That’s right. It is early November and I am finally sharing what I learned from grilling this summer (for the first time). Haha. Well. Maybe you are still grilling it up, so here you go…if not, here are some thoughts for when spring comes.
As far as grilling goes, we hadn’t bought a grill because our old place didn’t have much outdoor space, and when we moved here, the first year was getting other stuff taken care of (like a lawnmower). The next year was a patio set with a baby, and then…we finally have our grill this year.
I had K do the research and pick one out. I didn’t care what kind/etc., just a three burner model since that’s what my dad and M use and it works well for the two of them and for hosting parties. Perfect! Once you have the grill, you also need some sort of grill scraper, looooong tongs, and a loooong spatula.
You will also want to invest in aluminum foil…sort of kidding, sort of not. My dad recommends foil pans/tins that he finds in bulk. Unfortunately, my bulk store out here doesn’t have them so I have stuck with regular foil for now.
So far, I have grilled vegetables, lettuce, bread, s’mores, corn, chicken (thighs and breasts, both boneless and skinless), salmon, burgers, and steak (filet mignon and ribeye). Salmon has been the easiest since it was just as easy to prepare for the grill as it is for the oven, plus the smell gets to stay outside. It also cooked much faster but was still super moist.
One thing I have noticed is that if I usually roast something in the oven, it almost steams a bit, and there is often extra liquid. Grilling allows for a dryer texture, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It can make the outside of food crispy in a pleasing way.
So far, I have found cooking my food on foil (sprayed) is easiest, and then occasionally I will brown them a bit more on the racks without foil once cooked most of the way. But, it isn’t usually necessary because if I leave the food on the foil and just turn up the heat under them, they will still char/brown nicely.
Indirect vs direct heat: I have tried both and if the food I am cooking takes less time, I might start with indirect heat but usually end (or cook entirely) over direct heat to get the color. Indirect heat is best when the meat is thicker or will just need longer to cook (something like steak). When I cooked ribeyes, I started them on indirect heat with the thickest part of the meat towards the heat. After about 10 minutes I checked the temperature and when it was 75 degrees, I flipped it and cooked the other side until the temperature read 95 degrees (another 10 minutes or so). Then, I cooked over direct heat. The first side I cooked it until it was nicely browned (5 minutes or so). The second side I cooked until the temperature inside reached the temperature for medium/medium rare.
Resting meat: I read this tip and use it for resting meat–however long you cooked the meat, rest it for a little less than half that time. So, chicken that cooks in roughly 20-30 minutes should rest for about 10 minutes.
Marinades: I have done overnight and just 30 minutes. 30 minutes is just fine, most of the time.
Cleaning: If the grill is particularly coated in food, I turn the heat on to high and leave the lid closed for 5-10 minutes then scrape off the worst of it. Otherwise, I leave it alone until the next time I go to grill. Then, again, turn the burners all to high and wait 15 minutes. Scraping the grates is really easy at that time, and the grill is now preheated.