If you are someone who loves a good, grilled meal, but often find yourself in a bit of a complex problem with understanding how to construct a delicious, grilled meal than this article may be what you need! The rules of grilling are simple once they are known, but any rookie or novice griller can easily make these mistakes without ever realizing the consequences it can produce, the rules of grilling are like a science. The science needs to be understood before one undertakes it, so that the results exceed all sorts of expectations. If you love a good delicious, barbecue meal, but your skills may not be the best when it comes to grilling, that is no problem. Everyone needs to start somewhere and the fact that you are doing your own research to begin with means that you are certainly on the right track to gaining good grilling experience and becoming the expert grill I know you can be! So here it is! The ultimate golden rules for grilling that any rookie or novice griller needs to know!
Be Confident and Take Control
Now if you are reading this article because you are grilling for more than just your family rather work friends, family, and more than I can totally understand the extra pressure to perform well. It is one thing to grill for your family, but to grill in front of people who won’t forgive your mistakes as lightly as your family would, well that is a whole new kind of pressure. It becomes even more troublesome when all your work friends and guy neighbors hustle and agonizingly analyze every single one of your moves, before you get fired with comments of how you are and are not supposed to handle the meat. It almost becomes a sort of peer pressure of some sorts. This is a mistake that sadly many grillers make! They are confident and are on the right method with grilling their meat, but then somebody has to point out that they are doing something wrong, so the griller changes their methods to fit what that person says, but it ends up being a disaster when the griller notices that the person who made the remark truly had no idea what he was talking about and now the wholesome barbeque is ruined. Don’t be that guy! Hone in on your confidence and research about whatever you are grilling and take control. Remember that this is your barbecue and you cannot let your own research and understanding of what you are doing, be clouded by your other friends and family members. Let them know that and tell them that if anything goes wrong, you will take full responsibility. But so long as you do the research and you know you got it, there should not be any reason why you would need to take their advice in the first place. Be confident in your grilling skills and trust me it will take you far!
Don’t Get Happy with the Lighter Fluid
Yes, lighter fluid may seem like a great way to get your charcoal grill to light up, but going crazy with the lighter fluid may produce a new kind of problem that you will not be able to get over. If you end up match-lighting your coals or dousing your coals in all that lighter fluid glory, rest assured that steak that everyone will be eating will be juicy with a strong scent of gasoline and lighter fluid. It is not a delicious combination, whatsoever. So, don’t get too comfortable with the lighter fluid. Instead be a chimney starter. Stuff the bottom of the grill with some old newspapers and fill the top of those newspapers with some charcoal briquettes. Once you light the newspaper, stand back and let it do its thing. From there you can be sure that your grill is lit properly, efficiently, and without a doubt your food will not taste like pure gasoline. It is just a cleaner cook all around with those chimney starters.
Handle Your Sauce Well
It is actually quite common for novice grillers to make the mistake of dousing their meat with sauce like no tomorrow and believing that doing this method will be the key to a flavorful meat. This is not the case. Grilling is not like cooking on a pan where you can let the sauce sit over the meat for a while and then it is good to go! Most of the time when you douse all your sauce over your meat in an attempt to let the meat and sauce cook together, you will end up with meat that has burnt sauce. Believe me, no one likes the taste of burnt sauce. So, do away with that altogether and keep it light with the sauce. All your friends and family will be able to thank you for that one later!
Don’t Be Afraid to Salt or Fat Up Your Meat
For some people, the thought of using salt or fat to make your meat nice and tender may sound incredibly gross and not right at all, but trust me this is a golden rule for grilling. Grilling is way more than just throwing some meats on a grill and waiting for the heat to cook them up. Like I have stated before, it is a science. And the science with how the meat reacts with salt and fat is one that you cannot ignore. So, have no fear when it comes to dealing with those two things. If you plan to have beef as your main grilling menu, then I would recommend putting salt on your beef a good couple of days before you plan to grill. Let it be put on the drying rack in the fridge for at least 24 hours. By doing this simple step, you actually allow all the moisture from the beef to come out and this creates a nice crust over the meat. After that, brush the meat up with some melted tallow (rendered beef fat). This aids immensely in creating a juicy and flavorful piece of meat and it works a lot better than butter. Plus, it is cheap to grab from any butcher or grocer so bonus!
