Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer – and the official start of grilling season. As temperatures warm up and the sun sets a little later, it’s time to fire up your grill. Whether you’re just getting started or a self proclaimed grillmaster, we have some tips to get you grilling like a pro.
1. Preheat & Clean Your Grill
Warming up your grill is essential to warm up your grate and also prevent food from sticking. To do this, heat your grill with the lid closed for up to 15 minutes or until the temperature under the lid reaches 500º. If bits of food have stuck to your cooking grate, clean it with a stainless steel brush once the grate is hot. This will prevent more food from sticking. You can use cooking oil or spray to help with this.
2. Prepare Your Ingredients
Bring your ingredients to room temperature before cooking them on the grill. Don’t put cold meat from the refrigerator straight onto your grill – plan ahead and give it about 30 minutes to sit on the counter or anywhere at room temperature first. Remember to avoid cross contamination of raw and cooked foods. Always refrigerate food while marinating, too. To brown your meat and poultry evenly, pat it down with a paper towel to remove moisture before grilling.
3. Time to Grill
Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible! This keeps the grates hot enough to sear the food, speeds up cooking time, and prevents the food from drying out. It also prevents flare ups that can burn your food. A closed lid helps to trap in the smoky flavor that develops when fat and juices vaporize in the grill. Avoid overcooking your food by monitoring time and temperature using a thermometer and a timer. Be patient – resist the temptation to turn your food often. This will allow it to caramelize and brown.
4. Let Your Food Rest
Once your food is finished cooking, rest it on a clean platter tented with foil for about 10 minutes before carving. This helps the juices in the meat to reabsorb what it lost during cooking and redistribute evenly. Last, but not least… enjoy!