5 Tips on How To Become a Pro Grillmaster
The grill, often hosted in backyards or patios and exposed to the open air, has an element of wildness to it compared to all other cooking methods. From the crackle of flames to the sizzle of meat on the rack, you don’t just master the grill— you tame it.
Whether it’s burgers or ribs, or zucchini and asparagus, each meal comes with its own set of rules on how to be perfected. That’s why, when it comes to grilling, we’ve narrowed down five tips you should take to heart.
#1. Before You Even Get Started… Forget the Grill.
Yeah, we know— these are five tips to help you become a grillmaster, but before you even hit the ignite button, you have to make sure whatever you’re planning on cooking is prepared properly. We’re talking marinades.
While a marinating your meat is always a good idea, it’s especially important when it comes to grilling. Grilling meat dries out meat faster than other cooking methods, which is expertly countered when meat has been marinating for over six hours (we recommend up to 20 hours, if you have the patience).
When it comes to choosing your marinade, feel free to get creative whether you’re using teriyaki sauce or lemon juice. Don’t forget your seasonings and spices too, as the heat can activate their flavor well before it’s time to eat.
#2. Unlike A Cast Iron Pan…..
Your grill has a natural flavor that is not in anyway enhanced by leftover, burnt up meat. Make sure to scrape your grill clean before every grilling session (you have no idea how many people neglect to do this.) Want a crazy cleaning idea you didn’t really ask for? Try giving your grill a coffee bath. By this we mean, brew up a pot of coffee, dip a rag in your brew, and wipe down the grills. Strong coffee is extra acidic and does wonders for eliminating flavor-impacting bacteria and grease.
#3. The Right Tool For The Job.
Knowing when to use tongs, a spatula, a skewer, or a big ol’ grill fork is essential and makes all the difference in serving quality food. The wrong tool can ruin the composition of your meat (like using a fork with a burger; relax, we know you’re better than that). Learn about the meat your serving and what’s recommended before even turning your grill on.
#4. Know Your Grill.
Every grill is different, and most grills have specific heat zones you need to learn and keep in mind. Certain meat cooks better on the hottest part of the grill (like burgers, for example) while other meat like chicken and fish can become too dry in the same place. Unfortunately, getting to know your grill takes a bit of trial and error. It’s safe to assume however that the outermost side of your grill (facing you) are the coolest, and are where you should place veggies or toast buns.
#5. Obey The Meat.
Remember that marinade we made you make? About halfway through the cooking process, dribble (or lather if you have a brush) the remaining marinade onto the meat to both hydrate it and re-bolden its flavoring. This is especially essential for chicken and fishes that tend to dry out quickly. While grilling, it’s important to only turn your meat over once or twice throughout the process. This is especially important for burgers, namely because you want the heat to reach the center of your meat, and flipping and flopping too much can cause it to cook unevenly.