Learning classic American cooking techniques is essential when you’re trying to become a master on the grill. With summer right around the corner, it’s definitely time to start cooking in the great outdoors, but if you don’t know how to work the grill, your culinary pursuits may come out less than ideal. Don’t simply settle for subpar burgers and half-cooked hot dogs, consider these five tips for becoming a grilling expert:
1. Give the grill adequate time to heat up
Eating Well notes that getting the grill hot is imperative to getting a good sear on your meat. What’s more, allowing your grill time to heat up kills germs and also makes it easier to clean before you put the food on there. If your grill has a thermometer, keeping track of the temperature should be pretty easy. For a medium-high heat wait until the grill is 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit; for a high heat wait until it is above than 400.
2. Marinate your meat
While there is such a thing as over-marinating, skipping the process altogether means your meat won’t have any time to soak up the nuanced flavors found in a good rub, marinade or sauce. Give your meat at least half an hour to marinate, but don’t let it sit for more than an hour or two or the marinade could ruin the texture, according to Better Homes and Gardens.
3. Get creative
If you’re the go-to guy for hot dogs and hamburgers, then you may naturally lean toward grilling these classics. However, a true culinary master has range on the grill, and besides being able to cook any meat can also grill veggies and sides. Try grilling up all the meat for a spicy paella or fire-roasting some bell peppers to switch up your technique.
4. Always clean before and after use
If your grill isn’t cleaned regularly, you might not get the level of heat out of it you were hoping for. What’s more, charred debris left over might cause your meats and veggies to stick or alter the flavor. As the grill is heating up, give it a good clean with a wire brush, and repeat this process after you’ve finished using it for the day.
5. Exercise patience
Country Living points out that prodding or flipping your meat too much doesn’t give it time to get a proper sear. Be patient – the less you touch your meat the better it will cook.