All Summer long, millions of Americans are firing up their grills in the backyard, at the beach, in parks, and elsewhere. To help perfect their grilling game, here are 5 tips from Grillocracy's grill master Clint Cantwell.
1. Tongs go a long way.
One of the most effective multipurpose tools you can have when grilling is a set of long-handled tongs. In addition to allowing you to flip those steaks and burgers while remaining safely away from the flames, they’re also useful as a grate cleaner (grasp a ball of tinfoil in the tongs and scrub the grates clean) or to oil the grill (grasp a ball of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil and wipe away).
2. Patience is a virtue.
While most people insist on poking, twisting and flipping grilled items every 15 seconds, resist the urge and limit turns to no more than two per side. Meat, fish or poultry that normally stick to the grates will release naturally, while the food will be able to achieve all the great char and flavor the grill has to offer.
3. Meat continues to cook off the grill.
Just because your beautiful steaks or pork chops are done grilling doesn’t mean they’re finished cooking. Due to carryover heat, internal temperatures will increase roughly 10 more degrees after being removed from the heat, meaning a medium-rare steak should be pulled at 125-130 degrees rather than the desired 135-140 degrees.
4. Wood chips make a world of difference.
Bring depth of flavor to your grilled meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit by wrapping a handful of wood chips (available at most hardware stores and major grocery chains) in a double layer of foil, poking a few holes in the foil, and placing the packet under the grates. Placed directly on to the hot charcoal, the chips will slowly smolder, releasing flavorful smoke from this inexpensive “smoke bomb” while ensuring a quick cleanup.
5. Go against the grain.
Finding ways to take tougher cuts of meat over the top is central to the art of grilling and barbecue. But despite having the perfect recipe and the perfect execution, your brisket, flank steak or flat iron steak is still going to taste like a dry, chewy shoe if you don’t slice it across the fibrous grains that run through the meat.