As we come to the final long weekend of the summer, for many of us it’s one of the last times we’ll get to enjoy grilling outside before the cooler weather begins.
And while fall is ramping up with the start of Pumpkin Spice Latte season, it means savoring a warm day or night with the sweet smell of barbecue in the air.
Clean Your Grill
This goes without saying, but a clean grill will let your meats cook without sticking. Use a grill brush to remove any residue from a previous grilling session. Doing while the grill is slightly heated will make it easier to remove any remains.
Get the Temperature Right
Make sure you let your meats sit for 20 or 30 minutes prior to throwing it on the grill. The colder the steak or burger, the longer it will take to cook. And the longer it is exposed to heat, the tougher it will be.
Don't be shy with the salt, pepper or your rub of choice. Seasoning will bring out the steak's natural flavors and juiciness. The best grill masters suggest using twice the amount that you think you need.
Keep It Still
Don’t constantly flip or poke your meats. The fewer times you do the better. Moving your steak or chicken before it’s ready will cause it to stick to the grill. It’s also best to use a spatula or thongs when you do flip your items. Don’t flatten your meat as that will remove the fat, which means your food will be less juicy.
Avoid Flare Ups
Speaking of flattening your meat, that’s what often leads to flames to flare-up and char your food. While flare-ups may happen without your own doing, it’s wise to keep a spray bottle of water nearby to put them out without interfering with the heat.
Use a Meat Thermometer
It’s hard to tell if meat is done just by looking or touching it.
So a meat thermometer is a handy tool to have so no one gets sick. While the proper temperature varies with the size and shape of your meat and desired degree of doneness. Don’t tell your rare and medium rare-loving guests, but the USDA recommends steaks be cooked to 145 degrees (medium).
Don't Overcook and Wait to Serve
Meat continues to cook off the grill so it’s wise to remove your food from the heat before it’s reached its desired level doneness. Also let your meats sit for five to 15 minutes before slicing into them to let all the juices settle back into the meats.