Are you planning a big end of summer grill out? Whether you’re a veteran pit-master or a relative newbie at grilling, here are 10 tasty tips to put the thrill back in your grill.
1. Don’t Hover Over the Grill.
Let the grill do its job. Babysitting your meats only leads to blah burgers and steaks. You’ll also get a better sear if you don’t move your steak around too much.
2. Not just meat!
There are tons of other foods you can grill, from the traditional (corn, potatoes in foil packets) to the unconventional (pineapple, peaches, pizza, and sandwiches). Get creative with the kinds of food you use your grill to prepare (s’mores, anyone?).
3. For the best burger, only flip it once.
If you like your burgers with a nice sear on the outside and juicy and slightly pink in the middle (a.k.a. The “correct” way), flip it only once. Four minutes on each side should be perfect.
4. Impress your friends with a great sear.
It’s all about the sear. In order to get a good sear, give your grill ample time to get up to temperature. In order to do this, start the grill well before you start to get hungry.
5. ‘Tis the season.
Don’t be afraid of seasonings. When it comes to a delicious, flavorful steak, all you need is salt and pepper. Experiment with seasonings with chicken, pork, and even your burgers if you’re feeling adventurous. But for steak, keep it simple.
6. Give it a rest.
Whether you’re grilling steaks or brats, allow your meats to rest for 3 or 4 minutes after you take them off the grill. The meat will finish cooking and this resting will allow the juices inside to distribute evenly.
7. Clean your grill between uses.
This is fairly easy but often gets overlooked. Once you’re done grilling your food, get the grill really hot and close the lid for about 15 minutes. After that, use your grill brush and a little bit of elbow grease to get your grates ready for tomorrow night!
8. Is it done yet?
The only way to really know if your steak is undercooked or perfectly medium is to use a meat thermometer. Add this to your permanent arsenal of grill tools.
9. Don’t flatten your burgers.
For some reason everybody who’s picked up a grill spatula cannot resist the urge to smash their burgers, which releases all the delicious juices and fats (a.k.a. flavor) out of your meat. In order to get your burgers to cook evenly, hand-shape them with a dimple in the middle with your thumb and index finger.
10. Avoid flare-ups.
Here are some ways to preemptively avoid grill flare-ups: clean out the catch pan between uses, allow your grill to heat up all the way (which will also burn off excess debris), trim extra fat from your meat, clean your grill between uses, and don’t over-oil your grill. If one happens, do not use a spray bottle with water, which will only feed the fire. Instead, quickly move your food off and cover the grill to extinguish the flames.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be the most popular person in the neighborhood. Grill on.