10 Grilling Tips For Summer Meals

From: 24/7 MOMS Live Web Cast 6/7/11

When the sun comes out sodoes the BBQ in my house – which I love because the more we can cook outsidethe less mess I have inside and it just seems everything taste better when itsBBQ’d or grilled.  PLUS it is SIMPLEto create yummy family pleasing meals.
Here are some keeping itsimple grilling tips and ideas for you

1.  Sauces-Don’t put the sauce on until the meat is about ready. Too early and the sugars will burn and blacken.

2.  Marinades- Simply marinating your meat for at least 20 minutes not only improves flavor but tenderizes all cuts of meat. (Note: red meat, poultry and pork can be marinated in the refrigerator overnight, but fish should be soaked for no longer than 20 minutes, as marinating actually starts the cooking process in fish). Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick’s is the best steak seasoning. And the McCormick’s Kickin chicken seasoning! Marinade steaks or chicken with Pepsi (or Coke if you prefer) cola makes meat tender!

3.  Skewer/Kabobs –Grilled kabobs are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. When grilling kabobs that incorporate strips of meat, chicken or individual shrimp, make sure the skewer goes through the food twice so each piece will stay in place rather than rotating. Or, cut the meat into cubes and spear once for an even, easy cook. Also, be sure to soak wood skewers in water before placing them on the grill, as dry skewers will burn.

4.  Sticky Factor -Oil the meat/vegetables (not the grates) for the great grill marks and to help from sticking… When grilling flip the meat/burgers just once (leave it alone). Also, make sure the grill is SUPER HOT before putting chicken on or it will stick.

5. Best Items to Grill
Vegetables: Capsicum, Potatoes, Onions, Corn, Eggplant, Zucchini

Fruits: Pears, Pineapples, Apples, Grapes, Apricots, Plums, Peaches

Meat: Steak, Chicken, Fish, Sausage.

6.   Meat Choices-  Leaner cuts (less marbling) have more flavor but tend to be a bit tougher if cooked past medium. The sirloin, New York, round and flank fall into this category.
Most Flavor: Sirloin and New York

Most Tender: Rib-Eye and Tenderloin.

7.  Basic Food Tip– Be sure to wash everything after handling raw meat. Don’t use the same plate for the cooked meat that you used for the uncooked meat unless you’ve washed it in between. When marinating, never use the marinating sauce again for basting, as this will cause contamination. If you want to use marinating sauce for basting — remove some before marinating and set aside.

8.  Be organized – Keep a spray water bottle beside the BBQ and give a quick squirt, when necessary, to prevent flare-ups. Make sure you have everything you need close at hand before you begin. More food has been charred when the cook runs into the house to get something.

9.  Temperature/Done – When you can keep your hand over a fire for three seconds, it means you have medium heat. At this temperature, most foods grill without burning on the outside. Professional chefs generally use touch to tell when the steak is done. Press down the centre of the steak with your finger.

A rare steak will feel quite soft to the touch;

A medium-rare steak will have some resistance but yield to the touch

A medium steak starts to feel firm, but still have some give in the centre

A well-done steak will feel very firm.

10. GRILLING- Prepare the fire a half hour or more before grilling. For quick lighting, use a chimney starter with crumpled newspaper in the bottom and briquettes or charcoal above.  Or stack the charcoal in a pyramid shape and light with a liquid or electric starter. Charcoal is ready for cooking when it’s 80% ashy grey in daylight, glowing red at night.  This usually takes about 25 to 30 minutes.

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