How do you achieve the best possible outcome for the meat you grill? The simple answer is to cook it correctly without burning but achieving it takes a bit more finesse.
Start by making sure the grill is lit and preheated before you even think about putting meat on it. Follow all the safety procedures such as hand washing between raw foods and keeping those raw foods separate from vegetables and use different BBQ utensils for cooking foods then when handling raw food.
SINK IN THE FLAVOUR
If you’re going to “dress” your meat, know that spice mixes and rubs are meant to add and build flavour to the outside of the meat. A marinade will penetrate deeper into the interior of the meat and you can further enhanced its flavouring ability by scoring the surface of the meat with a sharp knife allowing it to do so. If you’re considering marinating, an overnight “soak” will yield the best results unless the recipe states a specific time for marinating.
Careful what you use to marinate. Light olive oil and vegetable oils are best because they won’t smoke and burn the meat like an extra virgin olive oil will.
Use a non reactive container such as zip lock bag for marinading. They won’t leak and you can throw them out so there’s less clean up and no chance of bacteria transference. If you don’t have a plastic bag, marinate in stainless steel or glass, plastic absorbs what you put into it so raw meat in a marinade is not the best idea. Rub or shake off excess marinade, before you put it on the grill and you should not see an flaring or burning.
GET PLENTY OF REST
Letting your meat rest after grilling imperative to have a tasty dish. Eating directly off the BBQ makes it tough and the juices remain on the plate and haven’t had time to circulate through the meat. Allowing it to rest a few minutes allows the meat reabsorb the juices.
KNOW YOUR MEAT
Poultry is popular for its price and its leanness and often people will choose ground chicken and turkey to make burgers. Just be sure of what you are buying. Look for extra lean ground turkey and chicken, that means it won’t be ground up with skin which bumps up the calories and the fat content.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are perfect on the grill and you can avoid drying them out soaking them in a brine first. A salt brine will keep them moist and is a good alternative to a marinade. Combine 1 tablespoon of salt plus 1 tablespoon of sugar plus 1 cup of water and let them soak for 2 hours. If you’re using turkey breasts they should sit in brine over night since the cut will be bigger and likely have a skin on it. If you want to boost flavour add honey or molasses.
Cook your boneless chicken breasts on high heat for 3 to 6 minutes. If you are using bone-in pieces, grill over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. One of the tricks is to start with bone side down against the grill. And keep that lid closed, you need to stay at temperature or cooking will take longer and dry out the poultry. Want to do something a little special….get some fresh rosemary sprigs and soak them for 20-30 minutes. lay them on the grill, large enough to more than cover a chicken breast, put the chicken on top of them and the rosemary will gently scent and flavour the breast.
Pick the right kind of beef for the flavour you want. High heat brings out the rich flavour of beef. Don’t get carried away on these good cuts of meat by bathing them in BBQ sauce, all the sugar will just burn and also burn away the flavour by charring the meat before it is cook through. Marinades and rubs on good beef cuts are they ago co. If you have to use BBQ sauce only apply it at the very end of the grill session to add the flavour without the burn.
If you have a cheaper or less fatty cut of meat you can help break down the toughness with marinaded. Including lemon or vinegar in the mix will help but make sure it is countered by fruit juice, beer, wine or soy sauce along with mustard and spices.
Grilling your beef over high heat for 4-6 minutes per side on a one inch thick piece of steak will be perfection Let it sit a few minutes before cutting into it which will allow the juices to flow throughout the meat.
If burgers are you choice don’t be tempted to press down the burger while its’ grilling. All your are doing is squeezing out the juices that all the flavour to the mean and help to keep it noise.
Burgers ideally should be brown in the middle to be safe to eat. That is about 160 Fahrenheit for a medium rare burger.
A good tip to keep moisture, flavour and juices in your beef cuts it to leave the fat on during the grilling process and cut if off before serving. Then you have the benefit of the fat when grilling.
You can create the perfect fish or seafood dish every time you fire up the grill.
Because fish is delicate you have to have the right tools and handle it the right way. Fish fillets are delicate and smaller seafood like shrimp and scallops are so small, that they can be overdone quickly or you can lose them through the grates and into the fire.
Keep the skin on the fish if you are going to grill it. Your fillets won’t fall apart when you move them and the fish will stay intact. You can remove the skin after grilling but you can also leave it on for certain fish. You will get a crispy skin that is completely edible on fish such as mackerel and trout. For tougher skinned fish like salmon or halibut, remove the skin when it is finished cooking.
Basket up that fish and it won’t flake apart. Placing the fish in a basket helps keep it in place and you don’t have to flip the fish, you flip the basket so it will remain intact.
Wrap the fish in foil. Steaming fish an easy way to keep it moist. Wrapped in a foil packet made of two sheets of foil, just coat the top foil layer with cooking spray and layer vegetables or lemon. Fold up your short ends of the packet and pinch them over to seal it allowing enough room at either end for steam to cook the fish. Put the packets on the grill and cook them over medium heat about 8-10 minutes for thicker skinned fish and about 5-6 minutes for seafood such as shrimp or scallops. Be carefully when you open the packets, steam is a nasty burn so handle them with a large spatula or oven mitts to be safe.
Expert grillers know that using a wooden plank, first soaked in water for at least 2 hours means no flipping required. there is a delicious smoky flavour by grilling on wood planks that is very unique.
For shrimp and scallops. lining them up on a skewer makes grilling easier than having to cook and flip them individually.
Putting pork on on the grill? Use direct heat for sausages and chops and indirect heat for roasts and larger cuts of meat. You can marinade pork chops or use rubs. Things like pork spare ribs and baby back ribs ideally should be pre-baked and then grilled to get that irresistible smoky flavour.
If you are grilling pork tenderloin remember it is low in fat and grills quickly. If sausage is your choice for your dinner to tailgate start it off on high heat to char the outside and them move it over to a cooler part of the grill to cook through and maintain all that juicy flavour.
It’s important to cook pork thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria. Rely on that meat thermometer to ensure it is cooked to a minimum of 145°F and allow it to rest about 3 minutes.
With just a few simple tricks you can make the most of any cut of beef, poultry, pork or seafood. Flavours from the meats often enhanced by rubs, marinades and sauces can make the main dish the star dish.
Learn about the cuts of meat and time and temperature for cooking them and then you are only limited by your creativity.