After marinating, the next step is to apply some barbeque rub on the meat. Rubs are seasoning mixtures rubbed on meats before grilling to add some extra flavor. These can either be applied exclusively or after marinating. All Things BBQ offers over 100 types of both sauces and rubs.
Trimming the Meat
Another useful tip that Cary recommends is trimming off the fat prior to cooking. You will want to remove excess fat on steaks, chops, and chicken pieces. The reason for trimming your meat is due to the fact that excess fat is prone to burning while on the grill. The meat and remaining fat will provide more than enough juices during cooking to flavor the food.
Once your meat is marinated and the excess fat is trimmed off, the next step is to make sure you cook the meat properly. According to Cary, a common mistake that people with little grilling knowledge make is over-cooking their food and drying it out, losing much of the flavor and tenderness of the meat.
When grilling steaks, Cary recommends searing the meat. The process of searing requires you to place the meat directly on a very hot grill (approximately 500 degrees). When you sear a steak, you are removing the outer layer of water that is present in the meat while sealing the rest of the juices in the steak. Begin by placing the steak (1 ¼” to 1 ½” thick) on the grill surface and allow it to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Next, rotate the meat 90-degrees, to obtain professional looking grill marks, and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Finish by turning the steak over and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to determine how long to cook the meat based on its texture. Naturally tender cut meats, such as steaks and chops, should be cooked faster, at a higher temperature. Meats that are thinner, such as flank steak and brisket, should be cooked longer at a lower heat in order to prevent dryness.
In order to make sure that the meat is fully cooked, an instant read thermometer is an essential tool to have while grilling. Cary recommends using a RT301WA super-fast pocket thermometer or a thermapen by Thermoworks. Insert your thermometer into the thickest part of the meat for the best results. An internal temperature of a steak should be 140-degrees and a chicken breast should be 160-degrees.
The last critical step in grilling is to remove the steak from the grill and place a loose fitting foil tent over the steak. Allow the steak to rest for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on size. This process allows the meat to release the juices throughout the steak.
Proper Cleaning Techniques
Cary says that one of the most common mistakes that people make while grilling out is not adequately cleaning the grill, before and after using it. Prior to grilling, you should first apply vegetable oil to your grill. Brushing on the oil helps to keep meats from sticking to the grill.
Grills must also be cleaned completely after every use. The best way to clean your grill is to clean it while it’s still hot. Use a wired brush to scrub off any remaining food particles. It’s much easier to clean the grill while it’s still warm than before the grill cools and the food hardens.
So when you’re grilling out this summer, don’t forget these simple grilling tips. They will help you turn your meat into a professional tasting meal.