Party Pointer: Pointers for Grilling Foods

With summer on our horizon, now is the time to get out your backyard grill and prepare to enjoy foods that always taste better cooked over an open grill!

Here are some helpful pointers for grilling foods:

• Whether using a charcoal or gas grill, be sure to oil the grate before grilling any food. Oiling the grate will help prevent food from sticking and make cleanup easier.

• There are, basically, two types of grilling: direct heat or indirect heat. Grilling with direct heat is accomplished by placing food on the grilling grate in the area directly over the heat source. Foods grilled with indirect heat are cooked with a heat source that is not directly under the food.

• When grilling with indirect heat, remember to keep lid closed. Opening the lid can add from 10–15 minutes onto grilling time.

• Use a spatula or tongs–not a fork–to turn and move meats. Piercing with a fork causes flavorful juices to escape.

• When grilling steak, it is important to leave at least 1/8″ of fat to help seal in the juices while the meat is cooking. The fat should be slashed at intervals approximately 1″ apart around the perimeter of the steak to prevent the cut of meat from curling during the grilling process.

• As a general rule of thumb, most cuts of meat should be placed 3–6 inches away from the heat source (direct grilling method) and cooked at medium heat.

• Marinate lean cuts of meat before grilling to make them more tender and tasty.

• Choose chops and steaks that are ¾ to 1 inch thick, since high grill heat cooks the meat quickly and can dry thinner cuts out.

• For more even cooking, flatten chicken breasts to a uniform thickness with a meat mallet.

• Medium heat is best for cooking chicken all the way through. High heat may cause the outside to become overdone before the middle reaches a safe temperature.

• Prevent stuck-on fish by wrapping fillets in aluminum foil that has been lined with non-stick cooking spray. The wrap will also help keep moisture in.

• Toss some fruit on the grill, too! Apples, pineapples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, and papaya are all great grilling choices.

• Skewers are a convenient tool for grilling fruit and small vegetables. They prevent small chunks of fruit and softer foods from falling through the grate. Using two skewers will help prevent those bite-sized pieces from spinning while turning them on the grill.

• Brushing fruit with melted butter or oil during grilling will help to keep the fruit from sticking to the grill grate.

• To enhance the flavor of the fruit, try brushing cut pieces with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar or lemon juice while grilling.

• Prevent grilled vegetables from drying out by soaking them in cold water before cooking.

• Brush vegetables with butter or oil during grilling to help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the grill grate. Make sure the vegetables are dry before applying oil or it won’t stick.

• Before grilling, season vegetables with a coarse salt, like sea salt or kosher salt. A sprinkle will help draw extra moisture from the vegetables, intensifying sweetness and flavor.


These pointers came from the Martins Foods website. For more grilling tips, check out this post.

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