With the warm days of mid-summer come the delicious flavors of grilling and outdoor BBQ cooking. However, most people really don’t know how to grill properly, often making mistakes that turn great cuts of meat into rubber. So, kosher.com, the premier site for cooking, recipes, how-to videos and more, are here to help you with are all the things you need to know to turn yourself into a barbecue master!
1) Don’t overcrowd the grill. Don’t make the rookie mistake of favoring quantity over quality. Yes, everyone is hungry, but by crowding that meat you are compromising on the best part about cooking over open fire: the crust. Cooking in shifts might take a little bit longer, but no one will be complaining when they bite into the steak you just grilled perfectly.
2) Don’t jump the gun. The enemy of mess-free grilling is a cold grill. If you’ve just turned the fire on and are itching to get going, DISTRACT YOURSELF. Defer to the nearest toddler for inspiration on messes that take 10 seconds to make and 10 minutes to clean, because you’ll need at least 10 minutes to heat a gas grill and 20 to heat a charcoal grill. We repeat: heat the grill fully before you start cooking, or your food with stick so badly, you’ll want to throw your grates out and start over. Be patient. It will be worth the wait.
3) Skip the sauce. We know, it’s called barbecue sauce. Ignore that compelling logic and avoid using sugary sauces at all cost. You’re so great at grilling that you don’t need to hide your meat behind sweet, heavy sauces that coat your grates and cause ugly flare ups. Use spice rubs to flavor your meat, and if you MUST use a sauce, use it only at the very end.
4) Menu Plan. We get it, you’re gaining confidence and embracing your inner grill master, and that’s awesome. Do yourself a favor though, and plan for some non-BBQ items on the menu. It’s a good idea to make sure you have some food that can be cooked indoors or prepared in advance, so you don’t overwhelm the grill, or the griller. If you’re entertaining, having food that’s ready to go right away will take a load of pressure off, so you can man the fire, stress free.
5) Start with a clean machine. But seriously, even if your grill isn’t a machine (aka, charcoal, for the purists out there), making sure your grates are clean before you get started will help you avoid any fiery accidents or food that sticks to the grill. Invest in a new grill brush whenever you see loose bristles.
6) Leave the lid alone. Have some confidence in yourself. You are well on your way to grill mastery, so don’t stop now! After searing your food on the hot section of your grill, move it to the cooler section and close the lid. Don’t peek, either. A watched steak cooks unevenly
7) Let your meat rest. You did it. You cooked a steak that is so beautiful, it rivals any Instagram photo you’ve seen all day. Fight all urges to slice into it for at least 10 minutes. Yes, ten whole minutes are necessary for your meat or chicken to rest before you start cutting! The juices that got released during cooking need to redistribute in order to give you a juicy, flavorful protein. Skipping this step WILL result in dry meat.