Few things taste more like summer than food cooked outdoors on the grill. It just seems to call for friends, laughter and celebrating being together.
Here are some favorite grilling tips from our expert friends:
- Use the Right Equipment…
- A pair of tongs for arranging food on the grill and flipping it when needed. To avoid losing juices during turning, always flip your meat or vegetables using tongs or a spatula, rather than a fork.
- Good quality paintbrushes from the hardware store to baste meats while grilling. (Pastry brushes are fine but more expensive.)
- If you are looking for that ultimate list of grilling gear, (maybe for Father’s Day inspiration), Epicurious helps out.
- Preheat your grill.
If using charcoal, let the flames die down until the briquettes are white around the edges and glowing bright orange.
- Make it Smoky.
For great smoky flavor, soak some wood chips (hickory, oak, or other hardwoods but not treated lumber!) in water, then throw them onto your charcoal and cover the grill. You can add smoky wood to your gas grill too, here’s how from Derrick Riches.
- Keep it Clean.
After your grill is preheated, use a brass-wire brush to scrape the charred remains of past recipes off of the grate. (If you don’t have one of those metal brushes, you can use some balled up aluminum foil for a disposable scraper.)
- Don’t flip out!
Ideally, you should flip each item only once during the grilling process.
- Protect the Juices.
Don’t press down on burgers or chicken with a spatula while they’re grilling. This squeezes out the juices – the wonderful stuff that gives those meats such great taste! (It also forces fat onto the fire which may cause the flames to suddenly jump up.)
- Be Patient.
Don’t start testing the food the minute you put it on the heat. This includes picking it up to see if it’s done on the bottom, moving it around, and turning it over every ten seconds. Put the food down and give it a chance to cook. This will also allow it to sear on the bottom so that it doesn’t stick.
- Give it a Rest.
Do let meat and poultry rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. You may feel like the food is getting cold, but actually it’s still cooking. Cover it up with foil and let it rest for at least 5 minutes so the juices can be evenly distributed.
- When in doubt…
it’s better to under cook than over cook. You can always put food back on the fire if you need to.
Let us know how your grilling adventures go! What are your favorite grilling secrets of success?
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