Grilling or BBQ’ing during the summer is practically and American pastime. A bottle of ice cold beer in your hand, a few friends huddled around the barbeque with you admiring you skill and the smell of delicious food cooking over hot briquettes… what is better than that? But, if you’re having trouble making your grilling effort successful or you’re new to the art of BBQ’ing take a look at these summer grilling tips that will help make your BBQ one to remember.
Summer Grilling Tip #1: Always Marinate the Night Before
All too often the act of marinating gets pushed off until a few hours before you start grilling or not at all, and this can be your downfall. A marinated steak or chicken can bring a great deal of flavor and juiciness that can quickly make up for a lot of mistakes in other areas. Flavor is key when it comes to grilled or BBQ’ed meats, so make sure you thoroughly coat your meats at least 12 hours before cooking (shifting the meat around in the marinate at least once during that time frame) to ensure that the protein is thoroughly saturated in the rich taste of barbeque sauce, teriyaki, wine, beer or whatever you choose to marinate with.
Summer Grilling Tip #2: Oil that Sucker
If you want meat that comes off the grill in whole pieces, oil that sucker good before laying down your food. The value of a properly oiled grill should never be ignored, because if you want the praise of your fellow grill buddies the only way that is going to happen is if your food looks appetizing coming off the grill. Use regular vegetable oil, grilling spray, olive oil, whatever you like as long as it is oily enough to keep the food from still to the bars.
Summer Grilling Tip #3: Temper the BBQ Before Starting to Grill
One big mistake that a lot of people make when grilling is either putting the meat on the grill before lighting the grill or putting it on too soon before the grill has properly heated up. It is important to wait at least 15-20 minutes before putting your meat on the grill because it allows the briquettes (if you aren’t using propane) to heat up and the surrounding metal to come to the same temperature. Doing this allows the meat to cook more evenly and not only cuts down your grilling time, but helps to keep the meat from overcooking or undercooking.
Summer Grilling Tip #4: Put a Little Space Between the Food
One tip that is a must when grilling is making sure to give a proper amount of space between food on the grill. If there is a little breathing space between each of the pieces the heat won’t be able to reach all of the meat and it won’t cook evenly. You might wind up with overcooked pieces of meat on the outside and raw meat on the inner areas where everything is shoved close to the other pieces.
Summer Grilling Tip #5: Look But Don’t Touch
Sure, it’s tempting to show your prowess when grilling by flipping the burgers like a grilling master, but you really shouldn’t. If you are doing everything right, you should only have to flip your meat once and to do that you have to wait for the perfect moment. Depending on the type, size and cut of the meat, you want to give the meat a fair amount of time to grill properly on one side before you try to flip it. Test the meat towards the halfway grilling point to see if it comes off the grill easily… if it does it’s time to flip. If not, leave it alone and try again in a few minutes.
Summer Grilling Tip #6 Spray, Spray, Spray
One thing that can oftentimes get forgotten in the grilling frenzy is a timely sprits of water on a grease flare-up when the flames start licking at the meat. The reason you don’t want this to happen is two-fold: one, the flames will burn the outside portion of the meat while leaving the inner portion not as cooked as it should be… two, flare-ups on your grill cause PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which are carcinogens that can endanger your health if you inhale to much of them. So, the next time you have a flare-up have a bottle of water on hand to spray at the flames to get them back down to ensure a proper grilling routine.