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Grilling Tips to Cook Like a Pro

  1. The most important thing is adjusting for “carry-over cooking” based on the type of food you’re grilling.
    grilled-whole-rock-fish
    Grilled whole rock fish.

    Any meat, fish in particular, will continue to cook after it is removed from heat. For example, don’t cook fish on the grill through to the center, but instead make sure the middle is still translucent (i.e., raw). By the time you get it to the table the fish will be cooked completely and still be moist.

  1. Always heat your grill completely on high with the lid closed then reduce the heat when you are ready to grill. This will create a more balanced cooking environment.
  1. Separate the grill into areas on and off the flame. Different thickness and types of meat can be cooked at the same time along with vegetables by moving them to different areas of the grilling surface. This is more important with charcoal than gas since coals are less predictable.
  1. Grilling in foil is a great way to cook. Fish is moist and delicious in foil with butter, oil, lemon and spices. You can do the same thing with sliced potatoes. Wrap and crimp the edges creating a sealed pouch and add second layer so minimal liquid leaks out.
  1. Beginning temperature of meat is important. If you like steak cooked rare to medium start with a cold steak, but for those that prefer well done start with meat at room temperature. A light coating of oil helps the steak cook properly on the outside so it’s charred instead of gray. Catch our video on cooking a perfect ribeye.
  1. Marinades should not be too sweet, salty, or acidic.
    carne_asada
    Carne asada being prepped for grilling.

    Despite not having great flavor too sweet can burn, salty is just salty and too much acid can actually “cook” the meat without heat.

  1. Don’t cut your meat to confirm it’s cooked. To cut or not to cut is a common debate. Cutting releases the juices and can result in a dry steak (even medium rare). Ideally you press on the meat with your finger or tongs. The amount it resists your pressure tells you how much it’s cooked. Protein hardens as it heats, so a firmer feel equals more done. If you must cut, remove the meat from the grill and wait 5 minutes before slicing. You can always return it to the grill.

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