#4. Get Your Ingredients Ready For The Grill
There will be times when all you have to do is season some steaks with salt and pepper and throw them on the grill, but did you remember to take them out of the refrigerator 15 to 25 minutes before you start grilling? Grilling foods, especially meats, is much more efficient when they start out at room temperature.
What about brines, marinades, and rubs? Are you planning on using any or all of these techniques? Brines are popular now. The idea is to soak poultry and lean meats like pork in a salty solution to help them hold their moisture resulting in juicy, tender food.
How long you brine your ingredients depends on what you are cooking but remember to rinse off the brine before cooking, or you may end up with over-salty results.
Marinades are used for tougher cuts of meat, so think of meats you will be grilling on indirect heat. Marinades usually have an acetic element like wine, vinegar, fresh herbs, and spices. Oil is another popular ingredient used in marinades.
Depending on the cut of meat, marinades can work in as little as 30 minutes, but most times, you'll do better if you marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Rubs are blends of spices and herbs applied to foods before grilling to give them more flavor. If a liquid is used like an oil, it is called a wet rub; otherwise, if no liquids are added, it's called a dry rub.
An excellent example of a popular rub is Cajun rub which might include pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Like a marinade, rubs can be added 30 minutes before cooking or the night before so the spices can permeate the meat.
So depending on what you are cooking and what you plan to use to add extra flavor, remember to plan ahead so you're not scrambling at the last minute.