Summer Grilling Tips
On the MenuThursday, July 02, 2020
Summer is now in full swing, and that means many of us are firing up that backyard grill. If you are shying away from grilling, or just want a refresher course on the basics of grilling, Thursday Food shares tips for excellent summer grilling.
1. Start with a clean grill. Don't let salmon skin from the night before impart a fishy char flavour to your pour. Use a sturdy metal brush to clean the grates in between uses. (This is easiest when the grill is hot.)
2. Don't move the food around. In general, the fewer times you flip something, the better (once is ideal for most meats). If the meat is stuck to the grill, let it cook more — it will unstick itself when it's ready for flipping.
3. Don't squeeze or flatten meats. Yes, I know that burst of sizzling flame that comes from squishing a burger with a spatula is tempting. But you know what is creating that flame burst? Fat. And you know what fat is? Juicy flavour. Don't squish meat, because you will squeeze out the taste and moisture.
4. Keep a spray bottle handy for flare-ups. Flames are not your food's friends — they will char it unpleasantly. Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy; this will allow you to dampen flare-ups without interfering with heat.
5. Buy a meat thermometer. Unless you are a very experienced cook, it is hard to tell meat's temperature merely by touching it. (Here's how to do it: Touch the meat. If it's soft like the flesh between your index finger and thumb, it's rare. If it's soft like your cheek, it's medium-rare, and if it's firm like your forehead it's well-done.)
6. Avoid putting cold foods straight on the grill. Letting meat come to temperature on the counter for 30 minutes before grilling will help it cook more evenly. (If you are looking for a rare sear, however — like if you're grilling tuna, for example — then chilled is the way the go!)
7. Undercook foods, just slightly. Carryover cooking is a real thing — food continues to cook after it leaves the grill. You can expect food temperature to go up about five degrees after leaving the grill, so plan accordingly.
8. Rest all meat! Allow the meat to sit undisturbed (and unsliced!) for five to 15 minutes after cooking, as this will allow the juices to redistribute. The bigger the piece of meat, the longer the rest time. Resting meat is an important key to juicy results.
9. Don't over-char to cook through meat with bones. No one wants to eat meat covered in thick, black char. If you have thicker meats with bones, such as chicken thighs or legs, cook them on high heat to get a nice crust, and then move to lower, indirect heat on the grill. This will allow the meat to cook through more slowly without overcooking the outside. Or, consider par-cooking the chicken in an oven for 15 to 20 minutes before grilling. Also great to precook: Ribs!
10. Keep it simple when serving a crowd. Managing numerous cook times for different proteins and veggies can easily become stressful, and it can result in errors and overcooking. Keep the protein options down as much as possible, and offer variety in some interesting side dishes, sauces or condiments.
Easy BBQ Baby Back Ribs
This is an easy recipe for ribs which won't be tough, like smoked ribs, or fall off the bone, like braised ribs.
1 cup mesquite chips, soaked
1 2 pound slab baby back pork ribs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chilli powder
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1 cup barbeque sauce
Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect heat — a pile of charcoal on one side, nothing under the food. Once it is going, throw some soaked mesquite woodchips on it.
Remove the membrane from the ribs if the butcher has not already. Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, chilli powder and thyme; rub onto the ribs. Cut the slab of ribs in half.
Place the ribs over indirect heat, and close the lid. Cook for 20 minutes, then brush with barbeque sauce. Cover, and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
Information from: www.foodnetwork.com & Recipe from: www.allrecipes.com
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