In addition to serving as a solemn remembrance of those who’ve protected our country, there’s no denying that Memorial Day weekend also has a lighter side — it kicks off grilling season.
To get the most out of your Memorial Day meal, here are some tips to better grilling.
Gas vs. Charcoal?
Choosing whether to cook over charcoal or on a gas grill might be the most important decision you make all summer. If you want a good sear on your steak or chops, charcoal grills easily out sear gas grills because they produce more direct heat. Charcoal also makes more smoke than gas grills, resulting in a broader range of flavor molecules released into the meat.
A gas grill will offer you more convenience and control over cooking temperature. They’re also easier to clean and come with more accessories like side burners, rotisserie kits and storage drawers. There’s no “right” choice, just what’s right for you.
Direct or Indirect?
Cooking methods can vary, but most grill gurus agree that there are two primary ways to grill. One way is over direct heat – directly exposing your meat to a heat source. This is most often recommended for steaks, where the lid stays open. The other method is through indirect heat, in which food cooks by warm air circulating around it with the lid closed (think chicken or roasts).
The Perfect Steak
No Memorial Day grill fest would be complete without steak. A ribeye cut will have the most fat and be the juiciest, while filet mignon has the least amount of fat, and its tenderness can’t be beat.
Let your preferred steak warm to room temperature, then season with salt and pepper or your favorite rub. The ideal thickness is 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Sear the steaks on high heat to seal in the juices and give it nice grill marks. Then cook for another 3-4 minutes on each side on medium heat for a perfect medium rare.
Is it Done Yet?
Resist the urge to check on or move your steak around repeatedly as it cooks. Give it time to sear and develop a nice crust. Remember that meat continues to cook after it comes off the grill, so remove it just before it’s perfect. A digital thermometer is the best gauge for done-ness, but you can also gently poke the meat with your finger. The firmer it feels, the more done it is. With a few basics under your belt and your favorite cut of meat, you, too, can be a summer grill master. Happy grilling!
With a few basics under your belt and your favorite cut of meat, you, too, can be a summer grill master. Happy grilling!