The weather is warming up every day, and any chef worth his knives can tell you what that means: grilling season. But unlike stovetop or oven cooking, learning to grill like a masterchef can come with unexpected challenges, from sudden weather changes to inconsistent flame heat. Luckily, some of the world’s best grillmasters are here to share their secrets. With a little help, everyone will be flocking to your back deck this summer.
Handling The Heat
Bobby Flay is one of the grilling scene’s founders. The former star of Food Network’s Grillin’ And Chillin’ with Bobby Flay, the chef has spent more hours around the grill than almost anyone else. His first pro tip: feel the heat. A properly preheated grill should be so hot that you can’t hold your hand over it for more than two seconds. If you can tolerate the heat emanating from your grill, it isn’t hot enough to cook yet.
Master Your Meats
Another key face in the grilling world is chef Tim Love. Love has mastered the best cooking styles for a wide variety of meats and offers some key insights. For love, any primal cut that you throw at the grill should be at least an inch thick, while ribs – commonly parboiled before being put on the grill – should skip the boiling and be put in a braise before they go over the flames. Boiling will dry them out and make them tougher rather than more tender.
Don’t forget to marinate your meats before grilling for extra flavor. Choose a marinade that will hold up to the barbecue’s heat and fire, such as this marinade featuring ginger, garlic, mustard oil, and spices.
Get In The Zone
Alex Guarnaschelli may not be the first chef you associate with the grill, but this Iron Chef knows her way around the fire. Chef Guarnaschelli recommends learning about the heat distribution on your grill. Your grill isn’t meant to retain heat evenly, but it’s important that you know which parts are hottest and which are cooler. Sear vegetables on the hot spots and then cook them on a cooler area to get them tender.
Don’t Forget To Rest
Not every important part of the grilling process takes place around the flames. Rather, there are a lot of important things to do before and after you grill a piece of meat. While most people can remember to defrost meat before grilling it, many don’t take the time to let the meat rest. Letting the meat rest, explains chef Marc Forgione, prevents all the juice and moisture from running out when you slice into it. What’s more, your meat will continue cooking a small amount even after you take it off the grill as it comes back down in temperature.
Grilling can be great fun and is often the center of summer entertaining. This summer, follow this advice and impress your friends with your new grilling chops. Soon everyone will be calling you the grill master.