The days are longer and the weather is getting warmer, which means it’s time to fire up that grill again! Before you do, we’re here to give you a refresher on some grilling techniques. Whether you’re a grill master or new to the grilling world, here are a few tips and tricks to step up your grilling game.
Make Sure the Grill is Clean
Before you start grilling, it’s important to ensure that the grill is clean. Cleaning the grill with a stainless-steel brush, in between uses, and while the grate is hot, is a great way to maintain cleanliness as well as preventing food from sticking to the grate. Don’t forget to also clean the grill after every use to prepare for next time!
Preheat the Grill
Preheating the grill (with the lid closed) 10-15 minutes before is essential to the grilling process. This not only kills bacteria but also gets the grate hot enough to sear properly. The temperature should reach 500℉ or 350℉ for indirect grilling. A great way to check if it’s at the right temperature is by holding your hand six inches above the grate and after three seconds, the heat should force your hand to snatch away.
Let Meat Sit Out
Before throwing the meat on the fire, take the meat out of the fridge and let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to grilling. The colder the meat is, the longer it will take to grill and the longer it stays on the grill, the tougher it gets. It will also help the meat cook more evenly!
Keep the Lid Closed and Don’t Touch the Meat
While it’s tempting to check the meat for doneness, try avoiding opening the lid as much as possible. Opening the lid lets heat escape and will make the meat dry. Give food time to sear, develop a char, and produce smoky flavors. Don’t poke, stab, or pierce the meat as this will make the juices escape and make the meat dry and less flavorful. When it’s time to flip the meat, use tongs or a spatula, and try to use different utensils to avoid cross-contamination.
Sauce at the End
If using a sauce for your meat, make sure not to sauce too soon! You want the sauce to cook on the grill for a few minutes, otherwise the sauce will burn, especially if it’s a sweet sauce. It’s best to wait to sauce in the last few minutes of grilling and save the rest for serving.
Let the Meat Rest
Once you’re done grilling all your meat, make sure you let it rest (without cutting), for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Letting the meat rest after cooking will allow the juices to redistribute and settle. Cutting the meat right away will leave all the flavor on the cutting board. We know it looks (and smells) delicious – resist the urge!
Now that you’ve got some great grilling tips, it’s time to put them to the test! Check out these delicious recipes from our alum chefs to help get you started.