Grilling Tips @loselikeaman

Posted: August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Grilling Tips from the Pros

Nine grill-master moves to make your next cookout tastier
Article By: Jeffery Lindenmuth
Grilling Tips from the Pros
Grilling is meant to be caveman-simple: Obtain meat, build fire, enjoy cheerful grunting all around. But if you want to advance your grilling game beyond its Pleistocene peak, try incorporating a few cool tricks.We asked grilling gurus to give us the easiest tiny flourishes and techniques that separate the pros from the rank amateurs.

 

Smoke, the easy way
Whether you choose charcoal or gas, authentic smoke flavor will benefit your grilled food, says Matt Goulding, coauthor of the best-selling Grill This, Not That!Smoker boxes are available in specialty stores, but all you really need is some wet wood chips wrapped in a packet of aluminum foil with holes poked in it to deliver a billow of smoke that packs big flavors and zero calories. Hickory and mesquite impart stronger flavors; apple and alder are more subtle. “You can also add flavors by putting fresh and dried herbs directly in the fire,” says Goulding. “Try rosemary sprigs with steak or thyme with pork or chicken.”

 

Use a brine to make juicy meat
Today’s leaner cuts of meat, like chicken breast, pork tenderloin and or turkey can be a recipe for tough, dried-out grill fare. According to Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible (www.BarbecueBible.com)and the new Best Ribs Ever, you can ensure maximum juiciness with a simple brine. Combine 1 quart of water, 1/4 cup of sea salt and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Soak pork and chicken in the brine for 1 to 2 hours, turkey breast for 4 hours. The salt reduces the toughness of the meat while allowing water to enter. “The result is meat is meat with maximum juiciness,” says Raichlen.

 

Always Take the Temp!

It’s amazing how few guys include a thermometer among their tools of the grilling trade, says Matt Goulding. “Pros keep a thermometer at hand to ensure their foods are both safe and juicy. Checking meat by slicing into it with a knife just lets all the juices pour out into the fire,” says Goulding. Always insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the cut. If you have an older thermometer, remember that the USDA has recently lowered the safe cooking temperature for pork to 145˚F.

Use lettuce instead of bread
Placing juicy meat on bread can add unsatisfying PointsPlus® values while reducing the flavors of grilled foods. “Follow the lead of Asian grill masters and serve small portions of intensely flavored meat, poultry, or seafood wrapped in lettuce leaves,” says Raichlen. Bibb lettuce, like that used to enjoy chunks of pulled pork topped with pickled vegetables at New York’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar, makes a pliable wrapper that adds crunch. Raichlen suggests serving a plate of these leaves to accompany sliced flank steak, cross-cut short ribs, chicken breast, or chicken meatballs

Get your steak in the mood
“The last thing you want to do is take a cold steak from the fridge and slap it on the grill,” says Tim Love, chef and owner of The Woodshed Smokehouse in Fort Worth, Texas. By the time the outside sears, the interior is often overcooked and gray. Be sure to let your steak come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling, suggests Love. Next, brush it with peanut oil before adding salt, pepper and other seasonings. “The oil acts like an adhesive to help your seasonings stick. A lot of people sing the praises of olive oil, but peanut has great flavor and a higher smoke point, so it can withstand the heat of the grill,” says Love.

Don’t crowd the grate
Flame is the enemy, to be extinguished with a spray bottle before those flames start licking at your meat, turning it into carbon. Sometimes, however, not even a spray bottle can stop the conflagration. “When you are cooking meat with fat you are going to get flare-ups,” says Love. The time to make an evacuation plan is before problems start. “A common mistake is to have the entire grill packed with meat,” says Love. No matter which type of grill you use, leave an empty cool zone for any meats that get into a hot spot. You are always better off doing batches than crowding the grill grate.

Add a pan to the program
Another way to avoid flare-ups is to use a pan on top of the grill grate. Far from cheating, a pan is actually the preferred way to cook certain foods, ideal for shrimp and smaller vegetables when you don’t have skewers handy to prevent losing them through the grate. A pan will also make juicy plancha style burgers, especially when you are using leaner beef and need to retain some of the fat. Select a skillet designed for the grill or a cast-iron pan, which is nearly indestructible, advises Love.

Let the meat rest
You might be starving, but cutting into any meat right off the grill will lead to eventual disappointment, as the juices pour out onto the plate. According to Goulding, allowing meat to cool permits the muscle fibers to reabsorb and retain the juices. “Just like cooking time, resting time depends on the size of the meat,” he says. Burgers, chicken breasts and pork chops need about 5 minutes, while thick steaks will need 10. Larger cuts, like whole chickens, pork shoulder and brisket require 15 minutes.

Grill vegetables — for later
“Grilling is a great way to get people to eat their vegetables, or add some intense flavor to a side or salad,” says Love. Grilling a few select vegetables to add to your salad creates a nice contrast of crunchy and fresh versus smoky and flavorful. Love’s favorites include green scallions, cherry tomatoes, whole heads of cauliflower and pickles. You can even try giving whole heads of romaine lettuce a quick sear.

Grill fruit — for dessert
Those burning embers that remain after your steak is finished are good for more than just toasting marshmallows. Raichlen likes to add fresh summer fruit to the grill for dessert, caramelizing the sugars and concentrating the flavors. While au naturel fruits work fine, for a small splurge he suggests piercing quartered freestone peaches with cinnamon sticks and brushing them with melted butter before grilling. Pineapple spears are delicious dipped in light coconut milk and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Grill over medium-high heat for a few minutes and serve with frozen yogurt

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