Summer time is here, and that means it’s time to heat up the grill. Nothing tastes better this time of year than a hot, juicy hamburger, steak or hot dog fresh from the grill. To help you achieve culinary grilling greatness, try these top grilling tips.
First and foremost, think safety. Always position your grill a safe distance from your home with nothing obstructing its ventilation–never under an overhang or awning. Also, keep a fire extinguisher accessible. Plus, you should make sure your grilling surface is clean of any previous foods.
Next, be sure to preheat your grill on medium-high heat. In addition, apply a light coat of cooking oil so food will not stick to the cooking surface. A great technique to accomplish this? Use a cloth towel dipped in cooking oil to swipe the grill grates and other surfaces. A paper towel can serve as a substitute if necessary, but make sure no paper debris is left behind.
When it comes to what you’re grilling, always purchase the best quality meats and vegetables for cooking. While preparing food items, make sure to season everything. Start with a minimum of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and consider marinades and dry rubs. However, be careful not to go overboard; you just have to give the food something to enhance its flavor.
Not sure how long to wait? As you grill more, you’ll find what amount of time achieves your desired cooking temperature. Until then, consider these guidelines: For chicken, use your tongs or spatula to press the meat. If the juice runs clear, it’s done. Do not cut into the meat while it’s still on the grill. This prevents an accurate read, and dries it out if it has to cook longer.
For both meat and chicken, invest in a good meat thermometer. Insert it per the instructions (usually in the thickest part of the meat away from fat) for the most accurate reading. For hamburgers, the recommended internal temperature should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit. For chicken breasts, the recommended internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For steaks, look for an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare, 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium and 170 degrees Fahrenheit for well done.
Finally, when you’re ready to take up the food, place it on a fresh, clean platter–never the same plate you carried it on while raw. Be sure and allow a few minutes for the food to rest, he said. This will allow the natural juices to redistribute throughout the product.