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Top Grilling Tips for a Successful Weekend Cookout

June 15, 2022

Celebrating Father's Day with steaks, burgers, and brats on the grill is a timeless tradition! Be ready to celebrate this Sunday with these top tips.

Clean the grill! If this is the first time you're breaking the grill out this summer or your last cookout was a little messy or even just because, take a few minutes to wipe down your grill and grates before warming it up. You can use a wire brush to loosen gristle from the grill, then wipe down with a paper towel or towel dabbed in oil. This will grab any loose wires that may have come dislodged from the brush, clean up the gristle, and grease the grates so that your food doesn't stick to the grill.

Have your grill goods ready! If you use propane, make sure you have a full tank. If you use charcoal, be sure you have a bag! Have your tools cleaned and ready, and of course, make sure you have all the meats and eats you plan to cook up thawed and ready in the fridge. If you're making kabobs, soak your (wood) skewers!

Preheat the Grill. Be sure you've got plenty of charcoal or propane, then get things fired up ahead of time! Set the grill on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes with the lid closed to get the grates good and hot, and the air of the grill, too, before setting your food out.

Pull meat ahead of time. While the grill is heating up, pull your thawed meats out of the fridge and set on the counter to bring up in temperature before cooking. This will help bring a more even cook. Be sure to pull any steaks or burgers at least the day before grilling so there aren't any frozen portions.

Consider marinading or using a dry rub. For extra flavor and tenderness, consider marinading your meats 2 - 8 hours before cooking (depending on the recipe). This will make your meats a little juicier and add some extra flavor when cooking on the grill. You can skip the marinade and just use a flavorful dry rub instead, too, if you like. Classic salt and pepper is perfect for our already flavorful steaks and chops! :)

Use the right meats. Some steaks are more tender than others. For example, ribeyes, tenderloins, and NY strip steaks are relished for their tenderness. Sirloins and kabob meat are less tender and fair better with marinading before cooking. When in doubt, reach out and we can provide you with a recipe.

Don't forget your fruits and veggies! Side dishes deserve to be on the grill, too! Drizzle your favorite veggies in olive oil and salt and grill them on skewers, in a grilling basket, or on their own (for produce that's big enough to not fall through the grates like peach slices, asparagus, etc.)

Keep the lid closed. Resist the urge to peek! Keeping the lid closed will keep the grates hot and air in the grill consistently heated for an even cooking temperature and quicker cooking time. It also will prevent flame flare ups from oxygen exposure and keeps that smoky flavor trapped inside.

Monitor time and temperature. It's easy to get distracted when you're cooking on the grill, but don't let time escape you! Set timers and use a meat thermometer to know when meats are cooked.

Create different temperature zones. If you're using a gas grill, set one side hotter than another to accommodate different foods. A hot surface will give a good sear to meats, but you don't want to scorch your vegetables. If your grill has a warming rack, you can use that, too, to keep more done meats/vegetables from burning. As different cuts get more or less done, move them away from higher heat sections.

Add BBQ sauce at the end. If you add your sauce too early, it'll burn and leave you with a not so tasty dinner. Instead, add the sauce just before the meats about to finish so you get the desired caramelized affect.

Let meat rest before slicing. As exciting as it is to cut into that juicy, mouthwatering steak, wait! Let the steaks rest 5-10 minutes before slicing to let all the juices soak back in and give it a few more minutes to continue cooking. Then, enjoy!

Have other tips to share? Let us know below! :)

Anastasia Wolf-Flasch

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