With summer in full swing, give your oven a break and take advantage of the opportunity to cook your meals outdoors. Firing up the BBQ can be intimidating for some, but here are ten tips to lead you in the right direction for grilling success:
1. Preheat your grill and keep the temperature just right! In an interview with Cityline.ca, celebrity chef and grilling guru Rob Rainford notes, “You must make sure that your heat source is not completely on high, but not completely on low either.”
2. Have your tools on-hand. – Make sure you have everything close by before you start grilling. You don’t want to be running back to the kitchen to get a pair of tongs while your steaks are burning.
3. Marinate. – “Marinades can help you out with flavouring, they can also help to break down fibre,” Rainford 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.”
4. Maintain, maintain, maintain! – Cleaning your barbeque is key. It’s important to take care of the grilling surface by scrubbing the grates at least once per barbeque season. It takes off burnt soot, and allows you to re-grease your grates for optimal use.
5. Grease it up! – By oiling your grates, you prevent food from sticking to the grill – especially fish – and it helps with post-cleanup, too!
6. Grill now, sauce later. – If you brush your sauces on during the cooking process, the sugars will burn up by the time the food is ready to be removed from the grill. As a rule of thumb, wait until your food is almost finished cooking before glazing them.
7. Lid up on the veggies. – The lid on the barbeque traps moisture and smoke which can negatively impact the vegetables’ crunch and flavour. If you’re grilling vegetables, keep the lid up to prevent a rubbery texture. The lid should only be kept down for large winter squashes and potatoes.
8. Timing. – 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.
9. Let cooked meat rest. – This allows the meat to redistribute all the juices (flavour) back to its connective tissues. The end result: a juicier, more tender piece of meat.
10. Don’t feel intimidated! – 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 various cuts of meat that require longer cooking time and more monitoring throughout.
Rainford told Cityline.ca that, “We live in Canada, so we have literally three, three-and-a-half, maybe four months of this type of weather. While you have the opportunity to outdoor entertain, you do it.”
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