Here is the Secret to Those Infamous Grill Marks
A sign to everyone, that the meat was cooked great and made perfectly, is when those beautiful grill marks begin to show through. I do not know when people became so obsessed with them, but grill marks have truly become the way in making any meat look ten times more appealing to eat. If you have not the slightest clue on how to achieve these delicious grill marks and impress all your friends and family, then keep on reading. It is actually a lot simpler than you would think. For steaks or burgers, do a quarter turn on the meat at the two-minute mark. Then flip the meat over after about four minutes. Then after another six minutes of the meat being on that side, perform another quarter turn and throw in any toppings of your choice. For the burger patty, you can throw on some caramelized onions or cheese. Once you have hit eight minutes, remove from the grill and enjoy those beautiful and professional grill marks!
Do Not Fall into the Temptation of Cutting Your Meat to Test It
I know that it is very common and almost innate within us, to check if something is cooked or done well by cracking it open ourselves and finding out. Do not do that! First of all, it is completely unnecessary since you have other ways of making sure the meat is grilled to your liking and second of all it makes your meat lose its appeal so stay away from this bad habit! The golden rule of grilling when it comes to figuring out when your meat is cooked is all through the skill of observation. There are telltale signs that are visible from the outside that give you a clue to what is going on with the meat on the inside. In addition, use an instant-read thermometer to help you out! That can give you quick results and help you understand what you need to know about how far along your meats are!
Watering Down Flare-Ups? A No
Another thing that is almost natural for any novice griller to do, is to squirt water on any flare-ups that occur during the grilling process. It becomes natural for us that when we see a large amount of smoke go up at once, that we need to calm the flames down by spraying out a bunch of water in hopes that it will keep those high rising flames at bay, but the honest truth is squirting water just stirs up a bunch of ash and that ends up getting everywhere on your well-cooked food. It essentially affects the quality of whatever you are cooking so I would stay away from doing that altogether! Instead I advocate that you should get rid of flare-ups by moving your food to a certain part of the grill so that the flames can calm down on their own. Once they have calmed down a decent amount, then you can proceed to put them back over the grill and continue on your merry way!
Do Not Cover Your Grill if Cooking Over Coals
If you are grilling your food by cooking directly over the coals, it is quite common for many to cover their grill altogether. This has actually been considered the number one grilling mistake that many tend to make. It is advisable that you never commit such a mistake because when the fat drips from your meat and ends up hitting those hot coals, it ends up turning into major puffs of bad-tasting smoke. Once the grill is covered, the smoke can than give your food an overall bad taste. It actually advisable that you instead build a multi-level fire where you keep your eyes on the grill and move it to the cool part of the grill when those flare-ups threaten to arise again.
Some Other Grilling Tips to Keep in Mind
- Be sure to have the proper grill tools to handle whatever meat you decide to grill
- Oil your food instead of the grill since oil tends to burn away at high temperatures
- Spice your food up at least an hour before you decide to grill, so that the the flavor can sink in
- Do not add any sort of sugary sauces or marinades to the meat on the grill because that can cause it to burn
- Be sure to keep your grill grate clean consistently so that you can prevent any sort of sticking to occur between the meat and the grill grates
- Keep the grill away from anything flammable like lighter fluid, fences, etc.
- Most importantly do not sweat yourself out. The most important part about a good barbecue is making sure that you are enjoying yourself and the time you are spending with loved ones.
These were just a few of the many golden rules of grilling that one should be aware of before hitting up the grill and gaining some more experience and skill. Grilling is like learning anything else that is new. It can take some serious practice, but once you get the hang of it, then grilling can be a very rewarding experience (I mean those foods are so insanely good!). If you feel as if your grilling needs some more polishing than feel free to do more research so that you can tackle the barbecue like a pro. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try out new meats. So long as you have the lowdown on all the tips and tricks to make your meat super delicious, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a fun and successful barbecue experience. Happy Grilling!