11 Tips And Tricks For Every Aspiring Grillmeister
Being a foodie is no longer some niche hobby that only your weird cousin is into. No, an almost reverential obsession with food has entered almost every aspect of our lives. Whether it's going to ALL the restaurants to try every last authentic dish you can't pronounce, or actually becoming a pro home chef yourself, food is all around us. And that's not even taking into account the literal TV networks dedicated exclusively to food, or the countless food magazines and cookbooks that cover pretty much every cuisine known to man. Still, most home cooks don't go to culinary school, yet are still curious and passionate enough about cooking to want to try new things and keep getting better. And this is where we come in. Our handy tips & tricks are all about easy ways to up your kitchen game, so to kick things off, we're going to show you 11 ways to become a BBQ grillmeister. Ready, set, grill!
1. The Potato Trick
This trick is going to prevent your meat from sticking to the grill. Cut a potato in half and stab one half with a fork. Rub the hot grill with the cut surface of the potato. The heat removes starch from the potato, which creates a kind of non-stick coating on the grill. Now you can grill your meat without worrying about it sticking to the grill.
Tip: Never use oil to grease your grill! Oil is highly flammable and some types of oil don't have a high smoke point, so they become carcinogenic when they get too hot.
2. The Ice Cube Trick
Literally no one wants a dry, chewy, or burnt hamburger patty from the grill. To prevent any of those things from happening, there's a simple trick: Press a small hole in the patty and place an ice cube inside. As the meat cooks, the ice will melt and all that moisture will be retained by the patty, which ensures a nice and juicy burger. It gets even better when you add a piece of butter on top of the ice cube. A flavor explosion awaits!
3. The Apple Juice Trick
To make sure your steak is nice and tender on the inside but gets a beautiful crust on the outside, we're going to let you in on a secret: Spritz it with some apple juice. You're not going to believe the amazing results!
4. The Charcoal Trick
If you get your coals too hot, the result might be disappointingly dry or burnt meat. The coals are ready when they're covered with white-gray ash and glowing evenly, which can take up to 30 minutes. To gauge the ideal cooking temperature, hold your hands about 6 inches above the grill. If you can't take the heat anymore after about 2 seconds, the charcoal is too hot. You should be able to hold your hands above the grill for at least 4 seconds. The trick is to move the coals and disperse them more evenly. But if you can hold your hands above the grill for more than 6 or 9 seconds, the coals aren't hot enough. In this case, just add a few more pieces of coal to get the temperature up.
5. The Rosemary Skewer Trick
This idea is ingenious! Instead of using regular wooden skewers, simply use sprigs of rosemary. This also has the added benefit of injecting some nice rosemary flavor into your shish kabobs.
6. The 3-Zone Fire Trick
Divide the grill into 3 coal zones. The hottest zone (Zone 1) is where the coals are stacked closely together. The area with fewer coals is going to give off medium heat (Zone 2). The final section (Zone 3) does not get any coals. These 3 distinct temperature zones are going to help you cook your meat perfectly every time. You get high and medium heat for grilling, while Zone 3 is perfect for keeping your food warm.
7. The Onion Trick
Cleaning your grill can be a pain, but there's actually an easy way to do it. Cut an onion in half, stab one half with a fork, and rub it over the surface of the dirty grill. The onion juice acts as a disinfectant while also removing the invisible dirt from the grill.
8. The Sausage Trick
Never stab or cut into a sausage while it's still on the grill. On the one hand, you're going to stab it to shreds, and on the other hand, all the fat will drip out. This will cause the grill to give off a lot of smoke, produce harmful toxins, and make the meat lose all its flavor. All that released fat will also cause the sausage to dry out.
9. The Lemonade Trick
Lemonade from the grill? Pretty crazy to think about, isn't it? But it's actually a fantastic grilling hack. Cut a few lemons in half, dunk the cut surface into sugar and then grill them for 10 minutes until the sugar has caramelized. Now squeeze the lemons into a pitcher and add some ice cubes. Add a few more lemon slices to the pitcher, and voila, the perfect lemonade, straight from the grill!
10. The Resting Trick
Super important PSA: don't eat your grilled meat the moment you take it off the grill. When you take a steak off the grill, cover it with aluminum foil for 1-2 minutes to let it rest. The result is going to be a super juicy, delicious steak. But if you're grilling brats, you can eat those right away or they're going to end up losing too much moisture and flavor.
11. The Newspaper Trick
Do you still have to wrestle with a dirty and rusty barbecue rack? If the onion wasn't enough, try this one: grab an old newspaper and wrap the dirty barbecue rack in it. Spray the newspaper with water and let everything soak overnight. The moisture and the printing ink are going to remove all that stubborn dirt and grime. Then the next morning, you can just wipe the rack down with a dish towel.
Once you master these 11 tricks for the grill, your BBQ diploma won't be far off. It might not get you into culinary school, but you'll definitely get into your friends' good graces. And isn't that the most valuable degree of them all?