It’s almost that time of the year again: the season of sweltering heat, the smell of barbecue smoke, and a good cold drink are just a few months away. Grilling is a great way to prepare meals, but it’s also a great way to bond with your friends and family. So, whether you’re planning to host a socially-distanced cookout or want to make a good and healthy meal for yourself and your family, here are a few tips to make your dishes more flavorful and have everyone coming back for more.
Grilling Like a Pro
Grilling is easy, but doing it the right way can significantly improve your meals’ quality and taste. From having the proper equipment to getting the right cuts of meat, every step of the grilling process is as important as the next.
The Right Equipment
Before you can start grilling, you need a grill. If you already have one, it’s important to keep it in top condition through regular maintenance before and after the season. At the beginning of the season, you need to clean the burner, tubes, grates, and grill and burn off any grease residue.
Depending on whether you have a gas or charcoal grill, you’ll also need to stock up on fuel so that you don’t run out in the middle of your grilling session. After the grilling season, you’ll also need to clean your grill and its parts. After, make sure you store the grill properly to prevent accidents.
If you notice anything wrong with your grill, it’s best to have it checked to see if you need to repair or replace anything. In some cases, you’ll need to replace a part or two to get your grill working, and when this happens, it’s best to buy replacement parts of the same brand. For instance, if you own a Viking grill, you’ll want to make sure that you get Viking BBQ parts to make sure that your grill runs well after replacing them.
Keeping your grill maintained regularly is the key to its long lifespan, so take care of it properly, and your grill will thank you for it.
Wood is the Better Choice
A debate that has spanned for longer than anyone can remember is the best way to start the grill: charcoal, gas, or wood? However, the answer is both simple and vague: it depends on how you like your meat. Charcoal, the most common type of grill starter, makes it easier to control the heat, which is good for meats that need to be cooked for a long time. On the other hand, gas is great for avoiding mess and for those looking for a cheaper alternative to charcoal.
Wood, while a less common option, introduces you to new ways you can flavor your meat, as different kinds of wood can give off different flavors. For instance, hickory wood can give you smoky flavors, while apple wood can provide a touch of sweetness to certain kinds of meat. If you’re not a fan of additives, wood is also a better option than gas or charcoal.
Get Good Cuts
The most important aspect of grilling is the meat you choose. If you don’t pick good cuts, you’ll get mediocre dishes at best. Whenever you go shopping for meat, keep these three rules in mind:
Say No to Frozen Meat
Get fresh and not frozen meat. Make sure that the meat is still brightly colored and that it’s not leaking any juices.
Marbling is Key
If you want to end up with mouth-watering dishes, everyone will love and look for cuts with a good amount of fat. Marbling makes for flavorful and juicy meat. The fat helps keep the meat moist because it melts into the steak and keeps the juices inside. If you can’t have too much fat in your diet, you can cut out the fat after cooking the meat.
You Want Consistent Thickness
Choose cuts that are even in thickness. This makes the meat easier to cook as all parts will finish cooking at the same time. When the meat isn’t even, one part of the meat might cook before the other, and you’ll end up with partly overcooked or undercooked meat.
Season Before You Grill
Don’t underestimate the power of salt and pepper. Before you place your meat on the grill, sprinkle a good amount of salt and pepper, and you’ll be glad you did so. Seasoning before you add your meat to the grill gives you a savory crust that can significantly improve your dishes.
Don’t Poke, Grab
Remember to use a pair of tongs when flipping or moving your meat around. Poking your meat with a barbecue fork can cause juices to leak out, which can reduce your meat’s juiciness.
Grilling is a great summer activity that everyone can try. Whether you’re a meat-lover or a health buff, knowing your way around the grill will have you making delicious dishes in no time. Good luck and happy grilling!