10 Tips for Beginner Grillers
Summer is the season for grilling. In our opinion, there's no better way to cook than over a fire, be it charcoal or logs. So grilling is a no-brainer! If you're just getting started with grilling, don't worry. Grilling isn't as hard as it seems, at least to get started. Here are 10 tips to help keep you on the right track.
- Clean your grill - Not only does this get rid of old food, but it helps keep your food from sticking to the grate. Use a quality grill brush to clean your grate once your grill is preheated.
- Only move/flip food when necessary - You should only have to turn your food one time. If you continuously flip and move the food, it won't caramelize and get those perfect grill marks you're after. You should also avoid squishing down foods if you feel they aren't cooking fast enough. This will cause a lot of the flavorful juices to get burned off.
- Room temperature foods only - In general, food will cook much more evenly if you allow it to come to room temperature before you grill it.
- Don't char larger pieces of meat - Bigger pieces of meat, and bone-in meat may take longer to cook. You have to be careful not to let it char the outside. Some charring is good, but too much will cause a foul taste. The trick with larger pieces is to allow them to cook on indirect heat, or better yet, pre-cook them in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the meat.
- Always let meat to rest - You've probably seen this on every cooking show in recent history. Once your protein is cooked and off the grill, you have to let it sit for 5 minutes or more depending on the size of the meat. This will keep the juices from running out when you slice it.
- Undercook your proteins just a little - Once you take your cooked protein off the grill, it will cook for another few minutes. If you've got a meat thermometer (*which we highly reccomend) you'll want to aim for a temperature that is about 3-5°F below your desired temperature when you take it off the grill. After your protein has rested, it will be cooked to perfection inside.
- Keep your lid on - You'll have to resist the urge to constantly check on your food. Keeping a lid on the grill will allow the food to cook more evenly, and help to keep the grill grate at the correct temperature.
- Use a timer - Keeping track of everything you're cooking can be tricky. A timer will help you stay on top of everything.
- Be careful of flare-ups - A few flare-ups are to be expected, especially when cooking fattier foods. If you get too many though, it can overly char your food. If you find that you're getting a lot of flare-ups, try moving your fattier foods to indirect heat.
- Don't use lighter fluid - Sure, it's easy to use lighter fluid to start up your grill. It evaporates into the air, and it can even get into your food while you cook. The best way to start your grill with charcoal is to use a chimney, or other more natural fire-starters.