Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Barbecue Grilling Tips

Grilling is a national pastime. These seven tips for grilling may help improve your results.

1. Preheat your grill for 15-25 minutes before starting the meat. This ensures the grill is at the proper temperature and any bacteria on it are dead. A properly heated grill will begin to sear the food immediately, prevents sticking, and helps the meat retain its moisture.

2. Use separate cutting boards, knives, and plates for meats and vegetables. This will reduce the chance of contaminating foods that aren't cooked.

3. If you marinate the meat before grilling, place the marinating meat in the refrigerator. Also, don’t use the same liquid to baste the meat as you did for marinating.

4. To ensure that your meat is fully cooked, use an internal thermometer.

• Shrimp should cook for 2-3 minutes per side, scallops 3-4 minutes per side, salmon fillet for 3-5 minutes per side, and Mahi-mahi should cook for 5-6 minutes per side.
• Boneless, skinless chicken breast and chicken thighs should cook 6-8 minutes per side. Chicken thighs with bone-in and skin take 15-25 minutes per side. Both should reach 165 degrees F.
• Boneless and skinless duck breast should cook for 4-8 minutes per side and reach 150 degrees F.
• ¾” bone-in pork chops cook for 3-4 minutes per side and should reach 145 degrees F. Pork tenderloin should cook 14-16 minutes per side and reach a temperature of 145 degrees F.
• Beef flank steak and strip steaks can be cooked to varying degrees of doneness. Cook them for 6-8 minutes per side until it reaches 140 degrees F for medium. Strip steak will cook for 4-5 minutes per side, again until it reaches 140 degrees F for medium.
• Lamb loin chops need to cook for at least 5-6 minutes per side and reach 145 degrees F to reach medium.

5. If you don’t have a handy-dandy meat thermometer, use your hand to check for doneness. Allow your left hand to hang loose in front of you and poke your right index finger into the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger. This is how a rare steak will feel when you touch it. If you’re trying to cook a steak medium rare, hold your hand the same way except spread your fingers apart. How it feels when you poke it will be how a medium rare steak will feel. If you’re cooking the steak medium, ball your left hand into a fist and feel the fleshy area. This is what a medium steak will feel like. A well done steak will feel completely firm, with no give at all.

6. Don’t turn your meat more than once during cooking. If you turn the meat too often, it will dry the meat out quicker than if it’s only turned once.

7. When the time has elapsed to get your meat just the way you like it, remove it from the grill and put it on a clean plate. Put a tented piece of aluminum foil over the meat, and allow it to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes. The juices have a chance to redistribute which is what you really want.

Grilling the perfect steak is something that people have tried to accomplish for years. If you’ve had problems grilling a steak to suit you, try these tips and see if they help. Who knows, before long you may be sought after for your grilling skills.

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