1. Get the Right Tools
Grilling like a boss means having the right tools to do the job simpler, faster, better. Choose the right tools, get the job done, faster, easier and better.
Use tongs these to turn your meat on the grill. They are gentle on the meat and won’t poke holes into it causing it to overcook and loose its flavour as you would if you poke meat with forks or slit meat with knives.
Don’t trick out your grill with useless gadgets, customize it with things that make a difference in your performance and results.
A Perforated Grill Plate is ideal for cooking fish and vegetables. Love grilling so much you would like to make every meal on it? Well you can. A griddle plate is great for cooking pancakes, eggs, bacon etc. Add some front and end Shelves to make a convenient work surface close to the action and a side burner for sautéing and keeping sauces hot and you’ve got more of a kitchen than just a grill.
Things like grill clips can be used for grilling smaller vegetables like asparagus which can slip through the surface and into the fire. Bundle the smaller items together with grill clips to avoid that catastrophe. Kabob Baskets will keep your kabobs in order and grilled like a champion.
If you want to get really serious you might consider a rotisserie package. This heavy duty add on to accommodate loads up to 200 lbs. Adding accessories such as Wind Guards help control heat loss when you’re preparing a number of items on the grill and trying to keep them all at proper temperature.
2. You Got the Tools Now get the Recipe for Success
Get Some Good Recipes. It’s a simple as that. Whether they are complex and take hours or a simple old school tried and true basic recipe, producing good food means starting with a good recipe.
Know how the heat of your grill effects your food. Dry heat intensifies a vegetable’s natural sweetness. You can grill tender, water based vegetables, such as bell peppers and onions, directly over the coals. Dense or starchy vegetables like sliced potatoes or eggplant should be cooked with indirect heat, as far away from the coals as possible.One of the simples tricks for flavour is BBQ sauce. And not the store bought kind. It’s so simple to make your own sauce or marinade. Use fresh herbs with a little oil to add flavour.
3. Make your Grill Your Canvas
Master grillers know that presentation is just as important as flavour. Grill marks are an art. You can’t get them by turning your steak over and over. Grill your steak for 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness) and then rotate it (using your tongs, remember) 90 degrees. and you’ll achieve those commercial looking grill marks.
Aligning food on your grill in a neat row will help you track which foods went on the grill first and which have to come off first. It will help you remember which to turn and when to turn them and when to take them off. People watching you grill won’t miss how professional your grilling looks and you’ll be more confident on timing.
4. Keep your cool
Bringing steaks to room temperature is a bit tricky. A good griller is always aware of food safety so if you want to leave your steak in the fridge until just before putting it on the grill there is arguably no significant difference in cooking time. Improve a lesser cut of meat by covering it in salt about an hour before you grill it.
You might have heard that salt “bleeds” the juices out of raw meat, master grillers know the truth. Salt helps steaks form a savoury crust as they cook. Just before putting the steaks on the grill, sprinkle on a generous amount of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Another quick tip – a quick freeze will get you that steakhouse quality crust we all are mesmerized over at our local restaurant.
When meat is grilled its muscle fibers contract. This drives the juices to the center of the cut. Its why you should not serve meat right off the grill and why it could end up tough and dry. Letting the meat rest for 5-10 minutes after it comes off the grill will allow the muscle fibers to reabsorb the juices. This makes the meat more. For larger pieces of meat such as pork shoulder or a leg of lamb allow the meat to rest longer than you would a steak.
OK, so steak is not for everyone which means you have to have other options. Chicken is second on the list of most popular meats to cook. But how do you know when chicken is done? Grillers give us this tip, the last part on the whole chicken to finish cooking is always the joint between the leg and the thigh. The way to check to see if its perfectly grilled is to simply twist a chicken leg with your fingers. If the leg doesn’t move it isn’t done. If the leg spins it has cooked too long. What you are looking for is somewhere in between like a slight tension and then a release of the joint.
Chicken pieces grill differently. While breast meat is popular, it dries out much quicker. Chicken thighs will produce a deeper, richer flavour because they can withstand the dry heat on your grill and still retain enough moisture. Dark meat has more fat so to save some calories, remove the skin but leave those bones in.
Don’t forget your bold sauces and rubs to increase that flavour. Plan on grilling hotdogs for the kids or for economic reasons? Cook em like a boss. Achieving a perfect spiral is possible but you need to know how to cut the dog before it goes on the grill. Spiralling a dog increases the grilling surface and enhances the flavour and many competitive grillers use this technique for control and flavour. It also gives you more surface for adding toppings and who doesn’t love condiments? Marinating your dogs may sound strange but incredibly it is a real flavour enhancer. Find a good recipe and use it.
5. Clean a Grill with a Simple Coffee Bath
Unless your grill is brand new there’s a really good chance there are some other foods that have left some unwelcome flavours behind on those grates. You need to get those grill grates clean. A few minutes at high heat and then a strong scrubbing with a grill brush will get them clean and ready for use. Most people spend a lot of time scrubbing their grills with steel wool. There is an easier way.
Give them a bath.
A coffee bath.
Coffee is acidic so works great for cleaning up grease and bonus – it’s about as hands-off as cleaning a grill can be. Brew a full pot of coffee. Pour it into a basin and soak your grill grates. (You can also throw in those BBQ utensils) Let them soak for about 60-75 minutes, give them a quick scrub; rinse with warm water and those grills should be good as new.
Keep these few tips in your bag of tricks and start using them and you’ll be a Grill Master in no time. the art of a true champion takes years of trial and error to perfect. From tools, to recipes to method, a true Gril Master knows that his or her greatest advantage is the willingness to experiment and fail and stand up to grill another day.