It’s official! Summer is finally here! With summer, of course, comes grilling season! If you haven’t already, it is time to wheel that barbecue out of the garage, give it a little spring cleaning and fire it up. For those of us in California who were met by summer with triple digit temperatures and a week long diet of Popsicles for dinner, you might consider waiting until next week to fire up the grill.
Whether you use a brand new gas grill or prefer the smell and taste that comes with an old-fashioned wood or charcoal BBQ these Grilling Do’s and Don’ts are a must for grilling season.
DO: Heat it Up and Clean it up!
Without a hot grill you won’t get that perfect sear and those great grill marks that we all love to see. Preheat your grill for 15 – 25 minutes, then give it a good brush down. A clean grill helps prevent your meat from sticking to the grill and falling to pieces when you go to flip it. As a rule of thumb 400-450°F for high, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a grill brush then make a couple balls out of aluminum foil, brush your foil ball over the grill using some tongs to hold it!
DON’T: Forget to Warm Up First
Never throw your steak straight on the grill from the fridge. Let your steak come to room temperature before grilling to ensure that it cooks evenly.
DO: Grill Up Your Greens
There is nothing better to pair with a perfectly grilled ribeye steak than some grilled up veggies. Asparagus, Mushrooms, Peppers, Summer Squash – you name it, you grill it! Just make sure to rub them with some olive oil before grilling to prevent them from drying out and sticking to the grill!
DON’T: Mix or Cross Contaminate
The same rules apply on the grill as they do in the kitchen. Always use separate plates and utensils when handling raw and cooked meat. Don’t cut your raw veggies on the same cutting board as raw meat unless you plan on cooking the vegetables too. When cooking items like Kabobs where raw meat and veggies may be touching be sure to cook the whole kabob to the proper cooking temperature for the meat.
DO: Oil it Up
Nothing will ruin your BBQ party like 30 hamburger patties ripping to pieces as you pry them off the grill in an attempt to flip them. Whether you are grilling burgers, steaks, kabobs, veggies or something strange like chicken or fish, ALWAYS oil your grill before you start cooking. Similar to the Pro Tip we shared for cleaning your grill, to oil your grill you will want to wad up some paper towels into a ball, wet the paper towels with a cooking oil of your choice (Canola Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil), then using tongs to hold onto it rub the paper towel over the hot grill grates. You don't want your paper towels dripping with oil as this could cause some major flare ups, just enough oil to give the grill a nice shine and keep your food from sticking!
There is nothing worse than seeing your hard work go up in flames… literally. Don’t let your steak get overcooked by guessing when it is done. The best way to KNOW you have a perfectly grilled steak is to use an instant-read meat thermometer. No guessing, no finger testing, just perfect grilling every time.
DO: Stand Outside the Fire: Keep the Lid Down
While you want to grill your steaks and hamburgers over direct heat – you don’t want them to be engulfed in flames. Contrary to what our good friend Garth Brooks says, you do want to "Stand Outside the Fire" when grilling. To do this you want to keep the lid of the grill down, this keeps the moisture in and is the best way to prevent flare ups or put out flames that might have already started. Nothing is worse than a steak that is charred on the outside and raw on the inside.
DON’T: Stab Your Steak
You don’t want to cause your steak to bleed out or lose all their tasty juices. Always use tongs or spatulas when flipping your steaks or burgers to prevent puncture holes that can leak out all your flavor.
DO: Marinate Masterfully
There is no better way to mix up a steak than with some different inspired marinades. Make it sweet, make it spicy, make it just how you like it! If you need some help creating the perfect marinade for your meal check out the marinade section of our free Cooking Tips eBook!
DON’T: Sauce Sparingly
If you choose to marinate or baste your meat with some sauce while it is cooking, make sure that there isn’t an excess amount of marinade or sauce dripping from your steak when you throw it on the grill. This will cause a flame up in your grill and give your steak more of a charcoal taste than you probably want. It also makes a mess of your barbecue that no one wants to clean up. If you choose to use your marinade as a basting sauce be sure to make a separate marinade specifically for basting, separate from that you used for your raw meat. You can bring the leftover marinade from your raw meat to a boil before brushing it on cooked meat.
DO: Let it Rest
You never want to rush a good thing. After you pull your steaks, kabobs or burgers off the grill let them rest for 5 – 10 minute. This will allow them to soak up all the juice it lost and make sure that each bite is as tender and juicy as the last. If you are worried about losing heat just wrap those puppies up in foil and let them nap.
DON’T: Go Beef-less
Stock your freezer full of Western Grassfed Beef to make sure that you NEVER run out of 100% grass fed and finished beef!
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As always, we are here to help! Give us a call or email us with any questions about grilling, cooking, or serving your grass fed beef! We love lending our customers a helping hand!
Western Grassfed Beef, the Natural Beef label from Panorama Meats, works directly with U.S. family ranchers throughout the West and Midwest. All cattle are born and raised on open pasture and are fed a diet of grasses and range forage. Our natural 100% grass fed and grass finished beef is humanely raised with no antibiotics or added hormones, and always raised on pastures. We believe in supporting our rancher's way of life and in raising cattle the right way.