July 31, 2012 by burkej09
Grilling can be as easy as building a fire and putting meat or vegetables over an open flame with a grate so the food doesn’t fall into the flame. However, there are some tips and strategies that make grilling worth all the while. Whether you’re using charcoal or gas, here are some tips to turn out good food on your grill and avoid burning your house down.
1) Get a good, high-quality thermometer with probe attachments. You can’t rely on bi-metal thermometers. You should know the temperature of your oven (grill) and the temperature of your meat. How can you cook if you don’t know what the temp is?
2) Keep your grate clean. Cleaning your grate after each use keeps your food clean and prevents your food from sticking.
3) Put the finished product on a clean plate. Avoid cross-contamination! Do not re-use anything that touched raw meat. Cross-contamination can kill you! Be sure to wash your hands after handling any raw meat.
4) Wait until the last few minutes of cooking to put barbecue sauce and extra marinade on. Sugars from the sauces burn up quickly and will char your food more than you desire.
5) If you use a dry rub or marinade, apply it at least a half hour before grilling. Let the flavors from the spices sink in. More importantly, let the salt penetrate the meat. Anything you keep out more than four hours needs to be stored in the fridge.
6) To prevent your food from sticking, apply oil to your food. Oil can burn up at hot temperatures so putting it on the grate could be useless.
7) Learn how to cook low and slow. Practice with your grill without food and see if you can get it told between 225 and 250. Another temperature you should practice reaching is 325. The 225 temperature cooks the meat evenly to the middle, and the 325 temperature sears the meat and creates the brown crust we all know and love. You should cook low and slow and then sear your meat over direct heat at the end to caramelize the sugars.
8) Do NOT undercook your meat! If you’re unsure, slice it open in the middle and check. You can always rely on a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is safe to eat.
9) Avoid flare ups! Trim excess fat from the meat ahead of time. Let the grease burn out in the grill when you are done. Avoid spraying the grill with water, this can make your situation much worse. Move the meat and the let the flame die out.
10) Grilling takes practice!