Grilled To Perfection

It's BBQ season and we asked grill guru Rob Rainford for a few secrets.

Few things scream summer more than a backyard barbeque.

Celebrity chef Rob Rainford recently shared his grilling secrets with, and the key is monitoring your heat.

“You must make sure that your heat source is not completely on high, but not completely on low either,” he says. “Depending on what you want to do, you have to determine, ‘How am I going to grill?'”

Think about what you’re cooking, the host of Licence to Grill explained at a recent rooftop barbeque event. When it comes to meat, tender cuts should be cooked for a short amount of time at a high temperature. Tougher cuts will take more time and should be cooked over lower heat.

“Number one, if it’s tough, it’s got to be low and slow. If there’s no connective tissue, like a beef tenderloin, you can do it high and fast. As long as you’re familiar with the territory: high and fast, low and slow, you’ll be happy,” he notes.

Anyone familiar with the George Brown College-schooled chef knows that he loves a good marinade. He explains that letting your meat bathe for a while before cooking it doesn’t just impart flavour, it helps break down tissue on tougher cuts of meat.

“Marinades can help you out with flavouring, they can also help to break down fibre,” he says, adding, “If you want to infuse more flavour, you introduce smoke. Smoke is the best thing you can possibly think of — adding wood chips.”

There’s no need to feel intimidated at the grill. First-timers should go for something nice and easy that doesn’t require much finesse — whether that’s burgers, a simple striploin steak, or some grilled vegetables. Then you can venture into Rainford territory, with various cuts of meat that require longer to cook and more monitoring throughout.

At the rooftop event, Rainford tempted the tastebuds of those in attendance by marinating and grilling a leg of lamb, and a beef tenderloin (recipe below). He explains that the social aspect is key to a good barbeque. Invite your friends and family and let them share in the fun.

“We live in Canada, so we have, what, literally three, three-and-a-half, maybe four months of this type of weather,” he says. “Today we lucked out, look at how gorgeous it is. A little windy, but we are loving it. While you have the opportunity to outdoor entertain, you do it.”

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak

1 1/2 lbs Beef tri-tip steak
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

4 tbsp Bombay Sapphire gin
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 orange, zest only

The Rainford Method:

In a self-sealing plastic bag, combine the gin, olive oil, garlic, onion and orange zest to make the marinade. Place the steak in the bag and marinate it in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium, approximately 350F (180C).

Bring the tri-tip steak up to room temperature and pat dry any excess marinade using paper towels. Season it with olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Place the steak over direct heat and let sear for five minutes, then move it to the indirect heat for 15 to 25 minutes. For best results, remove steak from the grill when the meat reaches an internal temperature of 125F.

Note: If you prefer to cook your steak longer, keep in mind that the meat will get tougher the longer it stays on the grill.

Serves 4.

Original recipe by Chef Rob Rainford.

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