Summer is a great time to prepare your grill for your favorite dishes. Indeed, you can grill various food items, whether it’s vegetables, fish, or meat. Statistics indicate that about 75 million grills are owned by US households, indicating how popular this cooking method is. Although grilling is exciting, taking note of proper techniques is essential to get the best results. Here are a few things to consider.
Cleaning your grill
When preparing meals, you must be hygiene-conscious to prevent food poisoning. That includes not just the food items but the cooking equipment as well. Even with a newly-purchased grill, cleaning it well before using it for the first time is necessary. You must adequately wipe the surface before the use of not-so-new grills. Doing this can help prevent potential fire hazards and ensure food safety. A National Fire Protection Association reported that 19% of home fires resulted from improper grill maintenance. Fortunately, you can avoid that and simultaneously protect your home and health. Remember to remove any leftover food residue, debris, or grease from your grill after using it.
Marinating your proteins
Whether you are grilling a thick piece of salmon, a sirloin steak, or a block of tofu your food needs help to taste good. You can do this easily by marinating your proteins. You can use bottled BBQ rubs, gourmet seasoning blends, or your marinade recipe to boost the flavor of your protein and tenderize it at the same time. If you are grilling a tougher piece of meat you may want to add a brine or fruit juice that has enzymes to soften the meat fibers. For a delicate piece of fish olive oil and a herb blend always work. With tofu, a soy sauce base marinade is always tasty, don’t forget to add some ginger and garlic for some extra bite!
Preheating your grill
Just like an oven needs preheating before baking, the grill usually requires the same. The purpose of preheating the grill is to ensure that the food cooks evenly and also to reduce the risks of undercooked inner parts. That is particularly important if you’re learning how to make smoked beef tenderloin. Preheating will ensure that the outer parts of the meat don’t get cooked while the inner portions are still raw. More importantly, preheating also helps kill any existing bacteria on the grill. Usually, 15 – 20 minutes is ample time to prepare the grill before placing your food items on the grates. Some people prefer up to 30 minutes of preheating, especially because some bacteria can survive in high temperatures for up to a quarter of an hour.
Use a meat thermometer
Cooking meat to the proper temperature is crucial to avoid foodborne illnesses. It is why you cannot avoid using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat. Usually, the outer portions of grilled meat will cook quicker than the internal parts. The question now is how to determine the right temperature for different meats. A US Department of Agriculture report says beef, pork, veal, and lamb must have an internal temperature of 145°F. It’s also the same temperature value for fish.
On the other hand, poultry must be 165°F. Admittedly, not everyone uses these temperature values due to various reasons. Some people prefer to use their experience to determine that the inner portions are cooked.
Let your grilled food rest before digging in
After you’ve finished grilling your food, digging right in is tempting. However, letting your meat rest for a few minutes before cutting it has benefits. Grilling experts say this part is needed to allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender meal. Cover your food with foil and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. While waiting, you can clean your grill to while away the time. While the surface is still warm, you can easily scrape off pieces likely to dry when the grill cools. When that is done, you can now enjoy your meal.
Are you a fan of cooking outdoors? These tips ensure you get the most delicious results after correctly grilling your food. Do you have any more tips to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Until our next rendezvous …