The smell of spring is in the air. Gone are the days of cold winds and snowy driveways. With spring comes flowers blooming, warm weather, and outdoor get togethers. And what is essential to any outdoor get together? Hamburgers and hot dogs of course! The grill is the natural hub of a summer party as it allows the party to continue through meaktime. However, if the food doesn’t meet your guests standards, they may not be back next time. Here are some helpfull tips to insure that the food meets the quality of the company.
Choosing Your Meat
While hamburgers and hot dogs may be fan favorites, you may be able to wow your guests with a little variety in your barbeque. As far as meat goes guests often appreciate the option of white meat in the form of a grilled chicken breast or a turkey burger. Also, it is always considerate to have salmon and veggie burgers on hand for those with religious or dietary restrictions. If the classics are your preference then be sure to choose a ground beef with relatively high fast content (80-20 or 75-25) as it makes a juicier and more solid burger. It also may wow your guests to offer specialty brauts, my favorite is the pineapple braut!
Make or Break it with the Seasoning
Seasoning your meat can really unlock the flavor within the meat but be careful to match your seasoning with your meat and never overseason! Salt and pepper can be an appropriate addition to almost any grill item however some chefs like to get a little fancier in this area. Garlic salt can have great results on burgers and chicken. Lemon pepper is delicious on chicken and fish. Have fun with the combinations, but never try anything new on anyone else’s food–you have to try your new combinations! Don’t forget to lay off on the salt and pepper if your are going to add these specialty seasonings.
The biggest mistake you see in the cooking of meat on the grill is lack of confidence. Make sure to give your item sufficient time on one side then flip it once and only once to cook the other side. Any more than one flip only drains out the juices and gives you dry and tasteless meat. This does not mean you need to eat your meat rare though. If you like it well done then cook it that way, just be patient with the first (and only) flip!
Stay out of the Spotlight
Most grills don’t have a completely even distribution of heat. You may notice before placing your meat that the flames are the biggest in one specific area. Your impulses may tell you this is the best spot for your burger however this may produce a burger that is burnt on the outside and pink and cold on the inside–far from ideal. So find the colest spot on the grill for an even cook right? This strategy won’t work either as you will be waiting for hours for the meat to cook through. The solution is to follows the advice of goldy-locks and her porridge– Not too hot, not too cold– pick the one that’s just right.
Don’t forget your Veggies
You may think the grill is only suited for meat but you can make some great vegetable side dishes on the grill that compliment the main course. Obviously there is the classic of corn on the cob. When preparing corn be sure to wrap it in foil as it takes a while to cook through and the foil protects the outside from burning. Peppers can also turn out great on the grill. Just be careful to keep them out of direct heat as they also burn easily! My favorite summer vegetable for the grill however is sweet potatoes. Cut them up into fries and add some garlic salt and they will be the hit if the party.
While bad food may stand to ruin an outdoor get together, great food can make your summer bash one that will not he forgotten. Follow these tips and have fun with it and you will be able to dazzle your friends. Grilling is easier than it looks if you know what your doing.