Grilling can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know your way around it. While recipes are essential, the secret to tasty meat lies in the techniques you implore. Whether you are planning to host your friends and make some delicious steak for them or you want to treat your family over the weekend, here are some pro tips for you.
1. Use the right grill
There are two ways of grilling the steak; you can use direct or indirect heat. The method you settle for is likely to be governed by the type of equipment you choose. For instance, there are gas grills, charcoal grills, and wood grills, and all are perfect for home cooking. The one you settle for depends on your preference, but experts recommend using one that emits smoke. The smoke is an ingredient that equally determines how well the meat turns out.
2. Preheat the grill
Once you have settled for the perfect equipment, the next step is to prepare it for cooking. Do so by preheating it with the lid closed for at least ten minutes. If you are using coals, make sure they are glowing red before placing the meat. As for gas grills, allow the temperature to reach 500F. Heating in advance helps to loosen the bits of meat and food hanging on the grate. That way, you can brush them off quickly. It also makes the grates hot enough to sear the beef adequately and prevents the steak from sticking to the surface.
3. Marinade your steak
Remember that the best barbecue isn’t great unless it has been rubbed hours before placed on the fire. Blend in your seasonings right to achieve a tantalizing flavor. It is best practice to marinade the steak a day before the barbecue. That will give the flavors enough time to seep into the protein fibers, and it leaves a great taste.
4. Allow your meat to sit before cooking
Remove your steak from the fridge an hour before cooking. Doing this seals in the juices and ensures that the meat doesn’t dry out. Take advantage of the waiting period to salt it sufficiently. The salt helps the meat cells to retain water. Pat your steak gently with a paper towel before placing it on the grates. However, make sure you don’t leave it for too long outside the fridge because it might get stale.
5. Gather your tools
Grilling is easy when you have everything you require for the exercise even before you start. Do you know where you placed the tongs? Is the cutting board clean? Did you remember to prepare a plate for the finished meal? Put all these together ahead of time to avoid getting stuck with burning meat and no tongs. Also, have enough gas or propane to fuel the grill. Gather everything and place them close to the equipment.
6. Create a two-zone fire
If you are looking forward to tantalizing steak, it is a great idea to have a two-zone fire. That way, the hot side sears the meat, and the not-so-hot part completes the cooking. If you are using a gas grill, this is easy. All you need is to keep one burner low and increase the other. For those using coals, use tongs to push most of the hot coals to one side.
7. Control the heat
Large items like ribs and chicken quarters shouldn’t cook over high heat. Manage the temperature by turning off the burners you are not using. Adjust the heat of the burners on either end to lower or raise the temperature. If you are using charcoal, changing the dampers will limit airflow and also reduce the heat.
8. Use your thermometer
Don’t rely on your bare hands to tell when the meat is ready. Instead, use a food-grade thermometer to measure the steak’s temperature. Insert the tip inside the meat and then leave it for five seconds. After that, you can pull it out and read the temperature.
9. Don’t keep checking the temperature
Although knowing the steak’s temperature is vital in knowing when your meat is ready, you shouldn’t overdo it. The best way is to keep it low and slow. Restrain from checking the temperature more than every half an hour. If you keep doing so, the temperatures will fall continually. You don’t have to open the oven for the first thirty minutes unless you feel that things are going fast.
10. Keep the equipment clean
It is often a challenge, especially for those that have recently purchased their smokers for the first time. If yours is new, build a big fire and allow it to heat an empty grill for an hour. Doing so opens up the pores of the equipment and gets rid of any by-products like grease and metal shavings. Make sure you clean it after every grilling session.