Basic Grilling Starter Tips
EXPERIMENT with different types of charcoal and/or temp settings for gas grilling. Always prepare a HOT & CLEAN GRILL.
FOR CHARCOAL GRILL: About 25 minutes before grilling, open the bottom vent on your grill completely. Light a large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When the top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of your grill. Set the cooling grate in place, cover it and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until it’s hot, usually about 5 minutes.
FOR GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat your grill until hot, usually about 15 minutes. Turn off 1 burner (if you’re using a grill with more than 2 burners, turn off the burner farthest from the primary burner) and leave other burners(s) on high.
PREPARE A GOOD ACID FLAVORED MARINADE WITH THE RIGHT TIMING
Meat Marinade Times:
Beef: 8 – 24 hours
Chicken: 6 – 8 hours
Fish: 1 – 2 hours
Start with vinegar or lemon juice for acid and add a spice option for flavoring. When removing meat from marinade pat until thoroughly dry with a paper towel and rub oil on surface before placing on grill.
ALWAYS DISCARD THE LEFTOVER MARINADE THAT RAW MEAT HAS TOUCHED.
PREPARE A GOOD RUB FROM SWEET TO SAVORY
My favorite rub is 50/50 Old Bay and sugar. First, use olive oil before applying any rub to meat. Rubs can be used for grilling but are generally used when smoking meats.
ALWAYS leave the fat on meat until after grilling to retain flavor and moisture.
INVEST in a quick read thermometer for best grilling results.
REST YOUR MEAT after taking off the grill for at least 15 minutes. You can tent with tin foil. The longer meat rests before cutting will allow the juices to flow back into the center for the best flavor.
CARRY-OVER COOKING should be factored in for desired doneness as the steak temperature will increase 5 degrees once taken off the grill for resting.
TIP: When you buy good quality prime cuts of beef, sometimes you may only need salt, pepper and olive oil for seasoning. Experiment!
FLANK/SKIRT STEAK – These are the best steaks for grilling. Skirt Steak is best for marinating because it is a thin cut and will retain maximum flavor. Try looking for the outside skirt steak cut, which will allow for a more tender cut. Beware of your carry-over cooking time and take steak off grill 5 degrees before the desired temperature.
Rare: 120 Degrees
Medium: 130 Degrees
Medium Rare: 135 Degrees
Medium Well: 140 Degrees
Note: Beef should never be cooked above medium.
Place meat on grill at a 45-degree angle, then cook and repeat on another part of the grill where grill grates are hot and close the grill door. Grill 2 – 4 minutes per side. Turn over and repeat this process until the desired temperature is reached with a meat thermometer. Contrary to what we think, grill marks are important and look good, but in truth they don’t add any extra flavor to the meat. Other good choices for grilling beef would be Rib Eyes, New York Strip and of course Filet Mignon.
CHICKEN – You can use a rub or marinade for the best flavor. It is better to cook whole than individual pieces. Take the backbone out and split your chicken in half for best surface coverage. It is best to close the grill cover when cooking and watch for flame-ups. Cook your chicken until it reaches 165 degrees.
My favorite BBQ Rub is ½ sugar and ½ old Bay – overnight the rub. Apply your favorite BBQ sauce at the end in the last 5-10 minutes of grilling.
SPARE RIBS – The best cut for grilling would be St. Louis Style ribs for meat lovers.
Of course you should flavor the ribs with my favorite Rub (50/50 Old Bay and sugar) and cook until 145-150 degrees. Add your BBQ sauce at the end of cooking.