10 tips to grill like a pro

by Julien Gandelin
Barbecue - Pique-nique

What are the proven techniques for tender and juicy meat? When should you season to bring out the flavours? From selection to cooking, here are ten winning tips for successful grilling this summer.

1- Look for the most marbled cuts

In addition to choosing the right cut of meat, you should choose the cuts that have the most marbling, i.e. the thin white threads that run through the muscle fibres and will melt during cooking. Pieces that are generously marbled will be more tender, juicier and more flavourful.

2- Let the meat temper

You can take the meat out of the refrigerator up to one hour before cooking. Although this step is optional, it allows us to reduce the thermal shock and to favour a more uniform cooking. Our meat will be hot and rare in the center.

3- Choose the right ingredients

A marinade containing an acidic substance such as wine, vinegar or citrus juice is perfect for tenderizing the meat. Not only are kiwis and pineapples popular, but they will also bring an exotic touch to our summer grills! For optimal tenderness, marinate the beef for at least 6 hours.

4- Salt before cooking

Many budding cooks believe that salt draws out the juices from the meat. This is a myth! It is only important to salt at the right time. So we use a small amount of salt, about ¼ teaspoon, but salt thirty minutes before cooking. Our meat will be even juicier and more flavorful.

5- Prepare the grill

Steaks will stick more on a poorly cleaned grill. To prevent this, brush the grill before cooking, then rub it with an oil-soaked paper towel just before placing the meat on it. Simple, but effective! We place our grills on a hot cooking surface. The meat should bubble. If it doesn’t make a sound, the temperature is too low. Remove it and wait a few more minutes.

6- Season only halfway through cooking

If we add our spices too quickly, the barbecue cooking will reduce their flavour. Not a good plan! So, wait until halfway through cooking before adding your seasonings. Note also that dry marinades are less effective on thicker cuts of meat. It is better to use liquid marinades.

7- One side then the other

Your meat will be as tender as you want it to be if you turn it just once. You’ll get nice grill marks on both sides, without distorting your piece.

8- Handle your grilled meat with care

When grilling, we avoid pressing on the meat with a spatula. This can cause the meat to lose its juices, dry out and lose its characteristic flavour.

9- Feel the meat

You don’t have to cut the meat to check its doneness! Just touch it or take its temperature. When using a thermometer, it is important to prick the probe in the most fleshy part, horizontally, avoiding any contact with the bone. It is also important to remember that the temperature will increase by 2 or 3°C during the resting period.

– Bleeding = slight resistance to finger pressure, seized on the outside, 75% red on the inside.
Temperature: 55°C or 130°F
– Medium-bleeding = slight resistance to finger pressure, gripped on the outside, 50% red on the inside.
Temperature: 63 °C or 145 °F
– Medium = medium resistance to finger pressure, blood droplets bead on the surface when pressed, 25% pink inside.
Temperature: 71°C or 160°F
– Fully cooked = firm to the touch, surface and interior completely brown.
Temperature: 77 °C or 170 °F

10- Let the meat rest after cooking

We are often in a hurry to serve our grilled meat so that it stays as hot as possible. This is a mistake! So we let the meat rest for a third of the time required for cooking, so that the driest parts of the meat have time to reabsorb the juices for exceptional tenderness. To preserve the heat of our grills, we can cover them with aluminum foil.

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