Memorial Day Special: Easy Grilling Tips 1 (beef & poultry)

Comments:  | Leave A Comment

0chickenandsteak
Get ready to put some favor in your holiday cookout. Make the perfect steak and chicken that will be gone by the time you finish taking them off the grill. Thanks to Women’s Health.com for the awesome tips.

BEEF
Pick the Right Kind
High heat and smoke bring out the rich flavor of beef, making it an ideal pick for grilling. And there are lots of lower-fat options that still taste great. “Cuts such as top-, eye-, and bottom-round are among the leanest,” says Nancy Berkoff, R.D., a Los Angelesbased dietitian and chef. “Loin” or “flank” cuts are also good bets.

Before You Grill
Leaner cuts can be tough unless you treat them right. The secret? Acid, baby. Ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice will help break down toughness. “Marinate these cuts for at least 12 hours for maximum effectiveness,” says Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible and How to Grill and host of BBQ University on PBS. A good marinade mixes one part acidic ingredients with two parts flavorful liquids like soy sauce, fruit juice, beer, or wine, plus mustard and spices.

The Heat Is On
Go ahead, turn up the heat. “Beef should be grilled over a high heat and turned as soon as little pearls of blood start to accumulate on top of the steak,” Raichlen says. Once you’ve cooked your steak to perfection — 4 to 6 minutes per side for a 1-inch-thick steak — let it stand a few minutes before slicing. “The juices flow back throughout the meat, making for a more succulent main course,” Raichlen says.

Grilling Gaffe
Pressing down on your burgers as they cook. Sure, the sizzling sounds cool, but you’re committing a mortal sin in grilling circles: squeezing out juices that add flavor and keep beef moist.

Safety First
According to the USDA, one out of every four burgers turns brown in the middle before it’s safe to eat — so peeking inside won’t work. “A safe inside temperature for ground beef is 160 degrees Fahrenheit; medium-rare steaks should reach 145 degrees,” says Shelley Feist, executive director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education. Use a food thermometer like Polder’s ($19, Polder Kitchen and Housewares).

Extra Credit
Cut the fat after you grill. Most beef cuts have 8 to 1/4 inches of fat on the outside of the cut, says Elizabeth Karmel, author of Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ. “Leave this fat during the grilling process. It helps the meat retain its juices better. Cut off the fat afterward.”

Poultry

Pick the Right Kind
Beware if going with ground. “A good chunk of ground chicken and turkey is blended with the skin, really bumping up the fat and calories,” says Leslie Bonci, R.D., a nutritionist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Look for “extra lean” on the label of prepackaged turkey, or have a butcher grind your meat for you, she says. If you don’t want ground meat, skinless chicken breast is the little black dress of cooking — it’s perfect everywhere, and it works as well on the grill as it does on the range.

Before You Grill
If you’re struggling with dry chicken breasts, a brine (1 tablespoon of salt plus 1 tablespoon of sugar plus 1 cup of water) is a good alternative to a marinade. “The salt in brine helps keep chicken breasts moist,” Raichlen says. While chicken needs only a 2-hour brine, turkey should be brined overnight, since the cuts tend to be bigger and have thicker skins. You can add a sweetener like molasses or honey to the brine to boost flavor.

The Heat Is On
If you’re cooking boneless meat, use high heat for 3 to 6 minutes. For bone-in pieces, grill over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes, starting with the bone side down. Keep the lid closed — “opening the lid too often reduces the temperature, increasing grilling time,” Raichlen says.

Grilling Gaffe
Slathering on BBQ sauce — it’s too sugary. “Sugar burns when exposed to heat for too long, resulting in charring before the meat is cooked through,” Raichlen says. Stick to marinades and spice rubs. If you can’t live without your BBQ sauce, apply it at the very end of cooking to get the flavor without the burn.

Safety First
Cook ground poultry to 165 and whole cuts like breasts to 170. For the most accurate readings, don’t let the thermometer touch bone.

Extra Credit
Soak rosemary sprigs in water for 30 minutes, then lay an 8- by 6-inch bed of them on the grill — thick enough so that you don’t see the cooking grate underneath. “By placing your chicken directly on top, the rosemary will scent your food,” Karmel says.

Source: Karen Vaughn Working Divas Blog

Join the Conversation! Share and Discuss!

Tags: » » » » » »

  • More Related Content

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 359 other followers