Grilling meat (steak, chicken, hamburgers, pork loin or chops) on a gas or charcoal grill can be a bit tricky. My husband used to overcook steaks every time and I, on the other hand, always undercooked them. Then one day while my good friend Denise was visiting, she gave us a few tips and oh my goodness, what a difference!
Who knew that just a few little tricks would make such a world of difference? She is truly a master griller. So, in honor of National Grilling Month, I’m going to share her secret tips with you.
Prepare your meat. Start by bringing your meat to near room temperature. Fresh meat is always best when grilling, but even if you have frozen meat, you’ll want to bring it to room temperature. But with frozen meat, start by thawing it in the refrigerator first, then when it’s no longer frozen you can set it out for up to about a half hour prior to grilling it.
Rub your meat with an olive or avocado oil and season lightly (salt and pepper work well, but you can experiment with other seasons if you like).
Prepare your grill. If you didn’t clean it the last time you grilled, be sure you do it now. You don’t want remnants of whatever you last grilled contaminating your new creation.
Get the grill as hot as possible and use a sturdy metal brush to clean the grates. If you have a “searing” setting on your grill, go ahead and set it there once your grill is clean.
Cook your meat. Once you put the meat on the grill, leave it alone. Don’t be turning it every minute trying to get an even coat…you’ll want to sear the meat enough that when you do try to turn it, it easily lifts off the of grill.
If you used the “searing setting” leave it on that for only about two minutes, then turn the grill down to a medium high heat. If it doesn’t lift off easily, give it a little more time. And only turn it once! Use a set of tongs to turn your meat, don’t pierce it with a fork, as the juices will then be released.
Testing doneness. Chicken and pork should always be cooked to well-done, but when it comes to beef; steak and hamburgers you don’t have to cook it to well-done.
Some people actually like to hear their steak moo. But for the ultimate guide on testing doneness, you should learn the “hand” technique. Your friends are going to wonder how you get it perfect every time!!
MOST IMPORTANT PART. When you take your meat off the grill, put it on a plate or platter and cover with foil for five minutes. That meat has worked hard now let it rest.
Even the lowly ole’ hamburger should get a rest after coming off that hot grill. Same with chicken. All the meat gets covered with foil. It will continue to cook a little during that time, so just let it be as it works its own magic. Denise says,
“This is the true secret to the perfectly grilled meat.”
Once it’s ready you’ll want to pair it with some wonderful vegetables from your garden or the local farmer’s market.
A lovely spinach salad and baked sweet potato make a perfect combination for your steak. Chicken loves broiled Brussels Sprouts, onions, and carrots. As for the good old American hamburger, my mother’s potato salad steals the show, but you may have your own favorite paring with your hamburger.
Enjoy and don’t tell everyone the secret, let them just think you’re amazing!!
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