KOWALSKI’S SEVEN SECRETS FOR SUCCESSFUL GRILLING
Whether you’re a seasoned old pro or afraid to even lift the lid, we’re sharing a few simple tips that will change your grilling experience for the better! Read on to learn how to ensure your backyard barbeque best:
1. Preheat your grill properly. Gas grills need an average of 15 minutes to heat to high. For best results, always heat fully to high, and then adjust the heat down if needed. If you’re using charcoal, wait until all the briquettes are white and ashy before moving them around.
2. Clean your grill completely and at the right time – When it’s HOT. In most cases, a grill is hottest after it has been preheated. Doing it after your food is cooked might work, if the grill is very hot and if getting your food to the table doesn’t distract you. You will need to give stuck-on foods a few minutes to burn off (which is why doing it after preheating is preferred).
3. Select the right foods for grilling. Proteins with a lot of connective tissue that require a slow cooking over low heat and/or a longer cooking time (like roasts) aren’t well suited to grilling. Neither are delicate, flakier fish with very little natural fat. Try firmer, naturally fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sea bass or Mahi Mahi.
4. Oil: The grates or the food? That IS the question. If oil is required (not usually the case with burgers, steaks, sausages, chops, ribs, marinated chicken or tenderloins, etc.) it isn’t terribly critical, but do oil the grates when cooking fish. Several swipes over hot grates with a paper towel dipped in (but NOT dripping with) oil until they are shiny should suffice.
5. Turn your grilled foods properly. For foods less than an inch thick, one turn is usually sufficient. In the case of fish, you may be able to cook it without turning (useful for delicate and/or skin-on fillets). Turn thicker, bone-in cuts evenly. Only turn foods when they release easily from the grill.
6. Temp your foods! This ensures not just doneness, but is critical to preventing OVER-doneness.
7. Rest proteins to maintain moisture and allow for carryover cooking. Even thinner chicken breasts and burgers will increase 5 degrees after they are removed from the heat. Thicker foods and bone-in pieces will increase an average of 10 degrees. Remove steaks, chops, ribs, chicken, fish, etc., and cover with foil for at least 5 minutes. Thicker, bone-in cuts and whole tenderloins can rest 15 minutes or more and still maintain their heat.
More tips and tricks:
~Brining is a great way to maintain moisture in certain cuts and proteins, but it is most popular with chicken and pork. Most any protein can be brined in a solution of 1 gallon water mixed with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup salt. As little as 20 minutes is effective with pieces of chicken and fish. Pork benefits from as little as 30 minutes.
~Rub and marinate for added flavor.
~Grill directly over the heat source (the flame in the case of a gas grill, hot coals in the case of a charcoal grill) unless indirect heat is specified.
~Sauce at the proper moment. Avoid sugary sauces too early in the cooking process. If you must put in on while your food is grilling, do so near the end of cooking time or wait until you remove the food from the grill, before it rests. Sugary sauces burn quite easily and may cause sticking (not to mention they are a pain to clean up).
It’s time to strap on the apron and grab the tongs because it’s grilling season. Whether it’s a charcoal, gas, electric grill or a smoker you’re thinking about purchasing, here are a few that might be the perfect fit for your Man Cave!
-Weber Performer Platinum
The Performer Platinum Grill features an exclusive Touch-N-Go gas ignition system that ignites charcoal briquettes with the push of a button. Especially handy is an LCD countdown cook timer with a large readout . The timer attaches to the grill or can be easily removed if you’d prefer to take it inside or keep it with you. The grill’s classic porcelain-enameled bowl and lid with a One-Touch Cleaning system and high capacity ash catcher make clean up hassle free. Storage options are plentiful with the CharBin storage container which protects your charcoal from the elements and the built-in Thermoset work table that provides a great work surface for preparing your next grilled masterpiece. Also features a wire bottom shelf, no-rust aluminum vent and a glass-reinforced nylon handle.
-Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg stands alone as the most versatile barbecue or outdoor cooking product on the market, with more capabilities than all other conventional cookers combined.
Grill – Sear the perfect steaks, pork chops or burgers on the EGG. High temperature “steak house” grilling, even at 750 degrees, is quick and easy! Using the two dampers for accurate control, you can lower the heat to a more moderate temperature for other grilled foods. Fish and seafood turn out moist and tender with a flavor-packed crust unmatched by other grills.
Oven – Using the indirect cooking method with a Plate Setter, the Big Green Egg bakes bread, pizza, casseroles, cobblers and pies better than your kitchen oven. The Big Green Egg retains heat and moisture so well that foods don’t dry out! Poultry, lamb, beef and vegetables are naturally tastier because the juices and flavors stay locked inside.
Smoker – The insulating ceramics of the Big Green Egg allow you to precisely control the temperature even at low heat. A controllable 200 to 350 degrees gives succulent results with turkey, ham, lamb, chicken, ribs or any of your favorite cuts, infusing them with the aromatic wood smoke flavor.
-Vermont Castings Signature Series
As experts in the field of cast iron, Vermont Castings delivers the finest quality cast iron, porcelain-coated grates. Cast iron helps to redistribute heat to create more even cooking, consistent temperatures and restaurant-style sear marks for beautiful presentation. The reversible grates are durable and easy to clean.
For healthy cooking, the stainless steel sear plates are designed to redirect grease and juices away from the flames distributing heat evenly across the entire cooking surface for optimal temperature control.
Available on all of their grills, the EasyFlame Ignition System that uses a single source to ignite every burner, ensuring that each one lights safely and consistently, avoiding ignition flare-ups. Unlike most other grills, you can light any burner the first time for ultimate convenience.
With up to a total of 990 square inches of cooking space on the 523 Series, you can fit more at once on this grill. You can sear steaks on one side while grilling vegetables at low temps on the other side. Perfect for family gatherings or parties.