Everyone wants to appear impressive to their friends. Having a backyard barbecue and grilling out is one way to do that -- as long as you know what you're doing, that is.
If you don't know your way around a gas or charcoal grill, the last thing you'll be doing is impressing your guests. That's why we've collected 7 telltale signs of a grill master.
Even if you don't do everything right when you're grilling out, at least focus on these seven things, and everyone will consider you a grilling pro!
#1. Add flavor with seasonings and marinades
Even if your meat is of the highest quality, it still needs additional flavor. Salt and pepper are absolute musts for all meats. For steak and burgers, these two seasonings might actually be all you need! If you know the steak in your refrigerator isn't the highest quality, salting it one hour before you grill it tenderizes the meat. Also, allow your steaks to reach room temperature before throwing them on the grill.
When sprinkling salt and pepper, hold your hand high (at least at eye level) to get an even sprinkle. The same goes for rubs. You don't actually rub rubs onto meat because if you do, the spices will liquify in your hands.
For chicken, marinades are a great idea. You can even marinade hot dogs!
#2. Shape matters
Form your burgers so that they're thinner in the middle and thicker around the outside. This keeps your patties from bulging too much in the center. Also, the slower you cook a burger, the less likely it is to plump unevenly.
For hot dogs, try spiral cutting. This exposes more of the meat to the grill directly, which will give your dogs a much stronger smoky flavor. To achieve the spiral cut, simply hold your knife still and rotate the hot dog so that the knife slices it all the way around. Another benefit of the spiraled hot dog is that the toppings will fall into the additional crevices of the meat, giving your hot dog even more flavor!
#3. Know when and where your grill is hot
A common mistake people make when grilling out is putting their meat on the grill prematurely. A good test for determining the grill's readiness is to hold your hand just above the grate. If you wouldn't leave your hand there comfortably for more than a second, then the grill is sufficiently hot and ready for cooking!
Reserve the hottest parts of the grill for searing thick proteins like steak, beef or pork and for roasting tougher vegetables like eggplant. Cook chicken and fish on the cooler areas with indirect heat (usually the outside edges) so that you can grill them more slowly and ensure that they're cooked all the way through.
#4. Make grill marks
For perfect grill marks, place your meat at 10 and 2, and only flip it once.
#5. Follow the 15-second rule
The first few seconds after a steak is placed on a grill, it releases water. Don't touch it during this time, or it will stick to the grill, which means you can say goodbye to those grill marks you had in mind. Let the water drain off, and then baste it with butter while it cooks.
#6. Don't cut it
Amateurs often cut open meat on the grill to determine doneness, but that's the last thing you should do. Cutting open a burger or chicken breast releases all of the juices that make it mouthwatering! Grill masters know there are better ways.
- Steak. Go by feel using the Palm Test, the Fist Test or the Face Test.
- Chicken, burgers and pork, Use a meat thermometer.
- Fish, For grilling most types of fish, if the outside flakes easily with a fork, then it's done.
#7. Get a custom grill
The ultimate sign of a grill master is someone who cooks on a customized grill. An average grill can only get you so far. Take your grill game up a notch with a custom grill from Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen. Give us a call at (888) 747-4554, or click on the banner below to start grill shopping!