The 4 Most Important Things To Do Before You Grill
Great grillers know that grill prep is just as important as the actual grilling. So before you throw your meat and vegetables on the grill, make sure you follow these four rules:
- Apply a light coating of cooking oil or vegetable shortening to your grill’s cooking grates.
The fat from the oil or shortening prevents food from sticking to your grill, prolongs the life of your grate, makes cleaning easier, and ensures that your food turns out perfectly every time.
- Preheat your grill on HIGH before adding food, and reduce the temperature before putting food on the grill.
Starting your BBQ on HIGH means that it heats up quicker, but high temperatures are often not ideal for actual cooking. The only time you should cook on high is if you’re searing steaks or other cuts of meat.
After your grill is preheated, turn the temperature down to MEDIUM for most grilling, baking, and roasting.
If you’re warming, slow cooking, smoking, or cooking delicate foods, adjust your grill’s temperature to LOW.
- Do not place frozen meat on your cooking grates.
Cooking meat directly from frozen can permanently damage your grill’s cooking surface.
While cooking from frozen may not cause food poisoning, it can affect the taste of your meal. Meat needs to be cooked to a specific internal temperature, and frozen meat will take longer to reach this temperature. While your meat is cooking internally, the outside will thaw and cook faster, and may get burnt or overcooked while your meat cooks all the way through.
Never place raw food and cooked food on the same surface (that goes for all plates, cookie sheets, cutting boards, or any other surface you might use in your kitchen). Always carefully wash all the plates, surfaces, and utensils you used to prepare meat before using them to handle cooked food.
- Trim excess fats from meat, and slit any remaining fat at two inch increments to avoid flare-ups and curling.
Fat is a major source of flavour, but it can also be dangerous on the grill – not to mention unhealthy.
When fat melts and drips, it can cause dangerous flare-ups. Trimming excess fat from your meat will prevent these flare-ups, and any burnt bits that may result.
Excess fat can also cause your meat to curl while it cooks. Cutting or creating slits in the fat layer at roughly two inch increments will give the fat the room it needs to breathe so your meat doesn’t curl.
Preparation is Key
Tasty marinades and flavourful spice rubs will only take you so far – the key to a fantastic grilled meal lies in the preparation. Simply follow these four easy steps and you’re well on your way to grill greatness!
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