Learn the top ten grilling tips from HandmadeTV! For more delicious summer grilling recipes, visit www.summerkitchen.tv!
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Grilling is not just for the summer anymore. Folks are grilling all year around because it’s a mouth watering way to infuse deep, unmistakable flavor into chicken steaks and chops. And nothing invokes our cowboy spirit like grilling over flames.
Grilling means cooking small prime cuts of meat quickly and directly over a hot and dry heat. Unlike barbecuing where you’re slow cooking large cuts of meat for long periods of time over indirect heat. Here are 10 tips that will make you a grill master.
Number 10-safe handling. Always handle raw meat separately from other ingredients to hold the spread of bacteria. Wash you hands, knives, and cutting boards with hot soapy water after contact with the meat. Don’t let raw meat stand at room temperature from more than an hour. When you marinate for more than 30 minutes, use the fridge and never put your cooked meat back into the dish that it marinated in.
Number 9-marinates and rubs matter. They add flavor and make the meat more tender. Mixtures with acids like vinegar or fruit juices need less time to marinate than those without. Half an hour to three hours will suffice for chicken, steak, or chops but always marinate in the fridge if it’s longer than 30 minutes.
Number 8-use the right tool for the job. Long handled spatulas, tongs, and brushes will protect your skin from the hot fire. Use tongs when flipping meat. A fork will pierce the flesh and release juices. A wire brush for cleaning is essential and a reliable thermometer is a must.
Number 7-use high heat. Pre-heat a gas grill on high for 10 minutes. If you use charcoal, the coal should burn until they’re covered in gray ash. Allow about half an hour to reach this stage. The longer the charcoal burns, the cooler they get. Hold your hand palm down about six inches from the fire and count one 1000, two 2000, until the heat forces you to pull away. Two seconds, it’s very hot. Four seconds is medium hot. Six to eight seconds, add more briquettes. Or spread the briquettes out if it's too hot.
Number 6-use both direct and indirect heat. Sear thick steaks over a high direct heat to seal in the juices and make a flavor crust. The sear creates a controlled flare up which in turn makes that smoky flavor that we love. Then, move the meat to indirect or medium low heat to complete the internal cooking after.
Number 5-control flare-ups. Flare-ups are caused by burning fat dripping onto the flames. Trim away excess fat leaving a quarter inch. Reduce the amount of oil in your marinade. When one occurs, move the meat so it isn’t directly over the coals. You can cover the grill to reduce the oxygen or dowse the flame with water from a spray bottle on a charcoal fire but not on a gas grill.
Number 4-cook with wood. For the real smoky campfire flavor, use fragrant hardwood to grill over. If you can’t find hickory or mesquite log like this in your backyard, use chips. Maple, cherry, apple, peach, pear, and grape vines, they even sound delicious. Soak a couple of handfuls in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and add them to a cast iron chip holder or to an aluminum folder packet. Put the packet directly on the heat and cover to trap the smoke. You can also add flavor by tossing rosemary sprigs or un-peeled garlic on the coals near the end of the cooking time.
Number 3-don’t crowd the grill. Dry heat needs to envelope the meat to impart the smokiness of the fire. Line the meat up with equal space all around. This also brings order to your grill and it will help you when you flip. Rotate each piece halfway through the cooking to create real marks. Only flip it once.
Number 2-know when it’s done. Grilled meat should have a nice brown flavor crust but not be charred black. Charring creates carbon or carcinogen. Steaks an inch thick need five to seven minutes per side to reach medium. Pork chops need about the same. It’s always best to use an instant thermometer on steaks more than a half inch thick. Medium rare steaks will have an internal temperature of 145 and medium should reach 160. Chicken should be cooked all the way through with a temperature of 160 to 170. All meat should rest for five to 10 minutes when they come off the grill. Cover the meat loosely in foil. The meat will continue to cook and the internal temperature will rise several more degrees. Resting also helps the meat retain its juiciness when sliced.
But the number one tip for becoming a grill master, grill your vegetables. The sweet juices caramelized on the grill infusing them with even deeper richer flavors.
For more delicious barbecue recipes, visit summerkitchen.tv.