#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.
You left out probably the most important thing in grilling like a pro tips. Since nearly everything is done to a stage or (doneness), a thermometer for internal temp is required to ensure tremendous success. With a thermometer a novice can actually cook a 2 lb rib eye to perfection better than a restaurant. I'm finding out at my over middle age that nearly all people that grill get lucky if they happen to cook with success and do not use such a simple tool.
That's a good point that a gas grill will only get as hot as it's rated in btu's. Charcoal lets you control the heat more directly. You can also take charcoal wherever you go.
G. Stephen Jones
Good points Larry. Thanks for sharing.
Some great points - especially "don't play with your food". That was one of the things I had hard time with when I started grilling. I would get worried it was burning so I kept moving it around, flipping, etc. Just leave it be! 🙂
If you haven't ever tried Porter & York Brand Meats, you might want to give it a try. They ship their meat out in special packaging designed to keep the fresh, never frozen, beef that has been raised naturally (grass fed, grain finished). I was able to cut one of their filet mignon's with a fork. Delicious.
I'm planning on getting my husband a new grill pro for his birthday. So thanks for the suggestion that he should use some oil or something else to grease up the grill unless what you're cooking has already been using oil for something. I'll be sure that the hamburgers and hot dogs we make on his birthday with his new pro tool are cooked on an oiled up grates.
I am getting my husband a grill for his birthday and I wanted to include some tips with it so he can learn how to grill like a pro. These are all wonderful tips! I didn't know about grill zones before! That's cool that you can get direct heat and indirect heat to help cook the food. Thanks for the tips! I'm sure these will help my husband cook like a pro!
G. Stephen Jones
You are welcome. I'm sure he will be thrilled with his new grill.
Wonderful points especially on grilling techniques. Surely using charcoal is more convenient in managing the heat transfer, but both have advantages and disadvantages. thanks for sharing.
G. Stephen Jones
You are welcome Hilmy.
One reason to not use olive oil is that it smokes/burns at a lower temperature than Canola or Safflower.
Thanks for your tips about how grease in the middle of the trap can make it a lot harder and making sure that the grill is clean can be really useful in making sure that there is better heat. I have been trying to cook more for my kids and I really want to make a great BBQ and learn how to do it with ribs so that we can have a great dinner. Getting some better equipment from a professional could be really useful and help me understand how to do some better cooking.
Thanks for letting me know that it is easier to cook barbecue on a gas grill. I've been serving vegetable meals to my kids for the past few weeks and they requested for spicy barbecue for next week. Aside from practicing my grilling skills, it would be a good idea to look for a condiments store that sells good hot sauces that they would love.