We are lucky in Arizona because we use our grill year-round. However, many of our friends and club members around the country are just now dusting off their grill after a long winter hiatus.
The smell of hot coals ignites fond memories of backyard family parties and images of dad pulling off a steak with great pride. Nothing announces summer like an invitation to a backyard grilling celebration!
Below are grilling tips and a couple of our favorite recipes to help you create great summer memories.
- Prep Properly – Clean the grill grate with a good grill brush and prep the grates with oil before using. Allow the grill time to get to the proper temperature.
- Safety – Extinguish flare-ups by closing the lid instead of using water. Spritzing water on the fire may cause splatters while closing the lid reduces the amount of oxygen that feeds the fire.
- Season Liberally – Don’t shy away from seasonings on grilled foods. Particularly when you charcoal grill, season liberally even if you are only using salt and pepper.
- Direct vs. Indirect Cooking – The rule of thumb is that if it takes under 20 minutes to cook use direct heat; longer use indirect cooking. Low and slow is critical for items that require long cooking times. Also, think about what you are cooking. For example, boneless chicken cooks quickly over direct heat but bone-in chicken takes longer and does better on indirect heating.
- Bring it to Room Temperature – Cold meat will cook unevenly. Take your steak, pork, or chicken out of the fridge for 30 minutes before grilling.
- When to Sauce – Don’t put a sauce on too early; it may burn. For example, proteins like ribs that cook for a long time over indirect heat shouldn’t be sauced until the last 30 minutes. If you used a marinade, pat dry before putting it on the grill otherwise you will steam the food. This is particularly important if you want to have a nice sear on your steak.
- Leave it Alone – I have images in my head of my dad turning the steak over and over on the grill. Big mistake. For most grilled items, once or twice is enough.
- Let It Rest – Once you pull your food off the grill, particularly proteins, let them rest. I prefer letting it rest without a foil wrap on it because it will continue to cook. Resting allows the juices to redistribute back into the meat.
- Grill Everything – Don’t shy away from grilling your vegetables, fruits or the various items for the salsa or sauces. Use skewers for smaller items or grill pans. Toss vegetables or fruits with your favorite oil and seasonings before grilling. You may have to watch them carefully for flare ups and turn more often than proteins because of the sugar content.
- Two of Our Favorite Grilled Recipes– Flat Iron Steak and Sizzlin’ Pork Tenderloin.
Send us a copy of your favorite grilling recipe and let us know how you like our recommendations.