Dads and grilling seem to be a common (winning) combo.
Fire. Raw meat. Sharp knives. Eating. You make the connection.
With Father’s Day on Sunday, our own Chef Mike Trombley has a few simple recipes to share and some good grilling tips that will delight dads and their families.
Simple summertime recipes
Tips for grilling like a pro
Grilling is a combination of art and science. The art part is easy … trying unique items, creating grilled side dishes, and even making desserts on the grill is fun and exciting. But, it’s the science of grilling that’s most important. Grill preparation, temperature and cooking technique all affect the flavor of your food. For grilling success, follow these basic guidelines.
Grilling with Gas
1. Don’t shut off the grill when you’re done grilling. While it’s still hot, let it burn! All those leftovers on the rack will soon be toast.
2. Thoroughly brush off any charred remains.
3. Apply a layer of nonstick cooking spray oil coat with cooking oil and you’re ready to go for the next time you use the grill.
Pour the briquettes into the grill and pile them high to light. This will help cut down on the need for lighter fluid.
Light coals 30 minutes before grilling. To test if the coals are ready, hold your hand five inches over the fire. If you can only hold it there for a few seconds, the fire is ready to go. Also look for the tips of the briquettes to be white, and use caution when placing your hand over the grill. The coals can be extremely hot!
Direct or indirect?
There are two ways to grill: directly over the coals or charcoal at high temperatures with the coals spread two inches beyond the food area and with the lid open. This method sears the food to keep in natural juices. Or indirectly, where hot coals are pushed to the sides and a foil pan is placed between the coals and below the meat to catch juices. With the lid closed, the grill acts like an oven. The heat is applied to all sides of the food at once, cooking the food evenly throughout.
A few more grilling tips
Meat and Fish
Select the right cut of meat. Generally speaking, the tenderest cuts will come from the loin sections, including sirloin, top sirloin, filet mignon, boneless strip loin and tenderloin. Trim the fat from the meat to about 1/8 inch and then allow the meat to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will help the meat cook evenly.
Arrange the grill rack four to five inches over the fire for thin cuts of meat and fish, like flank steak, salmon and trout, or six to seven inches for a thicker steak, like sirloin.
Forks pierce the meat, releasing flavor and juices, which can cause the grill to flame. Instead, use tongs or a spatula. Gently lift up the corner of the meat to see if there are any lines from the grill rack. If so, it’s time to turn.
Try to flip the meat just once and turn it just once. Flipping and turning too often can dry out even the best cut of beef. But if you don’t turn it, your meat can cook unevenly – even burn.
Place an item on the grill and – without flipping it – turn the meat a quarter turn, to create a hatch mark. If the steak is thick (more than one inch) you may need to turn it a few times. Every time you turn the meat, move it to a different part of the grill.
Vegetable Grilling Tips:
Start with clean grates, and lightly coat the surface with oil using a cloth or cooking spray prior to preheating the grill. The oil will seal the pores of the grate’s surface and minimize sticking. Tossing vegetables in a little oil is another no-stick trick.
Cut vegetables into equally sized pieces to ensure vegetables finish cooking at the same time.
Turn the vegetables every three minutes or so for even cooking, and remove them from grill when they’re tender-crisp. They’ll continue cooking after being removed from the grill.
**For a flavor boost, marinate vegetables in equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar, along with minced garlic, fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, marjoram and/or rosemary, and salt and pepper.