Whether you’re the type of person that consistently burns anything that goes on the grill or you consider yourself a seasoned professional, everyone has room to improve on their grilling game. Outdoor grilling is usually the first indicator that spring has arrived. Learning some useful tips will bring your grilling game to the next level, and will have family members and guests wondering where you learned them.
1. Get it Nice and Warm
Even before starting to cook anything, you’ll want to bring your meat out of the refrigerator, put it on the counter, and keep it at room temperature for a good half hour. Cooking steak should be done at a high-temperature level for a short amount of time. If your steak is still cold when you toss it on the grill, then it will take longer to cook through. The steak will get tougher with every added minute that it stays on the grill. The grill should also be preheated for around 15 minutes before cooking begins. Doing so ensures that bacteria will be killed, and your steak won’t stick.
2. Add a Good Amount of Seasoning
Adding seasoning almost goes without saying, but sometimes people don’t add the right amount of it. If your piece of meat is thick, you’ll want more seasoning. Salt and pepper are a given, and one tip is to add double the amount that you think your meat requires.
3. Keep a Clean Grill
No one wants to be grilling meat on a grill that is gummed up with burnt debris from a previous grilling session. Cleaning the grate will prevent the chances of sticking from occurring. Once the grill is preheated, use your brush and wipe off any debris. Smearing some oil over the grate is also a helpful tip to prevent sticking.
4. Try to Reduce Flare-Ups
Grill flare-ups are bound to happen at some point throughout the grilling process. When they do happen, shuffle around your food from the hotter areas to the medium heat areas of the grill. Keeping the lid shut will lower the oxygen levels under the lid, and lessen the chances of a flare-up. If you have a water bottle around, give it a couple of squirts to dampen out the flame. If things start to really out of hand, use some baking soda as an extinguisher for the flames.
5. Avoid Moving the Food Around
Before you start poking, flipping, and rearranging your food around the grill, you’ll want your steak to get a little crust on it first. Meat tends to stick to the grates if you try flipping it before it’s ready. If you want to test if the steak is done yet, you don’t want to start poking it and making cuts through it. Doing that will cause the juices inside of it to escape and will result in less flavor.
6. Timing is Critical
One of the biggest tips in grilling like a pro is the timing. A lot of people don’t realize that food will continue to cook even when it has been taken off of the grill. You want to take the food off just before it gets to the point of being done. To efficiently test if the steak is done, press a finger into it. If the steak feels like how the thick part of your thumb feels, then that means it will be rare. If it feels like the region in between your thumb and palm, that that means it is medium. It will be well done when the steak feels like the middle of your palm.
7. Invest in a Thermometer
If you don’t trust the touch method of testing a steak, then investing in a thermometer an excellent approach. This method will ensure that meat has been cooked to the right temperature, and you won’t have to worry about any bacteria.
8. Give the Meat a Chance to Rest
After you’ve taken the meat off the grill, give it around 5 minutes to sit before you start slicing into it. Doing this will let the juices seep back into the meat. For best results, you also don’t want to just put them on a plate after removal from the grill. A cooling rack is the best option so that air can reach both the top and bottom.
These simple but useful tips will increase your grilling skills and bring your food to the next level. People will start wondering where you learned how to grill like a pro.