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As the temperatures rise above freezing, Bottini starts to gear up .... Everyone has a style, some favorite quirks, or advise they want to give. Grilling is to some, a rite of passage. So many gadgets and accessories. Let’s look into the basics. Once mastered, your grilling game will be the talk of the town.
There Are Many Bells and Whistles
Every family has its grilling secrets. A sacred spatula, or secret family recipe for a specific rub. There is always that one family member that hogs the grill at every family reunion. In order to become a grill master, one must learn the basics. There are quite simple and use a lot of common sense.
Keep the grate clean - This should be a given. You do not want last night’s dinner to ruin the taste of tonight's feast! Cleaning the grates is simple. Heat up your grill for a few minutes, then run your brush on the grates. Whatever bits of food was left over will be easily picked up.
Mise en place - You often hear that term in cooking shows. What the term means is to simply be prepared. Have all your food ready before you light up your grill. All your vegetables cut, seasoning ready to use, marinade or sauce with the brush on hand, your protein rested, all your utensils and plates close by. To put it simply, make sure you don’t have to dash back in the house for something that was forgotten at the crucial moment.
Never oil the grill - You want the food to have a small coating of oil, not your grates. The oil will protect and flavor your food but will cook off and give a nasty flavor if directly applied to the grates.
Meat needs to rest - Both before and after cooking. Take your protein out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. You will have a more even cook that way. A cold steak will take too long to warm the inside resulting in one of two things. You will have a beautiful char on the outside, but cold blue on the inside, or beautiful temperature on the inside, but a burnt crust. When it comes to chicken, that rule is even more important. Beef is delicious medium rare, but chicken can be deadly if undercooked.
Sugary sauces or marinades - When sugar comes in contact with heat, it caramelizes, giving a beautiful brown crust. But sugar burns quickly. If using a sweet marinade, make sure to dab all excess marinade before grilling, adding a glaze only at the very end, once your food is at the desired temperature. Direct heat is not a friend to sugar and will turn your marinade or sauce from heavenly to inedible in seconds.
Move things around - Leaving food in the same spot without touching it is a sure-fire way to create a heat flare up as well as food stuck to the grates. That being said, we are not saying to keep your food constantly in movement, but when you flip your steak or rotate your skewers, move them a few inches to the side. The juices from your food will eventually create an uneven flame, with either a flare-up, or doused flame. Moving things around ensures even temperature.
The most important thing for a successful evening is good food in good company. We at Bottini we wish you happy grilling.