Few things beat a great summer day outside with your family and friends cooking on the grill. Consider these five tips to get the most out of your grilling experience.
1. Use Charcoal for the Best Flavor
Though they can be a a bit more of a mess and aren’t quite as convenient, the simplicity and low cost of a charcoal grill combined with the superior, more authentic smokey taste make it more appealing in most situations to gas or electric grills. The cost of coals can add up, but they also offer the ability to easily pack up and take your cookout camping or to the beach without needing electricity or gas canisters.
2. Use Room Temperature Meat
A common mistake is throwing frozen or cold pieces of meat onto the grill which can cause uneven cooking, unless the food is designed to be put on the grill when frozen like some burger patties. The uneven cooking will likely lead to some parts being over cooked and some parts being under cooked, leaving a very small portion of the meat being cooked properly.
3. Allow Your Grill to Preheat
Just like you would do with an oven, it is important to let your grill get hot for about 20 minutes after getting started. Getting your grill nice and hot will help ensure an even cook and give you those great seared grill marks. This searing effect will keep in moisture as well as improve the flavor of your meat due a caramelization process that occurs.
4. Ditch the Lighter Fluid
Lighter fluid gets expensive over time, and significantly increases the risk of a grilling accident. On top of that, the fluid leaves a taste on the food that isn’t exactly desirable. A great alternative is to spend $10-$20 on a charcoal chimney starter which lets you light your charcoal with just a small amount of newspaper. These are a great way to save money and improve the taste of your meat.
5. Let the Grill Do Its Thing
While occasional flipping is okay in order to achieve evenly cooked meat, messing with the meat too much won’t give it a chance to cook and sear properly, and you will almost surely lose those great looking grill marks. This includes checking for doneness too early and often, moving things around on the grill, and over flipping.