Six Of My Favorite Grilling Tips
Either you love to grill or you hate it. There is no in between. I love to grill but I don’t always follow my own guidelines so I mess up. I compare it to day trading, something I tried a few years ago to some success but failed in the end because I didn’t follow the rules.
There are some simple rules to grilling that by following you have a better chance of success than if you just throw a piece of meat or fish on the barbecue. There are actually lots of different grilling techniques depending on what you are cooking and what you are cooking on but I’m going to just mention some of the basics.
I receive a lot of email from home cooks who complain they tried grilling a piece of swordfish or a New York strip steak and the results were not what they expected. They say, “Why can’t I grill a piece of fish like they do at (insert your favorite restaurant)?”
The answer is simple. You don’t grill everyday, six days a week. In a restaurant, the jobs are specialized so all one cook may do all day and night is grill. They may grill 50 to 150 items a night, day after day. I promise if you grill one item every day for a few weeks you will become a great griller at home.
Here are a few tips that may help you next time you fire up your grill. I have a lot more information on grilling at Grilling at Home.
- Numero Uno! When it comes to grilling make sure it is clean. You don’t want your steak to taste like last nights fish.
- Preheat your grill. One of the biggest mistakes home cooks make when grilling is not getting the grill hot enough. This is especially true with gas grills. One of the conveniences of cooking with gas is you don’t have to wait for the coals to get hot but more times than not we start cooking before the grate is hot enough. With a gas grill, you may have to let it preheat for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Get to know your grill. Just like your sauté pans, grills have hot spots and cool spots. You want to learn where on the grill items are more likely to burn and where other items may not cook at all.
- Prep your ingredients. Trim fat off meat, have your rubs applied, and be sure all your vegetables are cut to the right size and ready to go. You don’t want to get to the grill and be pulled away to prep.
- Stay focused. The second biggest mistake I think I make when grilling is walking away from the grill to do something else. It may be get another dish ready, pour a glass of wine or talk with some friends but this is always when I make my mistakes. Once you start grilling, stay with it and pay attention. You don’t want to ruin an expensive piece of meat for a refill.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you grill the better you’ll become at knowing when something is done and ready to serve. There are lots of timing tricks but the bottom line is experience and getting a feel for the food.
These are just a few of the many pointers that may help you become a better grill master but I would love to hear from you and read some of your favorite grilling tips.
And be sure to also check out my article 8 Tips to Grill Like a Pro