Stock Yards Summer Grilling Tips
During the hot summer months, it seems like the grill becomes our best friend so we can avoid turning on our ovens indoors! Suddenly, you’re grilling every meal and side from vegetables, kabobs, juicy steaks and anything you think would look great with some grill marks. Since you’re spending so much time with the grill, we think it’s important for you to know all the ins and outs of your best friend and get the most out of your summer grilling menu.
First things first: clean your grill before every use! Realistically, you would clean your grill after every use (we’ll get to that later) but we understand if you didn’t. However, if you want great tasting and perfectly grilled chops and sides, you need to clean your grill. Heat up your grill to a medium temperature and brush remaining grits off with a grill brush. You can also try a more green approach and clean off your grill with an onion half! Slice an onion in half and stick with a fork, move up and down your grates when the grill is heated and watch the grime fall off. When you’re done cleaning, add some vegetable oil to keep your food from sticking.
You may want to throw all your food on the grill immediately after, but hold off for just a second! If you have a charcoal or wood fire grill, you’ll want to let the grill heat up for at least 30 minutes before you begin to cook. High heat cooking is best for ensuring exact cooking without burning or undercooking your meats. Let your grill heat up to at least 450°F! Don’t have a thermometer to help? Hold your hand over the grill (trust us!) and if you can only keep it there for 1 full second, you’re at the right temperature.
A simple tip for great grilling that’s easy to follow is letting your meat and cuts come to room temperature before grilling. Whether you’re indoors or out, “tempering” your meat is great practice to get the perfect steak and minimize cooking time or turn over! Either set large cuts out to sit for an hour, while small cuts can sit out for 30 minutes. You can also submerge wrapped cuts in warm water for the intended set time.
You’re just about ready to start! Season your meats with oil, salt, and pepper and you’re ready to go. If you’re working with barbeque sauces, save the sauce until meat is nearly finished cooking. Sauces tend to burn off quickly and then you’re left with dry, semi flavored meats.
While grilling, you must resist the urge to constantly lift the lid! You’re letting out smoke and significantly cooling down your grill (remember that 450°F temperature we talked about?). It is essential that your grill remains a constant temperature. To help you with this, you should probably pick up a meat thermometer to help you keep track. We promise, you’ll wonder why you didn’t have one in the first place. Most meats only need to be turned once, so it’s really unnecessary to keep checking.
While you’re turning those nice steaks over, use some friendly tongs instead of a fork. Tongs will help keep juices and flavors inside rather than letting them leak out through punctures from your fork. This also helps you avoid flare-ups on the grill! As long as you have nice seared outsides, the juices will stay inside and give you a delicious tasting meal.
Not sure which temperatures you need to follow? Once you’ve got your meat thermometer, you can work off this handy list.
- Rare: 125°F — 130°F
- Medium-Rare: 130°F — 135°F
- Medium: 140°F — 145°F
- Well-Done: 160°F and above
Did you know that your food continues to cook even after it’s been taken off the heat? When you’re ready to take your food of the grill and before you cut in, let food sit for at least 5 minutes to continue cooking. So if you’re following our temperature list above, check your meat thermometer and take food off the grill about 5°F — 7°F before the intended degree.
And then we come back full circle, clean your grill after use!
Of course, for premium grilling no matter what, make sure you buy quality meat. Sure, these grilling tips will help you no matter what, but if you want truly delectable flavor with guaranteed juicy, rich meals, order your meats from a trusted source that specializes in USDA Prime and USDA Choice.
Hopefully these summer grilling tips and tricks will help you for the rest of your menu! Follow the steps and we know you’ll impress even the pickiest eater.