Grilling Tip #9: Do NOT use a fork of any kind to grill! Forks pierce the meat, letting those juices sizzle down into the charcoal and once those juices are gone, they’re gone, leaving you with the same situation as tip #8 - eating a dry piece of meat lacking great flavor. Avoid grill crime.
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Grilling Tip #8: Don’t cut the meat on the grill to see how done it is! This is a cardinal sin, another grill crime. When you cut it at the grill, the meat’s juices come out, leaving you with a very dry piece of meat to eat and all that great flavor is gone. If you’re following all these tips to the letter, you don’t need to cut the meat to check for ‘doneness‘!
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Grilling Tip #7: Do not press the meat on the grill! Place your meat on the grill and do NOT take your spatula and press it hard into the grate thinking that helps to sear it or give it better grill marks. It does neither. You’re cooking on a grate, not on a flat top like at the diner or in an electric griddle in the house. Pressing meats down into a grill grate means loss of juice, loss of flavor. OH, and it makes it harder to flip. Seeing meat drop through the grate and onto the coals is a grill crime.
Grilling Tip #6: When grilling those pre-made frozen hamburger patties, the packaged ‘fresh’ ones from the grocery store and for folks that like their hand made burgers well done, you should only flip your burger once. After putting your burgers on, when you see red juices flowing to the top, it’s time to flip. After the flip, when you see the juices running clear, you know the burger is well done, the burger is cooked through. This is especially important for the pre-made stuff purchased at the store, you don’t want to see a strip of pink running through those. And generally speaking, remember Grilling Tip #3, most all meats and fish should only be flipped once, well done or not. It preserves those great grill marks and delivers a juicier, evenly cooked, more flavorful piece of meat.
Grilling Tip #5: If you did your coals right, when you go to flip the meat over and it’s sticking to the grate, it’s not ready to flip yet. The meat literally lets you know when to flip. If it’s sticking, try again in another minute or two.
Grilling Tip #4: Some people like to get fancy grill marks on their food. In fact, some grill manufacturers are even making their grates fancier in design - to include logos - with their upscale models to sear those fancy marks in. If you ask me that kind of takes the mastery and fun out of it, but kudos to the grill makers and successful marketing nonetheless. If you don’t have a fancy grate, here’s what you do. For simple but still a delicious looking presentation of straight line grill marks, leave the item sit in position for at least two to three minutes. Don’t move it, don’t touch it, don’t rearrange it to make room for something else. Once it’s down it’s down, so pick your spot well, let it sit and sear. Depending on your coal stack and temperature, steaks and thick burgers can go a good five minutes, chicken and pork, slightly less. With fish, stick to two minutes. The key is to not touch the meat once you put it down and not until you flip. If you want the ‘diamond’ look (don‘t try this with most fish), give the meat a quarter turn after two - three minutes. Then let it cook for another couple minutes before you flip.
Grilling Tip #3: Generally speaking, the “Presentation side” of any meat or grilled item (how you’ll see the item on the plate) is the first side you put on the grill. Choose the better looking side of the item to put down first. This is the side that needs to have those beautiful grill marks. And with most meats and fish, you only want to flip once. Yep, you read that right, flip it just once.
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