take Advantage of Tongs
Tongs – rather than a barbecue fork or knife – are crucial when moving meat around on the grill. Forks and knives poke holes in the meat that can allow precious juices to drain out. Unsure about the meat’s doneness? Simply make a small slit with a knife.
Let the Meat Rest
Don’t serve meat right off the grill! If you do so, it will taste tough and dry. Allowing time for it to “rest,” covered with tin foil will allow the meat’s muscle fibers to contract, which will drive the juices to the center of the cut. The result? A tender and succulent slab of meat!