Summers are all about outdoor grilling on your favorite backyard grill for great summertime entertainment with friends and family. Whether you use a charcoal grill, a gas one, or even a smoker, make the most out of your sought-after and precious outdoor grilling time with some expert grilling secrets.
Make use of some of the below mentioned conventional and yet undiscovered tips and grilling secrets to make use of your grill to its full potential.
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- Prep food beforehand and preheat your grill
This is one of the biggest mistakes grillers make when organizing BBQs. Not pre-preparing enough food before guests arrive makes you have a lesser enjoyment time with them. Don't be more equipped in preparing, chopping, and basic cooking rather than grilling!
Don’t forget to preheat your griller for almost 10-15 minutes before adding your food. With all your burners on high, the temperature under the lid should reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit to loosen any food previously stuck onto the grill and later brush it off with ease.
Note: Preheating lets you clean the heating grate along with a wired brush, for sanitary reasons and non-transfer of one dish's taste to the other.
- Seasoning and marinating is the key
Whether you are grilling veggies or meat, seasoning and marinating form the crux of the grilled foods. Big, thick meats need almost double the seasoning as you think they would need. And marinating the meat keeps it moist and tender while it is still being grilled. The same goes for veggies as well.
For seasoning, you can use oil, salt, pepper, and some herbs. While for marination, use yogurt, spices of your choice, some vine and/or vinegar, and some herbs.
- Soak wooden skewers before to avoid burning
If kebabs are on your BBQ menu, don’t forget to soak your wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 mins or an hour before putting them onto the griller to avoid burning. And if you’re using metal skewers, then wipe them with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to not get food stuck on them!
- Don’t squeeze or flatten your meats
We know that the sound of that sizzling flame when pressing your burger patties or chicken is tempting. But on squeezing, you’re squeezing the flavor and moisture out of it as it’s the juicy flavor of the fat that causes that flame to burst!
- Don’t uncover the lid to check temperature repeatedly
Grilling on a backyard griller means going low and slow. If you’re looking into it too much, then it ain’t cooking. Check at least after an hour or so to mop your meat with a sauce and check temperature via the thermometer.
Note: When checking for doneness, don’t repeatedly stab, pierce or poke into the meat as it will make the juices escape, making it drier and less flavourful. Yet again a grilling secret at your disposal!
- Keep the food a little undone
Food continues to cook in the heat even after removing from the flame, off the grill. So remove it before it has reached its stage of complete doneness. This will help it cook in its own heat without being over-cooked. This also lets the juices redistribute themselves through the meat.
Note: Check with a meat thermometer for correct internal temperature.
- A spare spray bottle for flare-ups
Flames from your backyard griller’s grate can charge your food unpleasantly. So keep a water-filled spray bottle handy with you to dampen those flare-ups without interfering with the heat.
Note: Don’t over-spray due to obvious reasons!
- Glaze for the gloss
A glaze gives a glossy shine and a subtle flavor to your cooked food. Melted jam glaze works great for both sweet and savory food items. Brush your food with some glaze, either when it is off the grill or just when it's cooking ends.
Note: Buttering your steak up once off the grill adds a lot of flavors and lets your guests guessing about the distinct taste. This will not only act as a glaze over your steak but will also give that added flavor and moisture to your meat. Now you know the grilling secret chefs follow!
- Go easy on veggies
BBQ nights are not just about meats, but veggies as well for some. Lightly coat your veggies with olive oil before grilling, to avoid them drying out or sticking to the grate. You could also marinate your veggies in the same marinade as that of your meats for that added saucy and rustic flavor.
- Direct or indirect cooking? Which one to go with?
If the food takes less than 20 mins, go for direct cooking else indirect. Smaller pieces of chicken or any other meat like breasts and thighs are best grilled directly. While whole chickens or turkey or ham cook well when grilled indirectly.
And here we end our mini guide to some of our expert tips, tricks, and grilling secrets for a wholesome and perfect experience. But do ensure that you have all the requisite tools and proper installation of your grill.
Some of the tools besides the actual grill you might need:
- A wire brush for cleaning the grate
- Aluminum foil, if not a brush
- A thermometer
- Spray bottle
- Stainless steel, non-reactive bowls
- Skewers and grill pan
All of the above are optional as you can make around with anything and everything at your disposal. The Alfresco 30-inch insulating jacket for ALXE grills is a perfectly sized enclosure for a safe installation of your backyard grill.
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