Summer brings a menu full of delicious, savory, and exciting meals to make on your grill.
However, like any cooking talent, grilling takes practice and care to make the most of every meal. While anyone can wield a spatula, expert grillers have a few tools and techniques up their sleeves to make every evening spent in front of the flames that much more rewarding.
From growing your confidence with the basics to testing new waters with unique ingredients, here are four grilling tips to improve your skills this summer.
Match Your Methods to Your Meal
Every time you put something new on the grill, you face a lot of choices. Do you flip your food once or multiple times? Should you keep the grill open or close it when you’re not actively handling the food? There are a lot of different opinions about the best grilling methods, but the truth is that it all depends on what you’re making.
For example, burgers do best with minimal handling, so you should only flip them once. Steaks, on the other hand, cook more evenly when you flip them frequently. When grilling thin-cut meats and other foods with shorter cooking times, leave the grill open. For larger foods like briskets or whole chickens, a closed grill works better. Be sure to read up on and experiment with different techniques so you can find the best way to cook each delicious dish.
Invest in the Right Gear
There are a lot of grilling accessories that might seem unnecessary for what you want to do this summer. However, even the most basic tools can be a huge help when crafting your grilling technique. While experts can tell when meat is done just by touching it, a meat thermometer always makes the process easier and more reliable.
Similarly, a chimney starter is an efficient way to light your charcoal grill, so it’s worth investing in. Not only will tools like these make your job so much easier, but they’ll also boost your confidence and help you on your way to becoming a grill master.
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Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Practice makes perfect, so let yourself try new things and learn from the experience. Different types and cuts of meat require different skills to cook, so step out of your comfort zone with something new. The same concept applies to other ingredients. Try new vegetables on skewers or even get creative by grilling fruits, tofu, and other fun alternatives.
Pay attention to what you put on your grilled foods as well. Why not try your hand at dry rubs this summer? Alternatively, you can experiment with different varieties of local honey to create a sweet and spicy glaze. There’s no end to the delicious meals you can make if you have the guts—and the appetite—to try something new.
Rest Meats Before and After You Grill
While there are ways to speed up the process, one of the best grilling tips to improve your skills this summer is to practice patience. Take your time when grilling meats and other products so you can ensure the best quality results.
Cold foods are less likely to cook evenly, so let your meats and veggies sit and adjust to room temperature before placing them on the grill. Similarly, letting the food sit for five to fifteen minutes between cooking and serving allows the juices to redistribute, giving the dish a better flavor when you finally dig in.
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