Hello Everyone! Welcome to the final installment of Grilling Me Softly.
Summer to me means one thing. Cookouts. But, the perfect cookout can be elusive. From marinade to plate, grilling can be tough. So I decided to talk to the best darn griller I know this side of the Mason-Dixon line. My Dad. I asked him to share his top ten grilling secrets with us in hopes that we all can enjoy the perfect cookout.
Here's what he had to say:
1. Coat racks with Pam or vegetable oil if you are using a gas grill. Make sure the racks are clean. If you have a gas grill, put foil under the burners to catch most of the grease and grime. Get beer.
2. If cooking vegetables and meats, plan the cooking so that everything is done together. Let meat warm up to room temperature for about 30-45 minutes before cooking. Marinade your meat ahead of time. Using cedar planks, or mesquite, hickory or fruitwood chips adds a unique flavor.
3. Preheat the grill appropriately for whatever you are cooking. If you are using charcoal, make sure that the coals are all evenly heated. Barbecuing is slower (200 - 250 degrees) than grilling. Cooking slow works best in both situations. Different types of meat and different thicknesses require different cooking times. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat. Use the center of the meat for the most accurate reading. Leaner cuts of meat have more flavor, but get tough if cooked past medium.The sirloin, New York, round and flank fit this description. The most marbled cut is a rib eye, which comes from the same piece of meat as prime rib. it remains a good steak even when well done. Tenderloin is the most tender, but not necessarily the most flavorful. Always use tongs; don't stab the meat. (We Nebraskans know our beef. Go Big Red!)
4. Be patient. Pay attention to the food without being overly fussy. Do not keep turning the meat over and over again. Get more beer.
5. Skewers work great for grilling vegetables such as zucchini or squash. Kabobs are usually cut into chunks a little over an inch thick and need about 12 minutes while turning often
6. Asparagus, corn on the cob or potato chunks do really well in foil. (Throw in a little rosemary, pepper and sea salt. Sprinkle with a little EVOO and you've got yourself some flavor!)
7. When cooking peppers, cook them slowly and watch that they don't burn.
8. Make sure fish is fresh. Always thaw frozen fish overnight in the refrigerator. Small whole fish will need about 7 minutes on each side. Large whole fish need about 15 minutes on each side. Salmon fillets will need about 6-8 minutes per side. Trout fillets may only need 4 minutes per side. Cook fish on an oiled grill skin side down for the first part of the cooking time, to keep it from burning and drying out. (As you know, fresh fish should not smell "fishy" at all. If it does, walk away. I try to purchase and grill my fresh fish in the same day. This will ensure freshness and flavor.)
9. Turn off the grill.
10. Get more beer and enjoy! (This one is The Hubbs' favorite! For me, a white wine spritzer will do perfectly.)
Well, there you have it. Straight from the Husker's mouth. Now get out there and enjoy this beautiful weather! Thanks Dad!